Guitar Solo 2019

Guitar Solo 2019



Gram Parsons Derry Down presents our second annual Guitar Solo, October 27, 2019. Join us for an intimate concert experience featuring nine outstanding instrumental guitarists from Central Florida. The concert highlights a variety of solo guitar music including classical guitar, contemporary acoustic guitar, and solo jazz guitar. Each of the musicians featured are valuable members of the Central Florida Guitar Community working both as performers as well as music educators. 

Marcus Brixa is a guitarist, composer, private guitar instructor, and guitar technician based in Winter Haven Florida. He has extensive experience in many different musical styles and performs often as a solo classical or acoustic jazz artist, as a member of a jazz trio or quartet, and is the founding member of the eclectic acoustic ensemble “Polkweed Muzique”. Marcus also works regularly with local community theaters both as a musician and occasionally as an actor and has performed in several productions at Theatre Winter Haven including “The Million Dollar Quartet” as Carl Perkins and “Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story” as a member of the Crickets. Marcus has also worked with Lakeland Community Theatre, and the FSC Pied Piper Players. He was a member of the O’55 Show Band under the direction of Roger Hewitt for 5 years, played as a member of the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra, and toured the country as a member of Rocket 88, a 7 piece R&B band based out of Orlando. Currently Marcus is working on a solo guitar recording which he hopes to release next year, and he plans to bring his band “Polkweed Muzique” into the recording studio soon. Marcus is equally comfortable with acoustic and electric guitar playing and feels blessed to have so many interesting and varied musical projects to work on. He holds a BME from Florida Southern College and has worked for Carlton Music Center in Winter Haven as a guitar instructor and luthier for 24 years.

Caitlin Caggiano is a classical guitarist who graduated in 2017 as the first female to earn a degree in Classical Guitar Performance from University of Central Florida. During her time at UCF, she has studied with Dr. Eladio Scharrón and has performed for and attended the masterclasses of Marcos Sartor and Pepe Romero. In 2017 she performed in Tampa as the opening artist before Pepe Romero as part of the Guitar Series at Hillsboro Community College. Caitlin has been performing and teaching in the Orlando area for several years. She has held the position of lead guitarist at mega church First Baptist Orlando since 2013 and she has performed in several countries throughout Europe in different bands.

Jessica Floyd began studying guitar at Lake Region High, under the direction of Kathryn Grinstead. In 2007 she began studying with Dr. Stephen Robinson at Stetson University, where she attended upon graduating from high school. While at Stetson she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, while minoring in Education. She has studied with Dr. Lilly Afshar and has had master classes with Dr. Rene Gonzalez, and Dr. Kevin Manderville. She has accumulated her teaching experiences from a variety of institutions since 2007, teaching individual lessons to students of all ages, directing guitar in high schools, to Adjunct Professor of Music at Stetson University. She is currently the Guitar and Keyboard Director at Winter Haven High School. Most importantly she enjoys teaching others how to play the guitar and takes pride in watching her students grow and mature in their musical abilities.

Joe Gavin is a Lakeland based fingerstyle guitarist who's musical style is reminiscent of Phil Keaggy and the late Michael Hedges. Joe draws from his 39 years of playing experience to create music that is haunting, beautiful and improvisational. Joe's album of original guitar compositions, “Summit of Leaves”, attracted the attention of Grammy-Award winning Windham Hill Records producer and guitarist, Will Ackerman. Ackerman chose Joe's orignal composition, “Over the Downs”, to be included on “Woodsongs”, a compilation CD released on the New Land Music record label. Over the last two decades Joe has performed for many events and weddings, performed in art museums and libraries, played on numerous recordings, conducted demonstrations for schools, performed with ballet companies and toured with “The Jim Croce Tribute”. Joe is currently working on his new release, “Ancient Foundation”. Joe has spent the last 21 years working for Carlton Music. Joe currently manages their Lakeland location and enjoys teaching guitar on his day off.

Samuel Ortiz born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, started playing the guitar at the age of 13. He was introduced to guitar music while still in middle school. There, he began playing and learning classical guitar. It was then that he joined a group of performers, who played traditional Puerto Rican Music. As a high school student, he joined the school’s Rondalla, an instrumental group playing both guitar and bass. While still studying in College, he joined the faculty of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, as a guitar instructor for the Professional Studies and Continuing Education Department. He has also served as a guitar instructor for Antillean Adventist University Music Academy in Puerto Rico and Blue Noche Arts and Music Academy in Lakeland FL. In addition, Samuel, altogether with Aldo Briano and Raquel Borges co-created the Jazz group “Midnight Sun Jazz” in Puerto Rico.

Currently, Samuel works as the director of guitar studies at McLaughlin Middle School and Fine Arts Academy in Lake Wales. He is also, one of the adjunct instructors for the Classical Guitar Department of the Lois Cowles Harrison School for the Performing Arts in Lakeland. Currently, Samuel serves as the All-County Guitar Facilitator for Polk County Schools.

Samuel has release two studio albums. The first album, “Initium”, was released on March 1st, 2015 and it is a collection of some of his favorite classical guitar songs. The second album, “Nuances”, was released on May 1st, 2018 and features music from the classical, contemporary, jazz and Latin-American repertoire.

Dr. Jimmy Moore is a Multi-Award Winning guitarist who has been a featured at many international guitar and music festivals, including: The Siena Sessions for Music in Siena, Italy; the Tennessee Guitar Festival, and the National Guitar Summer Workshop in Nashville, TN. He has performed for many well-known dignitaries and celebrities in the USA and abroad, and is a frequent performer with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the South Georgia Ballet.
Moore has won guitar competitions on the state, regional, and national levels, including: First Prize at the National Beethoven Association 25th Anniversary Young Artist Competition in Memphis, TN; First Prize at the Tennessee Music Teacher's Association Guitar Competition in Nashville, TN, and as a National Finalist at the Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Guitar Competition,
Moore earned a Doctor of Music (D.M./Ph.D) degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Florida State University with a Doctoral Minor in Musicology. Moore also has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Guitar Performance from Middle Tennessee State University.
Dr. Moore is in great demand as a guitar teacher and has taught master classes covering classical, jazz, and popular guitar styles. His doctoral study included a treatise, lecture, and world-premier performances of the music of Justin Holland, America’s First Pioneer of the Guitar.
In addition to his research, Moore has founded guitar programs in Florida, Tennessee (Nashville), and Georgia. He has taught guitar classes and private lessons at Florida State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tallahassee Community College, and Manatee School for the Arts. He currently teaches guitar at Florida Southern College and St. Petersburg College and manages a thriving home studio in St Pete, FL.

Robert Phillips holds a doctorate in music from the University of Miami, and is a former student of Rey de la Torre, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and David Starobin A recipient of a Japan Fulbright, Dr. Phillips is respected internationally as a scholar, educator, as well as a performer. Phillips has embraced a wide range of repertory preferences performing the standard solo classical guitar repertoire as well as Brazilian jazz. He performs his own compositions, and has premiered works by three-time Pulitzer nominee, Frank Brazinski, Eric Ross, Alfred Giusto, and Meyer Kupferman, as well as the premier performance of “Goyescana”, a concerto written for him by three-time Grammy winner, Michael Colina. He most recently has commissioned a set of 6 dances for guitar by Jorge Morel, Troy Gifford, Rex Willis, Howard Buss, Charles Griffin, and Benoit Glazer. He recently recorded these 6 dances for MSR records. They are presently pending release. His previous recording, “Lo Mestre: The Music of Miguel Llobet” is on Centaur records.

Dr. Phillips has been teaching in Polk County since 1995 both as a private instructor and as a classrrom guitar teacher. He taught guitar at All Saints Academy from 1995 through 2010. Since 2010 he has been teaching classical guitar, and music theory at the Lois Cowles Harrison School for the Visual and Performing Arts. Dr. Phillips is also an adjunct professor of applied music (classical guitar) at Southeastern University.

Dr. Mark Switzer is a Professor of Music on the Music faculty of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.  He is a classical guitarist who has toured internationally as a soloist, performing in Austria, Canada, Italy, the former Soviet Union, and throughout the United States.  He has published several editions of guitar music with Tuscany Publications (available through the Theodore Presser Publishing Company). His classical guitar instructional DVD, Classical Guitar Sprezzatura: a Pathway to Virtuosity, is a best seller on  

He has appeared as a duo partner with Maestro Pepe Romero in Europe as well as in the United States, and has toured with the renowned Los Romeros Guitar Quartet and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed locally as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Florida, the University of South Florida Orchestra, and the Florida Southern College Orchestra.  In October 2012, he was a featured soloist in a series of concerts with the Imperial Symphony of Polk County, culminating in a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. Following that performance, he was a guest artist with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra performing the same work. Most recently, he was invited to play as a duo partner with Maestro Romero in a concert celebrating Hispanic Heritage for the city of Tampa, October, 2018.

James Van Druten has been praised by guitarist Stephen Robinson for playing with "great expression and feeling," and has delighted audiences with his mature and refined style of playing. James completed his Bachelor of Music Degree from Stetson University and his Master of Music Degree in guitar performance at Appalachian State University. As a soloist, he has won numerous awards including Fourth Prize in Division I of the 2014 Appalachian State Guitar Festival and Second Prize in the 7th Annual Marilyn Newell Music Festival. James has performed in master classes given by some of the world’s most distinguished guitarists including Manuel Barrueco, Denis Azabagic, Rafael Padron, and Stephen Aron. As a chamber musician, James has had the pleasure of being a member of Stetson University’s Guitar Ensemble, the Appalachian State Guitar Orchestra and has collaborated extensively with soprano Elizabeth Galafa, performing works by Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla. Equally comfortable away from the concert stage, James has served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Stephen Robinson and Dr. Douglas James, learning valuable tools on how to approach teaching in a university setting. He has held adjunct positions at Milligan College and Caldwell Community College. James is currently the director of orchestra and guitar at Jewett School of the Arts.