Southeastern guitarists excel at Mississippi Guitar Competition


Wednesday, April 3, 2019
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – A Southeastern Louisiana University student and two alumni were recognized at the 2019 Mississippi Guitar Festival Guitar Competition at William Carey College in Hattiesburg.
     Southeastern junior Graham Guillory of Covington placed third in the Young Artist division of the competition that included national and international students performing music for solo guitar. Guillory, a student of Instructor of Guitar and Coordinator of Guitar Activities Patrick Kerber, performed Dilermando Reis’ “Se Ela Perguntar” and Angel Barrios’ “Arroyos de la Alhambra,” two challenging works.
     Co-sponsored by the Mississippi Guitar Alliance, the festival also featured a Jazz Guitar Competition in which two Southeastern alumni earned recognition. Zakkary Garner (’13) of Hammond earned first place, and Justin Burdette (’10) of Baton Rouge took second place.
     Garner is currently teaching in the Tangipahoa School System Talented Music program. His CD “Humble Ambition,” featuring mostly original compositions, was released in late 2018. In addition to his teaching duties, Garner maintains an active performance schedule as a saxophonist, guitarist, and pianist. Since graduating from Southeastern, he has been featured at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
     Burdette maintains a substantial teaching schedule with the Overtones Music Studio in Denham Springs. He performs regularly throughout the region as a soloist and with the popular King Creole Orchestra.
     “It is certainly an understatement to say that I am very proud of and happy for these young guitarists,” Kerber said. “Music competitions are very difficult propositions, as musicians have to present what makes them happy – the joy of performing music - in the face of instant comparison and judgment. Their success in this event bodes well for their future academic and professional success.”

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