Ben with ES.jpg

Aloha Friends!

I hope this finds you in great holiday spirits!

We the Maui Class family, and has become a family, are beyond excited to announce our 20th year!! Yes, 2019 marks our 20th year of presenting this unique class.

To begin with we want to say an enormous mahalo to all the many angels that have helped make this class possible and continue to do so! You know who you are! We simply would not be able to do this without you.

A huge mahalo goes out to all the various students and parents who attended through the years! Without you it would have been pretty boring and lonely!!!! In so many of the classes, lasting relationships have been formed and will we hope continue to be.

Finally we extend an even bigger mahalo to the Island and the wonderful audiences that have come out to hear our music. The people of Maui, as well as the Island's aloha spirit and culture has transformed so many of us.

This year we are over the moon, to use an expression I learned in England, to announce that our guests teachers will be the world renowned Eden Stell Guitar Duo from yes, England! They are, like all of our former guests, some my favorite guitarists and people.

You will see from the photo of us three that they have a difficult time loosening up!!! They are a bit stodgy but Maui should relax them a bit!

All kidding aside, Mark and Chris are two extraordinary musicians and pedagogues. I have invited them teach at Yale and perform there as well as the 92 Y and they never cease to inspire.

And so guitar lovers and Maui class lovers, we invite you to join us for our 20th! See all the details below.

Wishing you all much peace, love and guitars for this holiday and well, all others!!!!


2019 Class Information

Benjamin Verdery is excited to announce his 20th guitar class on the island of Maui in Hawaii from Monday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Joining him as guest teachers this year will be Mark Eden and Chris Stell of the acclaimed Eden Stell Guitar Duo. 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
Monday, July 1, 7:00 PM, at Makawao Union Church. Performances by Ben Verdery, the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, Ian O’Sullivan, and special guests.

Beginning on the morning of Tuesday, July 2, and continuing through Wednesday, July 10. Classes will be held at the beautiful Keawala‘i Congregational Church in Makena.

Student recitals
Sunday, July 7, 2:00 PM — Special recital for advanced students at St. John's Episcopal Church, Kula
Monday, July 8, 7:00 PM — Student concert at Keawala‘i Congregational Church
Tuesday, July 9, 7:00 PM — Student concert at Lahaina Jodo Mission

Travel dates
Students should plan to arrive in time for the 7:00 PM concert on Monday, July 1, and depart Maui no sooner than Thursday, July 11. Class activities will conclude late on the evening of Wednesday, July 10.

Class format
Each student will play three times during the class, receiving two 30-minute masterclass sessions with Mr. Verdery and one with the Eden Stell Guitar Duo. 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 the guest teachers 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 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 have not attended the class previously, or did not attend the class between 2013 and 2018, 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, 2019. 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 pool, laundry facilities, and outdoor barbecues. It is a short walk to a major grocery market, coffee shop, specialty shops, drug store, restaurants, 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.

Per person cost for the two-bedroom units is approximately $500–600, depending on the number of students sharing the unit (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 31. 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 directly to AA Oceanfront. Mention that you are with the Verdery Guitar Class group. Early reservations are advised.

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 May 31, 2019.

Important dates

·      February 15: Application deadline

·      March 1: Notification date

·      March 15: Tuition deposit due

·      March 31: Shared housing deposit due

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

·      May 15: Repertoire selections due

        May 31: Travel plans due

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

·      July 1, evening: Class starts

·      July 10, evening: Class ends

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