About us

The Piedmont Classic Guitar Society (PCGS), is a non-profit organization serving guitarists and guitar lovers in the Piedmont area of NC. For nearly 40 years, the PCGS has sought to support, invigorate, and educate in the context of an inclusive artistic environment. PCGS offers festivals, concert production, master classes, community concerts, and community play-ins. We are excited to engage the classical guitar in any way we can that brings joy and learning to our members and greater community.

Our History

The Piedmont Classic Guitar Society is a community of guitarist and guitar aficionados in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point area of North Carolina. Created by a handful of folks in the Winston-Salem guitar community (pictured below), PCGS took off in the late 1970’s and was officially founded as a non-profit organization by 1980. Through grants, research, educational opportunities, innovative curriculum in the schools, supporting private studios, publications, and concert production, PCGS began its vision as a broad support system for all things guitar in the Piedmont area.

Some key figures in the development of the Piedmont Classic Guitar Society development include: Aaron and Lorraine Shearer, Maurice Fox (1st president and involved since inception), Paul Muncy (treasurer for 17 years), Pat Dixon, Alan and Sally Hirsh, Richard Matteson (president throughout much of the 80’s and 90’s), and Kami Rowan (current president since 2005). But it takes a village! Many regional teachers and guitar lovers have been involved in volunteer efforts to maintain a long history of over 35 years. Our mission today is to offer support for local guitar programs in the schools as well as all guitarists any level and age.

(top row l-r) Maurice Fox, Kenneth Insch, Eric Schoulda, Larry Dixon, Michael Craddock, Pat Sullivan, Paul Muncy, Joan Durana, (bottom l-r) Aaron Shearer, Jim Ortiz, Pat Dixon, Larry Almeida, Will Adams.

Board of Directors

Kami Rowan

Kami Rowan

President

A well-known guitar teacher throughout the US, Dr. Kami Rowan is Associate Professor of Music at Guilford College, in Greensboro, NC. She built a thriving guitar program, whose graduates have attended some of the most prestigious graduate music programs. Dr. Rowan also created a high school curriculum, which she implemented in the public schools. She is president of two non-profit music organizations, The Piedmont Classic Guitar Society, and Music for a Great Space. Kami is also VP of Outreach on the Aaron Shearer Foundation Board of Directors.  Contact Kami at krowan@guilford.edu 

Alan HIrsh

Alan HIrsh

Alan is the director of the PGE, the Music Director/Fine Arts Department Chair at Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville and also teaches adjunct guitar at WFU.  He actively directs clinics and guitar orchestras around the country such as the Long Island Guitar Festival, the Appalachian Guitarfest, and the PCGS Gutiarganza Orchestra. Alan is a member of GFA, ASTA, NAfME and is the Vice president for  Education at the Aaron Shearer Foundation.   He composes and arranges extensively for orchestra, band, chorus, guitar and guitar ensemble.  In 1984, he collaborated with Aaron Shearer, composing music for the three-volume method, Learning the Classic Guitar published with Mel Bay and the three-volume Shearer Method Book series published with Alfred Music.   Hirsh’s other Mel Bay publications include Twenty Etudes in fixed Positions, New Music for Classic Guitar, and guitar ensemble collections—Holiday Songs, Folk Songs, Hymn and Sacred Songs and Renaissance Dances.   Most of Hirsh’s guitar ensemble may be found in an extensive online catalogue of music at Guitar Ensemble Music which reaches to players around the world. Contact Alan at ah@bmhs.us

Mark Charles Smith

Mark Charles Smith

Secretary

Mark Charles Smith is a composer, guitarist, and pianist. His compositions have been performed in diverse venues across the country.  Mark also creates work with DC-based choreographer Abigail Wallace; current projects include a duet to Sonata No.2 for Guitar (“Colorado”) and a full staging of Triptych with live musicians and dancers. His album, Aspens, is now available and features Mark playing a varied selection of his solo guitar pieces as well as his works for guitar trio and quartet, for which he is joined by Kami Rowan, Laura Boswell and Carey Harwood. Mark teaches Middle School and High School guitar class, ensemble, chorus, and also grades 3-6 general music at New Garden Friends School in Greensboro, and also offers private lessons in guitar and piano to students of all ages and skill levels. Contact Mark at msmith@ngfs.org 

Stacey Brady, Treasurer

Gokul Krishnan, membership

By laws

The purpose of the PCGS is to cultivate, promote, foster, sponsor, and develop understanding, taste, and love of the musical arts and especially to promote interest in the classic guitar and similar stringed instruments; to foster the study of the classic guitar in private studios and at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, and to encourage the development of innovative curricula in support of these ends; to promote the guitar as an ensemble instrument, to encourage composition, arrangements, and publication of ensemble music involving the guitar; and to support scholarly research into the guitar’s history and literature; all of the foregoing purposes being limited to non-profit, educational, cultural, scientific, and charitable ends. Click HERE to view complete Bylaws document for the PCGS.