About

OUR MISSION

The Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society (PCGS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating a guitar community in Pittsburgh.

The mission of the PCGS shall be for the development of the inspirational spirit for community, the mutual welfare of friendship among musicians, and the advancement of guitar in the surrounding Pittsburgh areas.

Objectives:

• Create a strong guitar community in Pittsburgh
• Present world-class performers in concert
• Provide community services through lessons, free concerts & fundraisers
• Engage guitarists and guitar enthusiasts alike

We exist to promote guitar and make Pittsburgh a better place.

 

Executive Board

    Brannon Lyons

    President

    Pittsburgh based classical guitarist/teacher Brannon Lyons received his B.A. in music from Seton Hill College, Greensburg, PA under the instruction of Jon Marcinizyn.

    Brannon has been an active performer/teacher in the Pittsburgh area for the past 21 years!

    Currently he is the musical director/owner of Lyons Guitar & String Lesson Studio in Mount Lebanon, PA.

    Brannon is a registered Suzuki Guitar instructor and serves the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society as the Educational Director.

    He also served as an adjudicator at the Rantucci Guitar Festival (Buffalo NY).

    Brannon’s focus is to expand education of classical guitar to children through educational events and a youth guitar orchestra.

    Email: [email protected]

        Rob Sheffer

        Vice-President

        Rob Sheffer’s music celebrates a balance of classical, rock, and jazz styles. As a guitarist Sheffer has performed for former First Lady Laura Bush, competed as a semifinalist in the First Lancaster International Guitar Competition, and performed Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez as a winner of the 2011 Grove City College Concerto Competition. His contemporary acoustic work “If I Could Fly” was recorded on the 2010 CD “WSAJ & SCA Collaborative.” His other compositions have been performed by various ensembles throughout Pennsylvania and New York. As a composer, Sheffer specializes in crossover guitar pieces and choral works, especially for chamber groups and men’s choirs. From 2014-2015 he held the title Composer in Residence for the Houghton Singers in Houghton, NY. Currently, Sheffer teaches as Adjunct Professor of Guitar at Washington & Jefferson College and serves as the Music & Worship Associate at Peters Creek Baptist Church. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society.

        Sheffer has performed in master class for David Russell. He has also studied in classes and special lessons with Jason Vieaux, Joe Negri, and Gary Hoey. His primary guitar teachers have been Mir Ali, Anton Machleder, and George Churm. For composition studies, he has worked with Sarah Hutchings and Richard Konzen.

        Sheffer holds a B.M. in Voice and Guitar from Grove City College and earned his Masters of Music degrees in both Guitar Performance and Composition at Houghton College’s Greatbatch School of Music on full scholarship. As a graduate assistant he was the first student permitted to develop and teach his own music theory curriculum as an official class. As an educator, Sheffer’s pedagogical prowess extends even beyond the walls of the classroom and the studio. His guitar chord charts have been published in the “Music Master Pro” app for iPhone and iPad.

        Rob Sheffer resides in Bethel Park, PA with his wife Maggie and daughter Maria. In his spare time, he enjoys studying philosophy, watching cooking shows, and eating sushi.

        Email: [email protected].

            Bob Kirschner

            Treasurer

            Bob Kirschner is a Pittsburgh native who has played the guitar since he was in high school (many, many years ago) and first started studying classical guitar when he was in his early 20’s. He retired after a long career as the CIO of a nonprofit agency in late 2014, picked up the classical guitar again, and joined the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society in 2015. Bob has been married to his wife Nancy for over forty years and they have resided in Mount Lebanon since the 1990’s. They are the parents of two adult sons who also live in the Pittsburgh area. Bob’s goals for the PCGS are to promote the classical guitar in the region through the education of young players, the establishment of a robust concert series, and the sponsorship of guitar-centered events throughout the year in western Pennsylvania. He has served as the PCGS treasurer for the last two years.

            Email: [email protected]

                Zach Jones

                Secretary

                Zach Jones is a classical guitarist originally from Northwestern Pennsylvania. He joined the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Orchestra in 2014 after relocating to Pittsburgh in 2011. Zach is an active musician outside of the guitar orchestra and plays drums in several local bands. In his role with the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society, he has served as an outreach/events coordinator and is currently serving as secretary.

                Email: [email protected]

                    Ben Meyer

                    Artistic Director

                    Ben Meyer was born in Springfield, Illinois and received a Bachelor of Music Business from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the leading guitar instructor for Richland Community College in Decatur and taught guitar in a thriving private studio, nurturing one-on-one lessons, online lessons, and class guitar for all ages and levels. He attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received a Master of Performance. In 2016, he was awarded with a full time Guitar Graduate / Teaching Assistantship where he assisted and led the guitar program as well as the addition of new curricula. In this role, he provided guidance to music students with their required guitar courses and mentored undergraduate guitarists. Meyer studied the methodology of the renowned guitar pedagogue Aaron Shearer from Thomas Kikta. Currently, he is an active guitar teacher and performer as a soloist and in various ensembles.

                    Email: [email protected]

                        Vince Carrola

                        Web Services

                        At four, Vince received his first guitar. At twelve, he began to study classically, entering numerous competitions, including a young artist national concerto competition in which he was a finalist and played the first movement from Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concerito de Aranjuez. He also attended, a performance development class at a local college, becoming a recipient of a prestigious classical guitar scholarship.

                        An active performer, Vince has performed collectively for 5,000 people at one venue. He also actively writes for the guitar repertoire. In 2011, Vince published his first book of guitar arrangements through Alfred Music Publishing, entitled, This Holy Night, 12 Christmas Classics for Guitar. Seven more books followed between 2012-2014. His arrangements, and studio recordings, have been sought out worldwide by guitar orchestras, ensembles, soloists, and amateurs.

                        Email: [email protected]