Several people have taken me aside in the last year to tell me they have named Austin Classical Guitar in their wills. It is incredibly humbling to think that our friends have the faith in us to make plans for our continued service far into the future.

I’ve wanted to share a few of these stories and when I received a remarkable letter from a student last week who was thanking us for a gift of a guitar, I was particularly motivated to tell this one.

Edward Kimball, a member of our Community Guitarists program, has several beautiful guitars. He recently informed us he will be leaving them to ACG.

But Mr. Kimball also gave us a beautiful guitar now, that he was hoping could be used by a deserving student. We chose a remarkable young graduate from one of our high school programs who has distinguished herself in school, will continue her studies in college, and was a member of Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra.

She’s the one who surprised me with a letter last week, and this is what she wrote:

Dear ACG: Thank you so much for the Hirade guitar, and for all the opportunities you have given me these past three years. I would not have gotten where I am today without your help and support.

Because of ACG and the help of different teachers along the way – Mr. Gratovich, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Ferguson, Dr. Williams – I have learned to truly appreciate not only this wonderful instrument, but also the culture that comes with it. I am so grateful for every concert, interview, and event that I was able to participate in because of you all. And thank you Matthew Hinsley for starting it all.

Because of my teacher, Ms. Rozanc, and everyone at ACG, I want to become a music teacher and give back to my students. I want to teach classical guitar and perhaps even become a professor.

Again, thank you for the guitar, I have loved being able to play it this past semester, and am beyond myself that I can call it my own and continue to play it.

Know that you are inspiring people around the world and accomplishing more than just teaching kids how to play classical guitar.



We asked Mr. Kimball to tell us why he chose ACG for his bequest. This was his response:

Several events led me to decide to bequeath my guitars to ACG. Y’all know how, as we get up in years, we think of that old cliché: “you can’t take it with you”! And when I learned that my friend Laura Ancira had donated an instrument she had made out of cypress to ACG, that got me to thinking even more.

Those of us who are guitar players at most any level treasure our instruments, because we spend so much time (and frustration) with them. Upon our passing we’d like to know, in advance, that our instruments will be delivered to hands that will treasure and PLAY them — not just try to sell them. So, I decided to formalize my wish with documentation. When I mentioned to my wife my intention to will my guitars to ACG, she said, had I passed away suddenly, that’s what she would have done anyway!

ACG does several wonderful things in our community. The “Changing Lives” programs that help young people who might be classified as “at risk” are, to me, the most commendable. Our instrument, it has been said, is the easiest to play poorly and the most difficult to play well. The focus, concentration and dedication required to learn classical guitar can, and does, rewire the brain in very positive ways. I’m living proof of that!

Thank you Mr. Kimball. It’s clear that you have already helped us change lives in significant ways.

Thank you so deeply for your commitment to helping us serve more kids for years to come.