Early January. This is a perfect time to reflect on a year just concluded and another stretching out before us.
Did you know that our guitar society was founded in 1969? Thanks to continuous care and stewardship of archives, we have many documents chronicling the OGS’ many activities and storied past. Through the seventies, eighties, until the 1996-1997 season, the society brought many great players to town, many of them seminal figures of the day: David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Vladimir Mikulka, Sergio and Eduardo Abreu, and many others. A period of inactivity happened in the late nineties. Around 2002 a group of young professional guitarists of the area took up the mantle and revived the OGS. The new society went to work not only presenting new concerts, but also engaging in outreach endeavours. We find ourselves today with a guitar society in greater health than it’s ever been. The future before us looks bright.
The current society is made up of just over thirty members. I think it is possible to double this number by the end of 2017. The Gatineau-Ottawa area boasts enough guitarists, in sufficient quality and quantity to make such a bold goal become a reality.
In the past twelve months we’ve presented renowned performers and created new and innovative endeavours: the Ottawa Guitar Society Ensemble was founded this season, giving guitarists of all levels a chance to enjoy group playing; ‘Open mic’ concerts have been taking place, giving players a chance to perform for colleagues in a casual environment; a very successful competition for young composers was launched; we hosted concerts by Steve Cowan, Chroma Duo, and just this past December our annual gala concert was a smash hit. Back in February 2016 we co-presented the Guitar Alla Grande festival’s headliner concert featuring the great Pavel Steild. The 2017 festival, which is coming up soon, will feature Sergio and Odair Assad (please visit www.guitarallagrande.org for more details). Staggered between these concert dates we also presented our Young Artist series, giving players at the start of their career a chance to get crucial stage experience.
Over the course of the next year, we will be planning the 2017-2018 season, managing and overseeing short, mid, and long term projects, keeping a keen eye on the local scene to ensure things are well for classical guitar lovers of all walks.
The OGS’ Board of Directors wishes you a very happy and productive 2017, filled with lots of guitar!