The 3rd Annual Pensacola Finger Style Acoustic Guitar Competition took place on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the Pensacola State College Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium.
The competition began at 10:00 am on Saturday morning, with 13 competitors from 9 to 18 years of age, performing on nylon and steel string guitars. Participants came from as far as Bayou La Batre, Alabama to Naples, Florida. The adjudicators were Derek Javier from Minds on Music in Gulf Breeze, FL, Dr. Joe Stallings, director of Guitar Programs at Pensacola State College, and Grammy award-winning guitarist, Jason Vieaux. Sponsors of the competition were Blues Angel Music and Leitz Music.
The 1st Prize Winner received a $600 cash prize and a $2400 scholarship; the 2nd Prize Winner received a $450 cash prize and an $1800 scholarship; the 3rd Prize Winner received a $300 cash prize and a $1200 scholarship.
Prior to the competition, the festivities began on Friday, February 14, with a 4 hour Master Class taught by Grammy Award Winning Classical Guitarist, Jason Vieaux. The master class provided a rare opportunity for participants in the competition to study with one of the finest classical guitarists in the world today. It concluded with a “Question and Answer” session that was very informative and inspirational.
The prizewinners of the competition were announced at intermission during Jason Vieaux’s evening concert on Saturday, February 15, at Pensacola State College’s Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium. The 3rd Prize Winner was David Christenson, 17 years old, from Pensacola, FL; the 2nd Prize Winner was Israel Railing, 12 years old, from Gulf Breeze, FL; and the 1st Prize Winner was Paloma Lillian Chaprnka, 10 years old, from Naples, FL.