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National Fingerpicking Champion to Perform in Socorro

SOCORRO, N.M. February 8, 2011 – Only one person has ever won the world's top competitions in both "fingerstyle" and "classical" guitar. That amazing guitarist, Michael Chapdelaine, will play a concert at Macey Center as part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 11. Chapdelaine won the 1998 National Fingerpicking Champion and the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition.

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   Award-winning guitarist Michael Chapdelaine.

Why not make this your Valentine’s gala evening with Tech Club/Club Macey’s pre-Valentine’s gourmet dinner $30 for members, $35 for non-members.

Local sponsors of this guitar performance include El Defensor Chieftain, Van H. Gilbert Architect PC, Manzanares Street Coffeehouse and Super 8.

Prior to winning the championship, Chapdelaine had also won top honors in four international “classical” guitar competitions, including first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition. He has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and holds a master’s of music degree from Florida State University.In recent years he has toured the world and been seen around the world on CNN and Headline News.

Chapdelaine, who studied with Andrés Segovia, earned the distinction of winning the 20th annual National Fingerpicking Championship, traditionally dominated by steel string players, while playing on a nylon string classical guitar. He bested an international field of guitarists by playing a broad spectrum of musical genres ranging from traditional South American dance music to his own fingerstyle compositions, which included a blues number he calls Blue Chile.

"The biggest thrill about winning Winfield was seeing how much people like my original compositions," Chapdelaine said about the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan.

Series director Ronna Kalish said, “Chapdelaine performed at Macey Center in the past, as part of an evening of New Mexico guitarists, and I have wanted to bring him back. He was so well-received by our audience, hands-down the favorite! Michael is an amazing player and a very engaging and fun entertainer.”

Kalish ran into Chapdelaine at a folk festival in Colorado where people did not know him.

“Within a few hours there was a buzz about Michael Chapdelaine and very soon-after he was on-stage performing with the headliners,” she said. “I was reminded that it’s time to get him back to Socorro!”

His original works, which he has only recently introduced to the public, bring together a broad variety of musical styles from classical to country to blues.

"I grew up playing pop music in Navy clubs,” he said. “I needed to find a way to mix the groove and fun of that music with the discipline and expressive beauty of classical music. Music is fun, if it's not fun, why bother?”

Tickets are $14; $12 for seniors; and $10 for youths. All tickets are discounted $2 if purchased by 5 p.m. the day before the concert. Tickets are available at Brownbilt’s, Sofia’s Kitchen, the Tech Cashier or at the door. New Mexico Tech full-time students can pick up their free ticket at the bookstore in Fidel Center.

– NMT –