History

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.  The guitar program seeks to perform more frequently and build a stronger reputation in the community.

Under the direction of Mr. Kennedy, the St. Pius X guitar ensembles have had the following opportunities:

Performances

  • Alliance Theater (2010)
  • Georgia State University (2015, 2016)
  • GMEA In-Service Conference (2013, 2015, 2017)
  • GPTV (2012)
  • Guitar Performance Evaluation at North Gwinnett Middle School (2015*, 2016*, 2017*, 2018*; 2019* *= Superior Rating)
  • Kennesaw State University (2015)
  • Reinhardt University (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018)
  • University of Georgia (2014, 2016, 2019)
  • University of North Georgia - Dahlonega​ (2019)
  • Woodruff Arts Center (2015)
  • Young Harris College (2016, 2019)

Guest Artists / Master Classes

  • Akerman-Teixeira Duo
  • Athens Guitar Duo
  • Mary Akerman
  • Matthew Anderson
  • Daniel Bolshoy
  • DNT Guitar Trio
  • Nicolas Deuson
  • Luther Enloe
  • Georgia Guitar Quartet
  • Page Hamilton
  • Joseph Ikner
  • Milos Karadaglic
  • Los Angeles Gutar Quartet
  • Lunar Vacation
  • Rand Lines
  • Brian Luckett
  • David Russell
  • Brian Smith
  • Phil Snyder
  • Scott Tennant
  • Sean Thrower
  • 9 String Theory
  • Revien Trio
  • Dusty Woodruff
  • Trey Wright

Recordings

  • Breathe in the Silence... (2016)
  • Songs from the Barn (2017)
  • Songs from the Barn vol. 2 (2018)
  • Songs from the Barn vol.3 (2019)

Premieres:

  • Synapse No.2- Phil Snyder (2016) at Georgia State University
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Sky- Patrick Crawford (2017) at St. Pius X
  • Fantastic Beans and Where to Find Them - Patrick Crawford (2018) at Reinhardt University
  • Tell a Tale - Mary Margaret Cozart (2019) at the University of Georgia
  • Fluoresce - Phil Snyder (2019) at the University of North Georgia - Dahlonega​