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10th Annual Guitar Festival and Competition

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in our 10th ANnual Guitar Festival & Competition on Feburary 4th! we are thrilled to announce this year's winners:

Advanced Level:
First Place:
Gustavo Mora Munoz
Second Place:
Ryan Ivanov
Third Place: Moises

Intermediate Level:
First Place:
Esperanza Quinn
Second Place:
Joseph Kim
Third Place:
Angel Jimenez
Honorable Mention: Jay Yum

YOuth COMPETITION followed by an  evening concert

Join us for the Tenth Annual Guitar Festival and Youth Competition presented by the Latino Arts Strings Program. After three years, we are thrilled to announce that this year's competition, including master classes, workshops, and the evening concert and performance will take place in-person!
The Festival will include:

  • Youth Competition
  • Master Classes with world-renowned classical guitarists 
  • Classical Guitar Techniques and Flamenco Workshop
  • Evening Concert featuring the Festival Orchestra performance, the winners of the youth competition along with featured soloists Leonela Alejandro and Gohar Vardanyan.

    Deadline to register has been extended to January 25!

    * To purchase tickets to the CONCERT ONLY, Click HERE

Scroll down to register for the Youth Competition!

Meet our featured Soloists:

Leonela Alejandro
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Leonela  began her formal musical education when she was just seven years old. During her first years, she studied with various Puerto Rican teachers including Jomel Rivera, Julio Reyes, and Rey Nieves. She later became a student of Maestro Iván Rijos at the Escuela Libre de Música de San Juan and then at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, where she completed the first two years of her undergraduate studies. In 2018, Leonela transferred to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to complete her Bachelor’s degree with Professor René Izquierdo.
Leonela has received prizes in various level categories at festivals including Boston GuitarFest, Le Domaine Forget,  Chicago Guitar Festival & Competition, Columbus Guitar Symposium, Southern Guitar Festival, Florida Guitar Festival, José Tomás Villa de Petrer Guitar Festival, and the Josefina P. Tuason International Guitar Competition. 
Leonela is currently pursuing her graduate studies with Dr. Andrew Zohn at CSU’s Schwob School of Music.

Gohar Vardanyan

Widely admired for her technique, artistry, and passionate performances Armenian-American guitarist Gohar Vardanyan has performed throughout the United States and internationally. She has performed for numerous guitar societies, universities, and arts organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She has appeared on National Public Radio in the United States and Radio Nacional in Argentina. Ms. Vardanyan has performed with the Juilliard Opera Center and as a soloist with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Panama National Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a guest artist at International Guitar Festivals in Sweden, Italy, Panama, Canada, and Mexico. She has been featured on the cover of Classical Guitar Magazine.  Her playing has been described as “passionate,” “evocative,” and “virtuosic.”

In addition to her performing career, Ms. Vardanyan is an avid teacher. She maintains a private studio in New York City and frequently teaches master classes and guitar technique workshops during her concert travels.

Competition Registration Information

- Download the 2023 Competition Letter

- Download the 2023   Competition Guidelines and Judging Procedures

Deadline to register is January 25!


"We have really felt welcomed and enjoyed participating in the guitar festival for the past two years. It has also been a privilege to experience what you are doing for your community and the arts. Your love and dedication to both are evident. It was easy to see an atmosphere of mentoring, teaching, support, and caring by all the staff we encountered. It is not hard for us to imagine the impact on the community at large."

- Family of previous festival participant

"The Latino Arts Strings Program mission is at the core of what any community needs to build a strong foundation. Children are the future and we must provide the opportunities for them to grow and experience life in a way that was not perhaps possible with any of us. The LASP Guitar Festival brings joy and pride to them and the city of Milwaukee!"

- Rene Izquierdo, Classical Guitar Professor, Area Head, Guitar, Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee