For the fourth year running, downtown Mesa, Ariz., resonated with the ring of guitars as student guitar ensembles from eight Phoenix-area middle schools and high schools participated in the annual Fender Guitar Festival.
Held at a new venue this time, the spaciously modern Mesa Arts Center, the March 25-26 event gave students from eight Valley schools a two-day immersion in guitar performance, instruction and maintenance presented by Fender staff, headquartered in neighboring Scottsdale, Ariz.
Guitar ensembles from Desert Vista High School, Westar/Estrella, Kino Jr. High School, Washington High School, Alhambra High School, Raymond S. Kellis High School, Dobson High School and Maryvale High School performed a few songs each. As in previous years, Fender Music education director Bob Morris offered praise and constructive suggestions to each group after their performance.
“The fourth year of this outstanding event was the best so far,” Morris said. “The level of guitar talent in the local schools is astounding to me—it just keeps getting better and better each year.”
The Fender Guitar Festival also featured student “test drive” demonstrations of Fender guitars, basses and amplifiers, instrument care and maintenance instruction, the Rock Band™-equipped Toyota Matrix concept car and performances by Phoenix-area musicians.