Guitars Under the Stars – What to Expect

Guitars Under the Stars, presented by H-E-B, is sold out. If you have a ticket already, though, here is a little more information about this year’s exciting gala!

If you don’t have a ticket but believe in our work of education and would like to help us reach our goal of raising $100,000, or if you are coming but would prefer to give or pledge in advance, please donate or pledge online here.

What You are Supporting

We received this amazing letter from one of our graduates last week. A perfect example of the kind of impact you help us make on thousands of diverse young central Texans each day in over fifty schools!

How and When to Get There

Our gala takes place at One World Theatre, at 7701 Bee Caves Road (78746) west of Loop 360. Find directions online here.

Arrive around 6:30pm—find our valet stand right next to a beautiful Mercedes-Benz on display from our exclusive automobile Platinum Sponsor for the evening, Mercedes-Benz of Austin, and our bars inside will be serving beer, wine, cocktails, and soft drinks.

Some of the Fun Things to Check Out

Grab a drink, peruse our mystery gift boxes and the beautiful mosaic guitars created just for this occasion by Texas artist Amy Voss, and get your complimentary Guitars Under the Stars portrait taken by photographer David Tietz of Editorial Image. Photographer Richard Childress will be getting great cameos all night long as well!

Dinner by Word of Mouth Catering will be served shortly after your arrival, and you’ll have ample time to visit with your party, meet new friends, and pick up some fun mystery gifts or enter our raffle for one of three grand prizes.

Shortly before 8pm, we will head up to the theatre to enjoy a brief program where we’ll hear from some students and teachers, followed by a student performance, and then we’ll welcome Sergio and Odair Assad and Romero Lubambo to the stage.

The world’s preeminent classical guitar duo, the Assads have toured and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Dawn Upshaw. For this special concert, they team up with Brazilian jazz guitar legend Romero Lubambo for a musical evening you won’t forget.

… the best two-guitar team in existence, maybe even in history… no amount of anticipation could have prepared me for the Brazilian brothers’ daringly flexible, eerily unanimous ensemble playing. – The Washington Post

Thank You

Our work is made possible day after day thanks to the support of our many members, our donors, and our generous sponsors.

Our Guitars under the Stars presenting sponsor is H-E-B. Mercedes-Benz of Austin, Silicon Labs, and Louise Epstein & John Henry McDonald are our Platinum Sponsors.

As a special thanks, our team taught a group of Silicon Labs engineers a beginning guitar lesson last fall, so they’d better understand what they help us achieve in schools every day. Want to see how they did?

Watch their end of class performance online here!

These remarkable supporters, along with our Gold Sponsors Kendal & Ken Gladish, Joan & Thomas Kobayashi, and Oliver Custom Homes, continue years of ongoing support for our education efforts—without which we simply would not be the organization we are today.

Special thanks also to our media and hotel sponsors AW Media and Radisson Hotel and Suites Austin – Downtown, along with our design partner of over ten years who contributes her work for this event each season, Claudia Roeschmann of ROESCHMANNdesign.

What’s in the Mystery Gift Boxes

Delicious and generous gift cards to fabulous restaurants like Fonda San Miguel, Gusto Italian Kitchen, Driskill Grill, Corazon at Castle Hill, Kneaded Pleasures, La Mancha, and the newly opened 416 on Burnet Road, with cheese from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and a catering package from Paellas, Tapas & More!

Tickets from Austin’s premiere performing arts organizations including Ballet Austin (dance lessons from the Butler Community School too!), Conspirare, Texas Performing Arts, One World Theatre, The Austin Symphony, Austin Chamber Music Center and, of course, Austin Classical Guitar, along with movie and food passes from our friends at Alamo Drafthouse.

Treasures from Tesoro’s Trading Company and Karen Landrigan Design (jewelry), incredible art from Patti Troth Black and photography by Lindsay Lee. VIP tour passes to the Blanton Museum of Art donated by Laraine Lasdon, premium wines from King Liquor, and even a gift from Crystal Creek Moonshine!

Board members Kendal Gladish, Patty Valadka and David Lastrapes donated gift cards, wines, and more. The boxes have CDs ranging from Austin’s jazz icon Suzi Stern to the Assad Duo.

Get fit with Ready to Run, get musical with Fiddler’s Green, relax with Massage Envy (Mopac/2222), and get hip with a consultation from Harriett Saikin Interior Design.

You may even get a racing ride in a Ferrari from LR Academy, or enjoy one of our grand prizes including a night in downtown and a stay at the Radisson Hotel.

Huge thanks to Patty Valadka and all of our volunteers who helped make this possible!

We look forward to celebrating all that you have helped make possible in music education through Austin Classical Guitar. Thank you, and we’ll see you soon.

A Letter from College

Susana Diaz-Lopez graduated last spring from Travis High School and is attending Del Mar College on a full scholarship.  Travis High School, a four year old program directed by Susan Rosanc, is one of the only schools to receive all “Outstanding” ratings at least year’s Austin Concert and Sight Reading Assessment event.  We were delighted to receive this reflection from Susana about Travis High, about Ms. Rosanc, about the lessons ACG provided her with Brent Ferguson, and about her future plans.

Guitar meant a lot to me in high school because, when I was little, my dad used to play and sing for my brothers and I.  That's where my passion for music started. I always wanted to be a singer, but when I grew up I drifted away and became interested in other things. When I got to Travis High School Ms. Susan Rozanc persuaded me to join the guitar class.  I was also immediately curious, but what really grabbed me was the first time I actually played a piece.  It made me feel strong, unstoppable. It’s hard to describe, but it was an amazing feeling.

Ms. Rozanc was an great teacher.  I think that she is a big part of the reason I feel like nothing is impossible. She always believed that we could get Outstanding Ratings at UIL, and we did.  Even though others didn’t believe in us, she pushed us and got us there.  Mr. Ferguson believed that I had potential. I remember him telling me that he used me as an example to motivate my best friend to practice!  His belief motivated me also. Both Ms.Rozanc and Mr. Ferguson have kept up with my progress in school and still give me advice to help build my composition portfolio, even though I am not their student any more.  They are still there for me.

I’m now studying Music Theory and Composition at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.  I was offered a full ride to come here.  Senior year Dr. Abel Ramirez from Del Mar College gave a band clinic at Travis High School before UIL.  At a break he called me over and asked me about my plans after high school.  I told him I wanted to compose, and eventually own my own studio. He offered me a deal that made it possible for me to attend Del Mar.  My goal ultimately is to transfer to UCLA.

Looking ahead I want to write film scores.  I want people to feel what I feel when I hear movie soundtracks. I want people to know the power of music. I also hope to make my own albums, and I still have a goal of owning my own recording studio.  I want to be a great composer, and I want to help the people in need. I want people to have the same opportunities that I have had.

Most importantly I want my mom to be proud of me.  I want to prove to everyone who told us that we couldn’t achieve our goals, that we could. And I promise that I will make my dreams come true, no matter what.


2015 Education Progress Report

ACG Education now serves fifty Austin elementary, middle and high schools, including the Travis County Juvenile Justice Center and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We are providing service in more local schools than ever before, with over 3,000 students enrolled, and with the highest level of consistency in student outcomes.

Our primary job is to make these programs work well. Once a school or the district decides they want to start a guitar program or improve an existing one, they contact our organization. Our team becomes extensively engaged in every aspect of the program—from curriculum and lesson planning to teacher training, getting guitars into student hands, creating performance opportunities, guest artist experiences, and much more.

None of this would be possible without the support of friends in the community like you. Thank you!

In this report we have tried to give a snapshot of the status of the various areas of our education services. We hope you enjoy reading about this work, and we welcome your feedback.

Local Service

We appear to have reached a “tipping point” in the Austin school-based teaching community with regard to classical guitar education quality.

To explain this statement, we offer a brief and simplified chronological history of our program since it began in 2001. For the first three years, until 2004, we identified and defined our primary needs to elevate school-based guitar teaching quality to the same levels as established programs like choir, orchestra, and band. From 2004 to 2008 we articulated and published our solution to meet those needs in the form of From 2008 to 2014, we expanded our programs, school by school, working to establish teaching standards, student expectations, and a culture of excellence among the Austin teachers with whom we work. This year, as we serve more schools, teachers, and students than ever before, we are seeing a new level of commitment from our teachers—as active participants in creating that culture of excellence we have sought for so many years. Although the demands for our services are greater than ever, the results, in terms of student performance outcomes, are more consistent than they’ve ever been.

A big success factor beyond our training, curriculum, and daily intervention, is district-wide evaluation and performance. For three years our team has worked extensively to develop and administer an annual Concert and Sight-Reading Contest modeled after University Interscholastic League (UIL) contests for band and orchestra. This year, UIL has voted to add our contest as an official pilot event (April 22nd and 23rd, all day). Our team also establishes standards and repertoire, holds auditions for, and directs All City Guitar Event, designed to bring together exemplary students from each of the district’s middle and high schools for a showcase performance experience (Tuesday, February 3rd at 7pm).

We began our individual lessons program for low-income students in 2001. Since then, many of our most striking personal success stories have been a direct result of these significant commitments to individuals who exhibit need and a drive to make the most of individual instruction. Students in this program receive free weekly instruction throughout the year on an ongoing basis until they graduate, provided they make satisfactory progress.

Last May, six of our students receiving individual lessons at Travis High School graduated and were accepted to college with significant scholarships. One was the first in her family ever to attend college. We have continued our commitment to Travis High School, and have added Mendez Middle School this past fall. This month we will also begin significant individual lesson programs at KIPP Austin charter school and Crockett High School.

Our greatest area of expansion is in elementary schools, where we currently provide service in 20 locations. One of our newest teachers, Hilary Adamson from Cunningham Elementary, recently wrote:

I have worked with many organizations throughout my 17 years of teaching, and Austin Classical Guitar stands out above the rest by leaps and bounds. Austin Classical Guitar has been with us every step of the way.

One of our veteran middle school teachers, Dixie Yoder, decided to begin teaching elementary school guitar this year. In December she asked her students to write about guitar class. Here are some of our favorite responses:

What I love playing about guitar is that you get to feel free. I like hearing the silence at the end of the's magical. -Paty, 5th grade

When I play the guitar with others I feel like a team. We could be the best group ever and people will like watching our group when we grow up. -Leilani, 5th grade

What I love about playing the guitar is that it calms me down when I am angry, sad, or embarrassed. -Marco, 5th grade

At first I didn't think that just playing one string at a time would make a good sound, but it turned into a wonderful sound. I recommend that everyone try it. -Andrea, 5th grade

When I started playing the guitar I wasn't good...but nobody is perfect. Now I'm playing it right. -Marcos, 5th grade

Playing guitars is my favorite part of the day. -Zade, 5th grade

National Service

2014 saw a large jump forward in our national and international service as well. Most significantly, our team traveled to Atlanta, St. Louis, and Houston for formal training sessions in addition to our nationally-attended training held in Austin.

Now that we are in January, we can see significant results of our trainings, especially in Houston and St. Louis. Our Houston affiliates added eight new elementary and middle school programs this month, after following a strategy we devised together in August wherein local veteran teachers gave weekly tutorials for prospective teachers throughout the fall. Our St. Louis trainees established four new programs this month as well, including two in the Ferguson School District. They are hoping to achieve a far greater presence in the near future, and we are in constant and direct communication on a range of topics from advocacy to strategic planning.

The lead teacher from St. Louis, Courtney James, spent three days with our team in early December and wrote:

Most impressive is the dedication to the students in their programs and to their constant goal of delivering the highest quality music education for classical guitar. …They model lessons in the classrooms, they attend concerts, advocate for best teaching practices and assist by directing, mentoring teachers, and working with individual students. It is clear what a positive impact this has on the quality of the guitar programs. While I was observing, I was of course thinking of how I could apply what I witnessed in Austin to the St Louis public schools….

William Ash, Director of St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, wrote this last summer:

We have been studying and following [Austin Classical Guitar’s] educational program since 2010. We've used their in a pilot program here at Grand Center Arts Academy, a program that we have funded, with great results. The students love the repertoire, and were able to do a convincing ensemble performance at the end of three different semesters…. Austin Classical Guitar is providing the model of success in Austin for the guitar community throughout the United States, and we want to emulate it here.

In assisting other communities we have identified a new type of need: Leadership Training. In communities across the United States, including New York, Cleveland, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, we are recognizing two types of community servants—teachers and community leaders. Our training sessions and curriculum have advanced as powerful tools for developing teachers, but we have yet to articulate a training approach for leaders. The two quotations above exemplify these two types of community servants, the former, Courtney James, is a teacher who will benefit from Teacher Training, while the latter, William Ash, is a community leader who will benefit from Leadership Training.

To meet this need, we will offer our first Leadership Seminar, March 1st through 3rd in Austin, for about ten leaders from around the US who are currently seeking guidance.

Conferences and Publications

Our team is increasingly called upon to contribute written material for the nation’s education and trade journals. We are also regularly invited to give presentations and workshops at state and national music education conferences. Travis Marcum and Eric Pearson presented a three-hour workshop in October (2014) for the National Association for Music Education in Nashville, Tennessee—this was our second year to present at this conference. In March (2015) Jeremy Osborne and Eric Pearson will present for American String Teacher Association in Salt Lake City. Texas Music Educators Association has asked our team to give an entire day of presentations on Saturday, February 14th (2015) including the state’s first Texas Guitar Directors Summit.

Travis Marcum published “Artistry in Lockdown: Transformative Music Experiences for Students in Juvenile Detention,” in the December 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed Music Education Journal (MEJ, available on request). The March 2015 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine plans a feature on Austin Classical Guitar and our work in education.

Special Programs

In 2014 our Composer in Residence, Joseph V. Williams II, wrote several concert works and also created a composition project for students at Crockett High School. One student, Ike Katula, wrote a work for guitar orchestra that was premiered by Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra. The work is called Argetilean Dance, and the premiere performance can be viewed on Austin Classical Guitar’s YouTube channel.

In 2014, our work at Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center continued to thrive—so much so that we were asked to double our service there in January 2015. Our first audio recording of students in that facility was made in December 2014 (available on request), and Travis Marcum’s work at Gardner Betts formed the research basis of his December 2014 MEJ article.

In spring 2014 we carried out our first collaboration with Carnegie Hall, through which we implemented their Lullaby Project intervention, designed for at-risk young women experiencing unplanned pregnancy. The project involved pairing each young woman with a teaching artist, who then engaged each mother in writing a lullaby for her child, recording the lullaby, and sharing the recorded product with her family or friends. We carried out the project in collaboration with Austin’s Any Baby Can.

This spring we have established a new collaboration with Annunciation Maternity Home, a nonprofit residential facility providing free long-term housing and services for at risk young women experiencing unplanned pregnancy. In our work at Annunciation, we are combining our long-term educational model with the Lullaby Project, and we will work on an ongoing basis with the clients there. Our instructor, Dr. Janet Grohovac, began the program this month with eleven young women.

Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra began its second full year in September 2014. This auditioned, community-wide orchestra for young people premiered its third new work to an audience of over 400 in November. This spring, ACGYO will collaborate with Conspirare Youth Choir to perform in the 3,000-seat Bass Concert Hall as featured artists on the April 18th finale of our International Series.

Our Austin Community College scholarship recipient is Eric McKeefer. Eric is a graduate of our guitar program at Austin High School. He wrote us a wonderful letter of thanks after receiving his full scholarship to ACC:

Your wonderful gift truly gives me hope in fulfilling my dreams as a musician and opens many doorways for my future as a guitarist. You, Austin Classical Guitar, are the people who make it possible for guitarists like me to succeed after high school and beyond, but more importantly you help make our dreams come true.

Looking Ahead

We eagerly anticipate the launch of our new website, planned for February 2015. The new site will have many capabilities and enhanced functionality, and we foresee a tool that will connect our international users in a dynamic forum—establishing a higher degree of collaboration. Our goal is to foster an international “culture of excellence,” similar to what has been established locally.

As of the writing of this report, we have not scheduled 2015 summer training sessions beyond the Austin session planned for July 30th through August 1st. Broadly speaking, our goal is to empower other communities to develop teaching excellence through a combination of teacher training, leadership development, resource development, advocacy, and benchmark modeling.

The “special programs” detailed in this report reflect our larger organizational strategy that we serve best when we serve with specificity. We anticipate continuing and improving each of our special programs, and we plan to reinvigorate our work in Braille adaptation of our curriculum—as our program at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired grows.

Our highest objective is to continue to achieve deep and positive impact on the diverse young people we directly serve in Central Texas each and every day. We know that this objective is never complete but, rather, is the result of continued dedication, innovation, and refinement.

On behalf of all of us at Austin Classical Guitar, we would like to share how deeply grateful we are for your continued support. Our work would simply not be possible without our dedicated community, and we marvel at the generosity that has enabled our service since the 2001 beginning of our work in education.

Please to do not hesitate to ask if you would like any additional information or clarification about this report or our programs in general.

Making Music, a reflection from Matt Hinsley

Dear Austin Classical Guitar Fans,

Paty, a fifth grader in one of our guitar programs wrote in December:

What I love about playing guitar is that you get to feel free. I like hearing the silence at the end of the's magical.

As we approach our annual gala fundraiser for education, I thought I would take some time to reflect on the power of making music.

Paty's classmate, Leilani, also wrote:

When I play the guitar with others I feel like a team. We could be the best group ever and people will like watching our group when we grow up.

Freedom, joy in silence, magic, belonging, hope. How is it that making music inspires such wide-ranging and wondrous emotions and imaginings?

What I love about playing the guitar is that it calms me down when I am angry, sad, or embarrassed.

When I play the guitar with others I feel comforted. Even if I make a mistake it's okay...and we all keep playing together.

Calm and comfort, from making music? According to Marco and Dayron, also in fifth grade, making music on the guitar creates both of these things.

Tomorrow at 7pm is All City Guitar in the new Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center (1500 Barbara Jordan Boulevard). 55 middle school students and 35 high school students, representing about 20 of our school programs, will take the stage conducted by Travis Marcum and Jeremy Osborne, our Director and Assistant Director of Education.

The students rehearse together for the first time later today-for five hours, from 2pm to 7pm. In these moments before the kids arrive, I'm thinking about how rare and special and unforgettable this experience is-the freedom, carefully rendered silences, calm, comfort, joy, hope, and magic of making beautiful music with each other.

And I reflect now, as I do almost every day, on how fortunate we are to live in a community that values the arts, and arts education, as we do here in Austin.

Thank you for helping us make music with so many,


Play! Program

We are excited to have the first performance in our new Play! series, this Friday, January 30th at 8pm. The evening features guitarist Isaac Bustos and artist Fidencio Duran. Duran's works are featured in public and private collections throughout the US and abroad. You can learn more about Duran's work here.

Tickets for this show are no longer available, but for those interested, here is Isaac Bustos's program for the evening! Bustos will also be performing on our Classical Cactus series on Thursday, January 29th--the show begins at 8pm with guitarist Chad Ibison, and Bustos takes the stage at 9pm.

Concert Program

Two Latin American Pieces

Verano Porteño (Argentina)                                      Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

Guajira a mi Madre (Cuba)                                        Antonio “Ñico” Rojas (1921-2008)

From Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV 998            Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)



From Suite Española Op. 47                                                            Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)



Un Tiempo fue Itálica Famosa                                          Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)

Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios                                     Agustin Barrios (1885-1944)

La Catedral

Classical Cactus and Play!

Classical Cactus roars out of the gate in 2015 with this Thursday's show featuring two supremely talented guitar wizards, Chad Ibison and Isaac Bustos.

If you haven't yet been, Classical Cactus features casual, intimate concerts at UT's historic Cactus Cafe with $10 tickets, a full bar, two artists per show, and exciting prize giveaways!

Sip, relax, enjoy. Tickets and information online here.


Our new downtown series opens atop the gorgeous IBC Bank Plaza this Friday at 7PM.

With a reception by Easy Tiger, cocktails by Dragon Spirits, the artwork of Austin's beloved Fidencio Duran, and a concert by Isaac Bustos, this inaugural Play! event is not to be missed!

Tickets are online here or call 512-300-2247.

Duran, whose murals can be found at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and Dell Children's Hospital, says: "My work transforms personal and community memories into celebrations of culture, history, and the beauty in our everyday lives."  Read more about this Austin artistic treasure here.

Play! The Artistry of Fidencio Duran

We are so excited about our new series, Play!, starting this month. This series represents a whole new concept for us, with concerts held in unique, downtown locales, alongside original artwork created by some of Austin's most talented visual artists. Each event will feature signature cocktails by Dragon Spirits and delicious food from Easy Tiger.

The first of this exciting new series is January 30th at the new IBC Bank Plaza on the breathtaking 13th floor with an incredible view of downtown. The event starts at 7pm and features Isaac Bustos, a regular artist on every one of our series.

Tickets are available here.

We are honored to feature Fidencio Duran's artwork at the first installment of this new series. Duran's artwork appears in public and private art collections throughout the United States and abroad. His famous work, The Visit, is on display at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.


We asked Duran to tell us a bit about his art:

My work transforms personal and community memories into celebrations of culture, history, and the beauty in our everyday lives. Drawing with graphite I develop the idea using linear perspective to set a location and lighting for the narratives. Layering of opaque and translucent acrylics results in vivid fluid arrangements that evoke a sense of nostalgia for the past. They espouse the value of living in close relation to the earth, the strength of family, and community.

My work became a form of cultural assertion by depicting aspects of my family's history as tenant farmers in central Texas from the 1920's to 1960's. With this narrative approach I also produce public murals portraying the cultural, economic, and political history of communities, neighborhoods, regions, and sites. A recent series combines landscape, nature, and found objects as metaphors for our human need for community and shelter.

duran2                              duran3



Both evening shows of The Lodger are sold out, and tickets are going fast for our Saturday matinee at 3:45pm: get yours here! Also this week, Chilean guitarist Nicolas Emilfork performs a free concert Thursday at 5:30pm for the Blanton Museum's Tate Latin American Exhibit: learn more.


Our new downtown series opens Friday, January 30th at 7pm on the 13th floor of the gorgeous new IBC Bank Plaza. Play! is intimate concerts, inspiring works by Austin visual artists, unique downtown locations, specialty cocktails by Dragon Spirits, and delicious bites from our restaurant sponsor Easy Tiger.

Our opening show features Isaac Bustos, one of our favorite virtuoso guitarists, with artwork by beloved Austin artist Fidencio Duran. Perhaps best known in Austin as the artist who created the mural behind the ticket counters at Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Duran's work has been collected and exhibited by major museums throughout the US and beyond.

Tickets and more information about Play! are online here.

More on The Lodger

Tune in KUTX 98.9FM for Eklektikos with John Aielli this Thursday morning between 7am and 9am for a preview of the amazing new music Joseph Williams has composed for this project.

Read an interview with Tom Echols about Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger.

Read an interview with Joseph V. Williams II about this project.

Williams has composed an astounding 90 minutes of entirely original music just for this experience. We cannot wait to share it with you in the hands of the Texas Guitar Quartet (Isaac Bustos, Jonathan Dotson, Alejandro Montiel & Joseph Williams) with superstar cellist Bion Tsang. Tickets are online here.

The Lodger, Matinee Added!!!

With Friday sold out, and just five tickets remaining for Saturday evening, we've added a matinee show for The Lodger on Saturday, January 17th at 3:45pm!

Get your matinee tickets here (select Saturday in the date field).

Brian Satterwhite, host of Film Score Focus on KMFA Classical 89.5, will feature silent movie scores, including recordings from our last original film score project, The Unknown, this Friday at 9pm and Saturday at 5pm. Satterwhite will be present at The Lodger shows and will host a Q&A with the composer and performers following each performance!

Bion Tsang and the Texas Guitar Quartet will perform on KUTX 98.9FM Eklektikos with John Aielli next Thursday morning, giving us a preview of the music we'll hear at the shows!

The beverage wizards at The Alamo Drafthouse are even making a specialty cocktail just for The Lodger. They're calling it "The Daisy," in honor of the movie's heroine. The cocktail is modeled after a recipe from the period of the film.

The Lodger's cinematically brilliant, psychologically probing, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have seen the film over a hundred times and it gets better every time.

On Friday, January 16th and Saturday January 17th at 7pm, our International Series continues with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog by Alfred Hitchcock. Shown in 35mm at the new Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, the film will be screened with a live world premiere performance of an original, 90-minute score by Joseph V. Williams II for four guitars and cello. The performers are the Texas Guitar Quartet and superstar cellist Bion Tsang.

Tickets and information are online here. Seats are going fast!

We asked Williams, our Composer in Residence, to tell us a bit about The Lodger:

Austin Classical Guitar: What do you love about this film?

Joseph V. Williams II: The Lodger is a riot. It's a love story and a trail of murders. It's dark, it's strange, it's ridiculous, and I love it. This is Hitchcock's first great film and bares the mark of all that is Hitchcock: it's cinematically brilliant, psychologically probing, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have seen the film over a hundred times and it gets better every time.

ACG: Tell us about the score you've composed.

JVW: The new score is a nearly a year in the making and is entirely original music. The fascinating part of creating music for this film has been the process of capturing the different characters and themes to create a sound world that allows the audience to get caught up in the story. At times the music anticipates, sometimes it foreshadows, and sometimes it works in complete contrast to what is happening visually. The music dances with the film, and the film always leads.

ACG: What should we expect in this experience?

JVW: A live musical performance shakes up the whole experience of watching a movie. Live musicians create an intimacy that shrinks the distance between the film and the audience. I couldn't be more happy to have virtuoso cellist Bion Tsang and the Texas Guitar Quartet presenting this early Hitchcock masterpiece.