2016 Class Information

Benjamin Verdery is excited to announce his 17th guitar class on the island of Maui in Hawaii from Tuesday, July 5 through Thursday, July 14, 2016. Joining him as guest teacher this year will be acclaimed guitarist and composer David Leisner, co-chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. Joining again this year as guest ukulele teacher and ensemble assistant will be Hawaiian guitarist and ukulele player Ian O’Sullivan, currently on the faculty of the University of Hawaii. Please see below for all the details.

Class events
The class will include an opening faculty recital, masterclasses and lectures, and student recitals at three spectacular and intimate locations.

Opening concert
Tuesday, July 5, 7:00 PM, at Makawao Union Church. Performances by Mr. Verdery, Mr. Leisner, and Mr. O’Sullivan.

Beginning on the morning of Wednesday, July 6, and continuing through Thursday, July 14. Classes will be held at the beautiful Keawala‘i Congregational Church in Makena.

Student recitals
Sunday, July 10 — Special recital for advanced students
Tuesday, July 12 — Student concert at Lahaina Jodo Mission
Wednesday, July 13 — Student concert Keawala‘i Congregational Church

Travel dates
Students should plan to arrive in time for the 7:00 PM concert on Tuesday, July 5, and depart Maui no sooner than Friday, July 15. Class activities will conclude late on the evening of Thursday, July 14.

Class format
Each student will play three times during the class, receiving two 30-minute masterclass sessions with Mr. Verdery and one with Mr. Leisner. All students will perform on the student concerts and also participate in the guitar ensemble. In addition, Mr. O’Sullivan will offer ukulele and Hawaiian slack key classes for the local community and interested class participants as part of the class activities.

The class is also open to auditors, who may attend all masterclasses, concerts, and other class activities.

Established ensembles, as well as individuals, are encouraged to apply.

Classes will be held daily for approximately three to six hours at the Keawala‘i Congregational Church in Makena, Maui. In addition to the masterclass each day, there will be ensemble coaching and discussions of topics such as technique, practicing, posture, performance anxiety, career development, competitions, and recital preparation.

Mr. Verdery and Mr. Leisner will teach any repertoire, including original compositions, and any aspect of playing that students would like to work on. By mid-June, a schedule for the week will be set, and repertoire will be announced so that participants will have the chance to borrow/buy music that will be studied. Ensemble music will be sent in advance so that students can be ready to start rehearsals when the class begins. All students will perform in the student concerts.

The atmosphere of the class is very casual but active. In the past there have been group trips arranged around the classes and concerts to other areas of Maui, including beaches, rainforests and the Haleakala volcano.

The class is open to guitarists of all ages. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Application procedure
To apply for the class, send an email to verderyclass@gmail.com with the following information:

·      Your name

·      Your experience with the guitar (years playing, main teachers, schools, etc.)

·      Repertoire you propose to play (this can be changed later)

·      Recordings: Applicants who did not attend the 2013, 2014, or 2015 class must submit an audio or video recording of two works in contrasting style and tempo. Recordings may be  submitted as attached mp3s or as links to online video or audio files. The recordings do not need to be professional quality and should not cause stress!

Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2016. Students accepted into the class will be notified by March 1.

Tuition, not including room and board, is $500 for individual participants, $375 per person for duos, $300 per person for trios, and $250 per person for quartets. Those registering as ensembles must take all of their lessons as an ensemble. The fee for auditors is $200.

Students accepted into the class will be asked to send a $200 deposit by March 15. The balance of the tuition must be paid by June 15.

Most class participants will stay at the Hale Kai O’Kihei Condos on the beach in Kihei, Maui. All units have fully-equipped kitchens and private lanais (terraces) facing the ocean. Amenities include a fresh-water pool, laundry facilities, and outdoor barbecues. It is a short walk to a major grocery market, coffee shop, specialty shops, drug store, and post office.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved for students who wish to share a two-bedroom/two-bathroom condo. The shared housing option is open to class participants over the age of 21 only.

Rates for two-bedroom units are approximately $135–$165 per night (to be shared among up to four persons). If you are accepted into the class and wish to share a two-bedroom apartment, you will be asked to send a deposit of $150 payable to Benjamin Verdery by March 15. The balance due for your apartment must be paid 60 days prior to your arrival in Maui.

If you do not plan to stay in stay in a shared condo, you should arrange your own lodging by calling AA Oceanfront Condominiums (1-800-488-6004) to reserve. You will need to send a deposit of 25% directly to AA Oceanfront. Mention that you are with the Verdery Guitar Class group. Early reservations are advised. Rates for one-bedroom units are approximately $135 per night.

You must make your own air travel and/or car rental reservations. Many airlines fly direct to the Kahului Airport (OGG) in Maui, and when pricing flights you should look into this option, as it will eliminate a connecting flight from Honolulu to Kahului.

Car rentals are available from the major companies at the airport in Kahului. If you will not be renting a car, we can arrange to pick you up from the airport. Transit from the condos to the class events will be provided by a class van as well as shared rides with students with rentals cars.

You must let us know your travel and accommodation plans, and whether you will be renting a car, by April 30, 2016.

Important dates

·      February 15: Application deadline

·      March 1: Notification date

·      March 15: Tuition deposit due, shared housing deposit due

·      April 30: Shared housing balance due, travel information due

·      May 15: Repertoire selections due

·      June 15: Tuition balance due; ensemble music and schedule sent out

·      July 5, evening: Class starts

·      July 14, evening: Class ends

Further information
Please email John Olson (verderyclass@gmail.com) for further information.