ARCHIVE LIBRARY

GUITAR GOODNESS

Brought To You By Adam Guillory

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, I was approached by the Oak Hill High School administration about the new electives they wanted to offer for the next school year. The goal of these new electives was to offer students a more diverse range of options when scheduling their classes, and to give Oak Hill High School “a little something for everyone” that would appeal to a broad range of students. Administration asked if I would be interested in teaching the first ever Guitar class at Oak Hill, and of course my answer was a resounding “yes!”

When word began to circulate that Guitar would be offered at Oak Hill, the interest soared and much excitement was generated amongst the students. Ten students were selected to be a part of the inaugural Oak Hill High School Guitar Program and when the 2022-2023 school year began, so did Guitar instruction. One thing that was immediately apparent was that music stands would be needed. When the local Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department heard that we were in need, they quickly purchased and donated 10 brand new music stands to the program. The Oak Hill Guitar Program will forever be grateful for this generous donation and we will use these stands for years to come.

Over the past 12 years, I have had the privilege and honor of performing many times with guitar legend James Burton as a member of Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs. As a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member, James Burton has performed with legends such as Elvis Presley, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, and Ricky Nelson, among many others. Often times before taking the stage, I would hear James speak about his foundation that donated guitars to young people all over the country. It was evident from hearing him speak about his foundation that passing on the gift of music and putting instruments into student’s hands was a deep passion for him. I personally witnessed this generosity many times from backstage over the years, and it was always a moving experience.

After the program was underway, I mentioned to my friend and band mate Rodney Harrington that it would be very helpful if some acoustic guitars were donated to this new program. Rodney contacted James Burton and the wheels were then set in motion for the Oak Hill Guitar Program to receive six brand new Yamaha acoustic guitars from the James Burton Foundation. When the guitars were delivered, the students were blown away that such nice guitars were donated to the program and immediately began playing them. These instruments have been an asset to the program and will be put to great use over the coming years.

When I began my teaching career nearly eight years ago, I never thought I would have had the opportunity to teach a guitar class through the school. Teaching these students guitar has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my 25 years of playing guitar and performing live music. This culminated with a performance at Oak Hill’s Christmas Program this year. I am extremely proud of all of the progress that each student has made. Thank you to James Burton, the Oak Hill High School administration, Oak Hill Fire Department, and Rodney Harrington for their contributions to the Oak Hill High School Guitar Program. I look forward to many years of making music with the students of Oak Hill!

 

 

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