The Solace Project

Last spring, as the world began to reckon with the implications of a global pandemic, here at ACG we faced a conundrum: Normally in April we would host “ACG Fest,” 100 guitarists from around the state and beyond gathering to make music together, attend workshops and masterclasses, and premiere the winning composition of our Annual Composition Competition. This challenge resulted in the inspiration for a collaborative project that guitarists from around the country could participate in from their homes.

Rather than a concert or performance video, this project was a portrait of us now, a way for us to be together and share beauty during this challenging time. Participants were asked to record parts of the winning composition, Solace by Brandon Carcamo, and capture videos of their surroundings to give us a glimpse of what brought them hope.

The result was The Solace Project, a beautiful multimedia work created by and for our community. It was a chance to acknowledge the moment we’re in collectively, to make something we’ll be able to return to years from now, to share music together even at a distance.

“It was a reminder that we can make music; we have all these barriers, but we’re still going to come together. There was a delay in experiencing this new piece that we would’ve premiered together on stage with 100 other people, but we still made it.” – Lennox Kolics, ACG Intern & ACGYO member


Days before our Youth Orchestra was about to embark on its New Mexico Tour in March, the pandemic hit in full force, and the trip was cancelled. As the group started to meet online to figure out its plan for the spring, an idea materialized: they could create a new ACGYO interpretation of a well-known piece by recording all the parts separately.

“It wasn’t the same as playing together in person, but it was still something we were working towards, and it was really great to sit on zoom and say ‘I have this idea for this variation.’ To see that come to fruition was really wonderful – without trying to replace something that couldn’t be replaced.” – Lennox Kolics

Lennox and Iris Renteria, another ACGYO member, engineered all 15 parts of the music that members had sent in and remixed them to create the ACGYO version of Malagueña. Zara Terrazas-Graham, a third member of the orchestra, made a time-lapse video of the creation of a painting and filmed footage from her community: people walking, laughing, dancing in the street.

“I explained to my closest friends, family, and neighbors that we’d all collaborated on this piece, and I asked them to dance and express how they felt when they listened to the song, and I got some really beautiful results. For the art piece, I wanted something really warm, happy, and light, and since the season theme was togetherness, I wanted to incorporate that too.” – Zara

“It was all led by the members, there’s so much incredible skill in these young people. They really ran with it.” – ACGYO Director, Joseph Williams