International Guitar Festival | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

SIU presents: International Guitar Festival 2021

September 22nd & 23rd | October 27th & 28th
♦ Southern Illinois University Carbondale ♦

Dr. Dick Kelley
Director, SIU School of Music
Dr. Isaac Lausell
Artistic Director, Guitar Festival

Isaac Lausell, DirectorMessage from Dr. Lausell

In the fall of 2020 we would have hosted the 7th edition of the SIU Guitar Festival but our plans had to be postponed due to the pandemic. It was a very difficult year. We lost dear friends, our local businesses went through the roughest patch in their history and as a community we are still experiencing the aftermath of such an experience.

In the midst of it all we pressed forward. The students worked hard and thrived whether it was by observing social distancing or through online instruction. We found ways to connect with the world and learn from each other thanks to remote learning resources and the various Zoom lectures and master classes.

As we slowly started to regain normalcy and resume our activities it seems fitting that the guitar festival this year should be a homecoming festivity, something that also celebrates the connections our program has made with guitarists and musicians from all over the world.

In honor to this we take on a new name and make our debut as the SIU International Guitar Festival. Thanks to the support of the SIU Foundation Grant and our visiting faculty from various institutions from domestic and abroad we will be enjoying concerts, lectures and master classes that explore the guitar from different perspectives and traditions.

Who is this festival for? Anyone who loves guitar music! We have activities suitable for professional musicians, aspiring guitar students, weekend warriors or anybody that enjoys good music.

Stay healthy, stay safe and see you soon,

—Dr. Isaac Lausell


Costs & Registration

  • 4-day pass plus opening Gala – Includes admission to all the concerts, lectures and master classes during the entire festival - $50
  • 1-day pass - Includes admission to all the concerts, lectures and master classes for the festival on either 9/22 or 9/23 - $20.00  
  • Single event pass – This is good for a single admission to a master class, a lecture or a recital. $12.00 - general audience/ $6 students.
  • ALL EVENTS are free to students, faculty and staff of the SIU School of Music.
  • If you have a high school or middle school music program and would like to be sponsored to attend the festival contact Dr. Lausell for more information at

Register (cash or check) at the door or send us a check payable to “Southern Illinois University.” Specify in the memo line at the bottom that it is for the “SIU International Guitar Festival” and enclose the provided form specifying the event(s) for which you are registering. Mail the completed form with check to:

Attn: Betty Johnson
School of Music—Altgeld 103
Southern Illinois University
1000 South Normal Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901
Mailcode 4302

Donations & Sponsorship

We have opportunities for local and national business and enterprises interested in sponsoring the guitar festival. More detailed information of the levels of sponsorship contact Dr. Isaac Lausell at

Master Classes

Our master classes are open to all our festival audience members regardless if they play or not nor regarding their level of experitse. We will have master classes in composition for guitar, voicing jazz chords and more.

To play in Christopher Allen's classical guitar master class we will be conducting auditions since the amount of spaces to perform is limited. The students selected to play in the master class will receive a tuition waver for the festival.

To apply, submit a video recording of two contrasting pieces. To submit, simply upload an unlisted video to and send the link to We encourage presentation of advanced works such as J.S. Bach’s lute suites, works by Heitor Villalobos and Leo Brower. This being said, we will feature players from different levels. Pieces submitted should not be beneath the levels of the following:

  • El testament d’Amelia
      — Miguel Llobet
  • El sueño de la muñeca
      — Agustin Barrios
  • Lágrima
      — Francisco Tárrega
  • Capricho Arabe
      — Francisco Tárrega
  • Canarios
      — Gaspar Sanz
  • Tarleton’s Resurrection
      — John Dowland

Event & Participation Literature

The SIU International Guitar Festival is also done in partnership with:

  • Acordes Centro de Música e Artes - Vitoria, ES, Brazil 
  • Centro de estudios de Jazz - Universidad Veracruzana - Veracruz, México 
  • Clarke University - Dubuque, Iowa 
  • Conservatorio statale di musica Alfredo Casela - L'Aquila, Italy 
  • Conservatorio di musica Luisa D'Annunzio di Pescara - Pescara, Italy 
  • Conservatorio de música de Puerto Rico 
  • Faculdade de música de Espírito Santo Mauricio de Oliveira - Vitoria, ES, Brazil 
  • University of Illinois Chicago 
  • Loras College - Dubuque, Iowa  
  • Madison College - Madison, Wisconsin  
  • Monroe St. Arts Center - Madison, Wisconsin