The GuitarFest at AppState has always been special to me because it was the very first event of this type that I attended.  It was there that I became interested in Suzuki teaching and where I have met most of the players that would have a significant impact on me personally and subsequently my studio.

The plan was to take two students with me, Drew Agans and Nicholas Degarmo.  Unfortunately Nicholas was ill and unable to travel.  Rain was torentual when we left but undaunted Drew and I pressed on.  We looked forward to spending time with Christina Dawson, a former student, who is studying there.  This was Drew's last trip to this event, as a high school student.  It was also his last time to compete in Division II (high school); he gave a very respectable performance.  Another former student from ECU, Roby Salter, performed in his 1st college competition.  A proud day for this teacher.  

Its always a thrill for me to see old friends at these events and this year wasespecially nice.  Stephen Robinson was a guest performer and master class teacher.  I played in a master class for him 15 years ago and this year Roby got to play for him on the same stage.  We got a chance to chat about where the time has gone - Thanks Stephen!  Among other friends there were Mac Nelson, Patrick Lui, Elliot Frank, Steven Walter and of course the event director, Douglas James.  Directing an event of this magnetitude is a masive undertaking - doing it for 18 years get a "Tip of the Hat"!

Thanks Doug for all you do!

mr. ron


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