Perlak and the Holland Project

4/24/2010 Saturday 8:18 am

Last night I attended the final presentation of Dr. Kim Perlak’s Justin Holland Project.  It was a great presentation for which she tapped the considerable talents of colleagues in various guitar disciplines to talk about the guitar in America in its many forms.  Bringing it all together was a discussion of the fascinating historical figure, Justin Holland, an African-American guitarist born free during the time of slavery who lived in Boston, became interested in classical guitar, attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the mid-late 19th century, came across the great Spanish methods of guitar study, went to Mexico to learn Spanish so he could translate them, came back to Ohio and settled in Cleveland where he had a long and distinguished career as a teacher and published author!

Yale (where Kim went for her Masters) funded the project.  Our role was to connect her and her colleagues with our school programs so they could go around and present the project to students in the area.  By all reports the students loved it, and, from talking with Kim and her buddies last night, they really loved it as well.  They said they’ve never seen such a wide spread and/or high quality series of school based guitar classes, and they said the kids were amazingly attentive and asked great questions.  So congratulations Kim!

Comments are closed.