We held a video competition for the month of March. The winner received $250. There were 15 great young guitarists who contributed videos showcasing their skills. The guitar professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo, judged the competition. The winner was Katie Holmes. She agreed to share a few thoughts with us about the experience. You can also check out the winning video below.
Katie Holmes is a young classical guitarist from Alabama. She is currently studying under Dr. Andrew Zohn of Columbus State University. She is pursuing a degree in guitar performance as a Woodruff Artist and Honors student at the Schwob School of Music.
What did you learn from participating in the Fretbuzz video contest?
I was introduced to the Fretbuzz website, which I think is pretty fantastic; I heard a different arrangement of Bach’s 1st Cello Suite, which I now want to play; and it provided a great opportunity to be introduced to other great young musicians in the US who I and everyone else might not have been able to hear otherwise.
Do you have any special plans for the prize money?
Not particularly; any money like this that I receive I consider my income, so I put it into savings to help fund my current and future musical endeavors. In this instance, though, it will probably be used to help defray the cost of the album I’m releasing on April 15th (my first full-length album!).
What are your goals for the near future?
Graduating from Columbus State University with my Bachelor of Music Performance degree, and continuing to improve my accuracy and musicality in my playing. I’m also staring to write instrumental music, and I want to play more concerts.
What are your long-term goals?
First and foremost I want to be a performer. I want to have fun and share music with the world. I’m working on becoming fluent in Spanish and I hope to have a working knowledge of Portuguese and Italian so I can travel to more places more easily. I also want to keep learning as much as possible about music, because it’s an absolutely fascinating subject.
What is something unrelated to guitar that is unique or interesting about you?
I’ve been in college since I was 14. I’ve been at Columbus State since I was 15. Ever since I was about 3 I’ve read and loved mythologies and folk tales from all different cultures. I know the basic stories of nearly all the figures from Ancient Greek mythology, and I know almost as much about the Norse and Egyptian tales.
Anything else you’d like to add?
When I was accepted to Columbus State I also was awarded one of the prestigious Woodruff Scholarships. Funded by the Woodruff Family, it pays for tuition, room & board, and also provides a $5000 stipend per year for four years. This stipend will allow me to participate in a study abroad program to Florence, Italy this spring, and the family’s scholarship itself is allowing me to attend one of the best universities for classical guitar in the country.