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Guillory studies music with Grammy-winner

Larshell Green

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Graham Guillory, a senior music major  became infatuated with the infamous Romero Quartet, also known as the Royal Family of the Guitar. The classical guitarist, Guillory ,got the chance to study with Grammy-winning guitarist Pepe Romero Jr. the past summer at the annual Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute. He plans to return in summer of 2017.

Graham Guillory, a senior music major  became infatuated with the infamous Romero Quartet, also known as the Royal Family of the Guitar. The classical guitarist, Guillory ,got the chance to study with Grammy-winning guitarist Pepe Romero Jr. the past summer at the annual Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute. He plans to return in summer of 2017.
The Lion's Roar/Larshell Green 

Graham Guillory was selected this past summer to study one-on-one with Grammy-winning guitar master Pepe Romero Jr. during the annual Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute held at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.

Guillory, a sophomore music major concentrating in classical guitar performance, completed the audition with a recording of Francisco Tarrega’s “Adelita” and Leo Brouwer’s “Estudio Sencillo VI.” During his time at the institute, Guillory attended private lessons with Romero, who is the leader of the quartet that was created by his father Celedonio Romero. 

According to Guillory, his inspiration for playing the guitar is simple, he loves to share his love for music and enjoys expressing that to others.

Guillory plays the classical guitar and incorporates Spanish works and Flamenco music into what he describes as his unique performance style of classical guitar.

“It’s unique in the fact that it’s not seen very much, I think,” said Guillory. “In today’s world, you know, you got a lot of electrical guitarists and a lot of acoustic guitarists and there’s a lot of really talented guys out there. Something that separates the classical guitar from an electrical guitar is that the classical guitar is a lot like a piano in that it can play orchestral reductions and even piano reductions.” 

After his acceptance into the institute between April and May of 2016, Guillory did not expect to make personal connections.

“Honestly, I thought it was going to be me going there, having my lesson, going to my room and studying,” said Guillory. “I didn’t expect to be smoking cigars with the Romeros. I didn’t expect to be in small ensemble playing alongside all of them. I performed with them and that was crazy. I was really intimidated, but when I got there they were all super down to earth and it was really great.”

During Guillory’s ten day stay at the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute in July, he had private lessons with Romero, guitar history and jazz courses and participated in a daily guitar ensemble with other students in the institute.

After Christmas break of 2015, university guitar instructor Patrick Kerber informed Guillory of the potential opportunity and began working on the required two video auditions. Guillory credits Kerber for getting the pieces’ recordings ready and for sparking his admiration of the Romero family.

“In the videos of them, they’re always smiling about playing the guitar and I feel like a lot of performers now go through the motions and don’t really have this kind of love for the instrument they play and so that’s super important,” said Guillory.

Guillory plans to return to the institute next summer and earn a bachelor’s degree from the university. He later plans to pursue a master’s degree in guitar performance here or transfer to Oklahoma City University.

“Then if I can’t get a life performing, I’m just gonna try to get a job at a university and teach, but I really just wanna play guitar as much as possible,” said Guillory.

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