Glendale Community College Guitar Ensembles (GCC)
The GCC Guitar Program, under the direction of Chuck Hulihan since 1999, includes courses in Private Instruction, Chamber Music, Studio Class, Class Guitar I-IV, and features multiple performing ensembles. Quickly gaining an international reputation for both excellence and innovation, the program hosts masterclasses and residencies with a who’s who of international artists. Composer spotlight concerts with newly commissioned works and world premieres are a hallmark of the program, including artists such as Andrew York, Roland Dyens, Mark Houghton, Maximo Diego Pujol, Rex Willis, and most recently the music of Dutch composer Jan Bartlema. GCC students have been accepted to prestigious university and conservatory programs throughout the U.S., have won the Maricopa Community College District Artist of Promise Competitions in Solo Guitar and/or Instrumental Ensemble categories each year since 2000, and have received numerous awards and accolades from organizations such as the National Society of Arts and Letters.
The GCC Guitar Ensembles have been fortunate to have works written for and dedicated to them by Phil Moloso ("Kindertoten II”), Mark Houghton (“Twangology”), and Rex Willis ("All In a Day’s Work”). In 2013 the GCC Octet twice had the honor of performing at Grand Canyon Guitar Society concerts, playing “Folguedo” alongside Celso Machado and on the program of Roland Dyens performing "Côté Sud" as guest artists. In 2014, GCC was selected for the Guitar Foundation of America’s Showcase Ensemble Concert as the college/university large ensemble, and premiered two new works written for them at the 2014 GFA Convention in Fullerton, Mark Houghton’s “Frippertron” and Rex Willis’ “18 and 49”. In the fall of 2014 they joined with select players from Arizona’s state universities and guitar societies to form a touring orchestra for three performances of Shingo Fujii’s “Concierto de Los Angeles” with soloist Bill Kanengiser, the first time this piece was taken on tour to multiple cities. In January 2015, they took part in the Red Rocks Music Festival’s Winter Chamber Music Institute, where they received coaching from the esteemed string faculty and performed to a full house on the faculty concert. 2015 included the world premiere of "Refractions in the Arizona Desert" by Vito Nicola Paradiso, and 2016 featured a tour with the Arizona Guitar Orchestra with Brad Richter's "Once We Moved Like the Wind". 2017 will feature performances with Argentine guitarist Nestor Benito, and the world premiere of "By Chants", the latest work by GRAMMY-award winning composer Andrew York, to be premiered along with the GRAMMY-award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.