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Here’s 17-year-old Jonathan Pryde playing Soirée, a lovely new piece by Jonathan’s teacher, Jonathan Roth (who recorded some great arrangements of Christmas music for us just recently), on a fantastic new 2015 Stephen Hill cedar and ziricote classical guitar.

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Here’s 16-year-old Jonathan Pryde, who was in town with his family for the Parkening Young Guitarists Competition, playing Maurice Ravel’s ‘Empress of the Pagodas’ on a new 2015 Tobias Berg with a spruce top and African rosewood back and sides.

Jonathan started playing just three years ago when he attended his first Parkening Competition and decided he wanted to compete next time around. Since then he’s been studying with Jonathan Roth. He has also been touring and recording with his family’s band, The Reconciliation Band, since 2010.

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2016 was a pretty epic year for videos at GSI. Of course we constantly try to improve the quality of our videos, but when the Russell Cleveland collection arrived in late 2015 we knew we had to step it up and document these historic instruments before they found new owners all around the world. To that end we brought on digital media producer Tara Stewart, who was just back from a sabbatical in Spain after producing all of Fender’s videos in Los Angeles for three years before that. We upgraded our gear so that we now shoot with three Canon 5D Mark iii cameras, and Apogee Digital lent us one of their amazing Ensemble thunderbolt interfaces. With Tara on video duties I was able to spend more time on audio and hopefully improve what I already thought was pretty good audio quality. And with two of us on the team now, we were able to double our output of videos.

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As another year closes on us we once again get to look back at all the great guitars that came through GSI and especially all the great people who came through to play them for us. This year ended in a such a big way – with our acquisition of the Russell Cleveland collection – that it reminded us all just how cool it is to get to steward these amazing guitars on their way from owner (or in this case collection) to owner, and also to document them for posterity.

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June 2, 2015 Malibu, CA – After an exciting week of classical guitar performances, Christopher Parkening and Pepperdine University announced the winner of the fourth triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition. The competition, the world’s preeminent guitar competition, took place from May 26 through May 30, 2015.

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