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USU's Guitar Studies Program in Top 25

Prof. Christiansen mentoring guitar studentsThe Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or Utah State News Service (formerly The Hard News Café) or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

USU’s Guitar Studies Program is One of the Top 25 Programs in the U.S.

By Michael Burnham in The Utah Statesman November 16, 2016

One of the nation’s top guitar programs held a concert at the Performance Hall on campus Tuesday evening [Nov. 15, 2016] to a crowd of little more than 100 people. The semi-annual Utah State Guitar Ensembles concert, under Director of Guitar Studies Corey Christiansen, put on a show featuring three student ensembles playing a variety of tunes.

Last year, Matt Warnock from Jazz Guitar Online listed USU’s guitar studies program as one of the top 25 programs in the U.S. alongside legendary programs at Indiana, North Texas, Berkley and the New School. However the quality of USU’s program is nothing new, even if recognition of its caliber has been slow.

“I’m really proud of what’s going on here,” Christiansen said. “As far as the intermountain west goes, the proof is in the students. Forget about me.”

Though he wouldn’t say so, a lot of the prestige of USU’s program comes from Christiansen, who has enough experience and esteem in professional guitar circles to be playing or teaching just about anywhere. Just last week Christiansen played at the Velvet Note, a jazz club in Atlanta, Georgia where names like Christian McBride, Gretchen Parlato and Wycliffe Gordon have played.

Guitar student Ivan Gygi said the years Christiansen spent as a professional musician is one of the things that makes Christiansen a great teacher.

“He can explain things so simply,” Gygi said. “And it’s great to see he has real life experience.”

Read the whole story at Utah State Today >