History of the St. Pius X Guitar Program
The classical guitar program began in 1996 under the direction of Bryant Poole. He noticed the interest and talent that existed among the students and proposed the idea to our administration. Through the school’s support, the classical guitar program became a unique addition to the Fine Arts curriculum.
In 1998, Peter Fletcher (St. Pius X Alum) directed the program. He has since moved on to pursue a professional career as a classical guitarist. Kyle Dawkins continued to develop the program from 1999 - 2001. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s guitar program and is an active member of the Georgia Guitar Quartet.
Esteban Anastasio joined the faculty of St. Pius X Catholic High School in the fall of 2001. When he first started at St. Pius X, only two guitar classes were offered; beginning and intermediate. After Mr. Anastasio joined St. Pius X Catholic High School, the guitar program grew to three full classes. The very talented "Advanced Guitar Ensemble" focuses on college level guitar repertoire as well as solo classical guitar repertoire.
Brion Kennedy started teaching at St. Pius X in the fall of 2010. Following Mr. Anastasio's lead, Mr. Kennedy has every intention of growing the program and furthering expectations. Under the direction of Mr. Kennedy, the guitar program seeks to perform more frequently and build a stronger reputation in the community.
The classes’ main focus is the development of guitar styles in a traditional classical setting. However, within the guitar curriculum we also offer instruction in popular music styles and modern approaches to the study of music. Mr. Kennedy gives his students a solid foundation in music theory, sight reading, and improvisation. His focus as an educator is the philosophy that the quality of the musician is directly related to the quality of the individual who plays the music.
Under the direction of Mr. Kennedy, the St. Pius X guitar ensembles have had the following opportunities:
- Alliance Theater (2010)
- Georgia State University (2015)
- GMEA Conference in Savannah (2013, 2015)
- GPTV (2012)
- Guitar Performance Evaluation at North Gwinnett Middle School (2015- Superior Rating, 2016 - Superior Rating)
- Kennesaw State University (2015)
- Reinhardt University (2013, 2014)
- University of Georgia (2014, 2016)
- Woodruff Arts Center (2015)
- Young Harris College (2016)
Guest Artists / Master Classes
- Akerman-Teixeira Duo
- Athens Guitar Duo
- Mary Akerman
- Matthew Anderson
- Nicolas Deuson
- Luther Enloe
- Joseph Ikner
- Milos Karadaglic
- Los Angeles Gutar Quartet
- Rand Lines
- Brian Luckett
- Brian Smith
- Phil Snyder
- Scott Tennant
- 9 String Theory
- Revien Trio
- Breathe in the Silence... (2016)