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Annual Guitar Festival and Competition

Youths in the Strings Program - Latino Arts

Seventh annual Guitar festival and youth COMPETITION

Sign up for the Youth Competition and Master Classes today!
Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Latino Arts Strings Program invites classical guitarists under the age of 18 to participate in the Sixth Annual Guitar Festival. A panel of local and international classical guitarists will select one winner from each level: Intermediate and Advanced. Competition winners will perform with our guest artists during the evening concert.

Elina Chekan: 

 Combining active performance and teaching careers, Elina performs as a soliist and chamber musician around the world. Some of her recent appearances include Iserlohn Guitar Festival, Germany; The Volterra Project, Italy; Series of Concerts in the Camino de Santiago, Spain; Brussels Royal Museum of Musical Instrument; Guitar Festival in Mannes College, New York; Tucson Classical Guitar Society  and the Barrios Festival in Manaus, Brazil to name a few.

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Elina Chekan holds  Master of Music degrees in Orchestral Conducting, Pedagogy and Classical Guitar Performance from the Belarus Academy of Music and a Master of Music Degree from Yale University.


Rafael Padron:

Cuban born guitarist, Rafael Padron, began studying the guitar at the age of eleven. He attended the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, where he completed his studies with the distinguished Argentinean teacher and performer, Victor Pellegrini.Mr. Pardon has won top prizes in many national and international competitions, among them the Best Interpretation of Latin American Music in Havana and the Diploma of Honor at the International Classical Guitar Competition in Chile. He has been featured in festivals like the International Festival of the Guitar in Havana, Cuba and the Festival Iberoamericano de Guitarra in Tenerife, Spain.

He is currently the Program Director of Classical Guitar at Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Iván Resendiz: 

Originally from Mexico City, Iván Resendiz began his study of classical guitar at age 16 in La Escuela Superior de Musica del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico with teacher Alejandro Mendez. In 2006, Resendiz immigrated to the United States to continue his study of music, taking private lessons with Norman Ruiz and Denis Azabagic, professors of distinguished universities in Chicago: Columbia College and Roosevelt University. Resendiz has participated in numerous national and international guitar competitions, receiving top prizes in more than thirteen competitions. 

Resendiz has been invited to participate in various radio and television programs in Chicago such as Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Radio, CAN TV y Hoy Univision. In December of 2011, Iván Resendiz founded the First Latin American Guitar Festival in Chicago. The Festival offers concerts, workshops and conferences to the Latin American community in Chicago, as well as for the students of such universities as Columbia College and Northeastern University.

Competition Registration Information

- Download the 2020 Competition Letter

- Download the 2020 Competition Guidelines and Judging Procedures



"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