Three talented musicians captured the top prizes at the Pensacola State College 2023 Finger Style Acoustic Guitar Competition held Feb. 18 in Pensacola State College’s Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium.
The first-prize winner was Donald Hinchman. The 17-year-old received a $600 cash prize.
Second-place winner Laws Savage, 18, was awarded a $450 cash prize.
Simon Joos, 11, won third place in the competition and a $300 cash prize.
The winners also have been invited to perform during the Pensacola Guitar Orchestra’s 40th Anniversary Spring Recital set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free.
The winners were announced at the Bokyung Byun concert. Byun is the 2021 Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition Grand Prize winner.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Byun began playing guitar at age 7. As a teen, she gained national attention for first-prize finishes in three renowned competitions.
Byun is currently on the guitar faculty of California State University Fullerton.
“This year’s competitors ranged from 11 to 18 years of age and came from as far as Tallahassee and Bayou La Batre, Alabama,” said Dr. Joe Stallings, director of Guitar Programs at Pensacola State College.
Blues Angel Music, Minds on Music, and Hill Guitar Company Inc were competition sponsors. Adjudicators were Bokyung Byun, Derrick Javier and Jason Sisko.
For information on the Pensacola State College 2023 Finger Style Acoustic Guitar Competition, contact Stallings at 850-484-1805.
The prize winners and competition officials for the Pensacola State College 2023 Finger Style Acoustic Guitar Competition are, from left, Jason Sisko, adjudicator; Derrick Javier, adjudicator and competition sponsor representative for Minds on Music; First-place winner Donald Hinchman; Second-place winner Laws Savage, Third-place winner Simon Joos; Bokyung Byun, Guest Artist and adjudicator; Jim DeStafney, competition sponsor, owner of Blues Angel Music; and Dr. Joe Stallings, Director of Guitar Programs at Pensacola State College.