Upcoming Concert! Friday, January 12, 7:00 pm at Central WA Univ Recital Hall: Guitar and Friends: a program of Early Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music


On January 12th, 2018 at 7:00 pm, in the Central Washington University Music Department recital hall. Neil Caulkins will perform an evening of seldom heard early nineteenth-century chamber music with guitar. He will be joined by CWU faculty members Hal Ott (flute) and Jeff Snedeker (French horn). He will also perform with Yakima symphony principal cellist, Kara Hunnicutt.

The recital will feature the Serenade for flute and guitar by Charles Blum (1786-1844), Sonate, Op. 24, for flute and guitar by Theodore Gaude (1782-?), Serenade, Op. 4, for flute, guitar, and French horn by Christian Dickhut (?-1830), and the Pot-Pourri, Op. 21, for guitar and cello by Frederic Dotzauer (1783-1860). Neil will be playing his Scot Tremblay seven-string guitar that is modeled after a French instrument from around the 1830s.  Dr. Ott will be playing an original flute from the 1820s.

The CWU Music building is located off Alder Street in Ellensburg WA. The concert is free to the public.

2017-2018 Guitar in the Gallery Series


Virginia Yep, Sunday, October 15, 2:00pm
Gallery One, 408 N Pearl, Ellensburg WA, Admission by donation

Virginia Yep’s performances and compositions explore the acoustic possibilities of the guitar with the rigor of contemporary classical music fused with popular Latin American music, especially with that of Peru. Her guitar teachers were Juan Brito and José Luis Rodrigo. Her musical studies began at an early age at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música (Lima), and continued at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música (Madrid), and expanded at the Universidad de Lima (Bachelor of Communication) and at the Freie Universität Berlin (Ph.D. in Comparative Musicology), forming the basis for her current musical work. She has been a recipient of scholarships to courses in Granada, Santiago de Compostela, Bilbao (Flores Chaviano, José Luis Rodrigo), Ville de Castres (Leo Brouwer), Vigo (José Tomás), Prague (Vladimir Mikulka) and Siena (Oscar Ghiglia). She has been a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra playing the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo, the Camerata de Cuerdas de Trujillo, the Lima Chamber Orchestra and various groups of ancient and contemporary music. She has made three recordings -“Preludios Americanos”, “Guitarreando” and “Poesía en cuerdas de guitarra”- and a documentary -“La guitarra y yo”, CCTV, Peking.


Michael Nicollela, Sunday, November 19, 2:00pm
Gallery One, 408 N Pearl, Ellensburg WA, Admission by donation

With a repertoire spanning from J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to Jimi Hendrix and Elliott Carter, Michael Nicolella is recognized as one of America’s most innovative classical guitar virtuosos. He has received wide critical acclaim for his performances, recordings and compositions. As a concert artist, Michael has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan as solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra.

Michael’s newest recording is a double CD of his arrangement of the Complete Bach Cello Suites. His previous four critically acclaimed releases were albums of contemporary music for classical and electric guitar. Three solo albums (“Ten Years Passed,” “Shard” and “Push”) all featured works composed by Nicolella.

Known for his creative programming, Michael has introduced electric guitar into his “classical” programs and extended the repertoire and audience of his instrument not only with his own compositions and transcriptions, but also by premiering and commissioning works by some of today’s most exciting emerging composers. Michael has premiered dozens of new works for classical and electric guitar in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. In reference to his abilities on the classical and electric guitar, noted guitar composer, scholar and critic John Duarte stated in an issue of “Gramophone” magazine that: “Others have ‘crossed the track’ in one direction or the other but none has done so with the technical and/or musical success as Nicolella, who,chameleon-like, achieves comparable distinction in both fields”.


Neil & Tamara Caulkins, Sunday, March 4, 2:00pm
Gallery One, 408 N Pearl, Ellensburg WA, Admission by donation

Neil and Tamara Caulkins have been playing guitar together since they met during a guitar ensemble rehearsal at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. Together they earned Masters degrees in music at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. They completed their studies on scholarship for a year with maestro Jose Luis Rodrigo at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, Spain. During their year in Spain, the duo received scholarships to study at the international Spanish music festival in Santiago de Compostela and the Manuel de Falla International music festival in Granada including a course with composer Luigi Nono. Upon their return to the United States, the duo recorded a critically acclaimed CD and pursued a rigorous concert schedule, including performances in New York, Calgary, and throughout the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. 

The duo has commissioned several new works for two guitars including Three Cherokee Legends by Sarah Pierce, Kootenai East, Op. 56 by Michael E. Young, Pentamerisms by Michael Daugherty, and Water Leaves by Bruce Reiprich. 

A forgotten manuscript of duets by Isidro de Laporta (fl. 1790-1820) on the shelves of the Royal Conservatory library in Madrid introduced Neil and Tamara to a wealth of early nineteenth century music for two guitars. They are currently bringing this repertoire to life through research in archival sources and a study of historically informed performance practices. Neil plays a replica of a seven string guitar made in Mirecourt, France, by Aubry-Maire in 1840 and Tamara plays an original anonymous French instrument from about 1825.


Angelito Agcaoili, Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm
Gallery One, 408 N Pearl, Ellensburg WA, Admission by donation

ANGELITO AGCAOILI studied guitar under the tutelage of Mario Rodriguez at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, with Jose Luis Rodrigo at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Madrid, Spain and in the U.S. with Elliot Frank at East Carolina University and Frank Koonce at Arizona State University. He has also participated as a performer in the workshops and master classes conducted by world-renowned guitarists such as Leo Brouwer, Jose Tomas, John Williams and David Russell.

A prize winner in guitar competitions in the Philippines (1st prize at the Concurso de Guitarra del Centro Cultural de España en Manila and 3rd prize and Honorable Mention at the National Music Competitions for Young Artists), Angelito Agcaoili has also been the recipient of several scholarship awards including grants from the Spanish government through the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional and from the Young Artists Foundation of the Philippines.

His work and research on the guitar music of the Philippines has been steadily gaining recognition. He has premiered the guitar works of Filipino composers such as Bayani de Leon, Lucrecia Kasilag, Antonio Pahang, Jose Valdez and Angel Peña. Many of these compositions were either commissioned by him or dedicated and written for him.

Mr. Agcaoili has been featured in solo and chamber music recitals in the Philippines, Spain, Canada and the United States of America.

Improvised Preludes in the Early 19th Century


Neil will be presenting a paper on the performance practice of improvised preludes as informed by early 19th-century guitar methods. The practice of improvising a prelude before a significant work was employed well into the 19th century.  It was done by soloists (including guitarists) and ensembles.  Neil will be presenting what we can know of the characteristics of these preludes, and how we can compose/improvise our own, from existing sources in the early 19th-century guitar literature. He will present the paper at CWU on May 12, at Eastern Washington University in Cheney on the 19th, and at the Musicking Conference at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR on May 26th.

Old & New Guitars

DSCN1478We just dropped off a guitar built in Germany around 1850 with master builder Scot Tremblay for repairs.  We are very excited to get it concert-ready again. We also picked out woods for a “Terz” guitar that we commissioned Scot to build for us.  A “Terz” was a smaller guitar that was tuned a third higher (in G rather than E). There is a tremendous number of duets for regular guitar with the “Terz” from the early 19th century, as well as concerti and duets with forte piano. Ours will have a European spruce top, bird’s-eye maple back and sides, and an Indonesian Macasar Ebony fret board.  We are very excited about these instruments and could not be more pleased with Scot’s work. Pictured is Scot holding our German instrument that’s in need of repair.

Guitar in the Gallery

Michael & Keleren

Michael and Keleren Millham performed as part of the Guitar in the Gallery concert series we sponsor at Gallery One, here in Ellensburg.  The performance was summed up by an audience member who described the recital as “like opening a jewel box, and every piece sparkled.” We wish to thank the Millhams for a wonderful afternoon.

Saturday, January 28, 10:30 am Concert at the Willamette Heritage Center, Salem, Oregon

willamette-heritage-visit-01The Willamette Heritage Center is a particularly apt place for a performance of early nineteenth-century music on guitars from the period.

Located across from Willamette University at 1313 Mill St SE, in Salem, Oregon, the Willamette Heritage Center preserves buildings that date from the 1840s when Euro-American missionaries and immigrants settled in the Mid-Willamette Valley, home of the Kalapuya. It is likely that these settlers would have brought guitars with them very similar to the ones we will be playing on our concert!

The concert will take place in the Pleasant Grove Church, built in 1854 by Oregon Trail immigrants. The Heritage Center includes many other historic buildings and the 1896 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill (where Neil’s mother shopped for fabric for her sewing projects well into the 1960s!).

The mill is a National Park Service-designated American Treasure, vividly telling the story of industrialization of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Concert-goers are encouraged to stay and visit the rest of the Willamette Heritage Center to experience the life and culture of early Oregon and the era in which the Caulkins’ music would have been heard.

The concert is Free to the Public. Donations to the museum will be gladly accepted.

CWU Concert Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a concert of early nineteenth century music on period guitars at Central Washington University, Department of Music, Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 7:00 PM. Admission is Free to the Public.


Grand March, Op. 21  –  (Benigne) Henry (fl. 1818)

The Polonesi Concertanti, Op. 137  –  Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
No. 1 Allegretto/Trio in D major
No. 2 Allegretto/Trio in A major
No. 3 Allegretto/Trio in E minor

Duet Op. 34, No. 3  –  Antoine de Lhoyer (1768-1852)
Allegreto Moderato
Andante Sostenuto
Rondo Allegro

Ich Denke Dein  –  Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856)