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Highlights of the 2nd Lead Guitar Virtual Showcase with Zach Filkins. Watch the full video!

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to the 2nd Lead Guitar Virtual Showcase last Saturday (May 23, 2020). We’re incredibly happy to be a part of this unique project that allows Lead Guitar students from many different states to perform together in mass virtual ensemble with their guitar idols. The second edition of the showcase featured Zach Filkins, from OneRepublic. For those of you who might have missed the show, we’ve provided a summary of highlights of the show.  

The show started with a short introduction by the Executive Director of Lead Guitar, Brad Richter and a mass play-along performance of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”.

The next part of the showcase featured Zach Filkins, the guitarist from OneRepublic. Zach participated in an interview where he discussed many important topics connected with the guitar. Among them he pointed out the importance of motivation, practice and how classical guitar can benefit playing the guitar in general, even in other music genres. After the interview, three Lead Guitar students, Spencer, Leilah and Pau had an opportunity to perform for Zach and ask him questions. 

Lead Guitar student Spencer performing for Zach Filkins
Lead Guitar student Leilah, performing for Zach Filkins in a duo with her teacher Jaxon Williams
Lead Guitar student Pau performing for Zach Filkins on acoustic guitar

After student performances and Q&A section. Zach performed together with Lead Guitar students, teachers and players from around the world OneRepublic’s hit song “Counting Stars”. This song has almost 3 billion views on YouTube and has been incredibly popular among Lead Guitar students. This was a very special moment for us at the GSI Foundation to provide these children an opportunity to perform together with their idol.

Speaking of guitar idols, the last section featured a short lesson with Denis Azabagić, a guitar professor and an international artist from Chicago. Denis gave some advice how to play bar chords on guitar. This lesson was followed by a beautiful virtual mass play-along performance of “Minuet in G minor” BWV Anh. 115. 

Watch the full video of 2nd Lead Guitar Virtual Showcase

Organizing Lead Guitar Virtual Showcases during a pandemic wasn’t easy. Many of the Lead Guitar students didn’t have a guitar at home to practice on for several weeks. To address this barrier, the GSI Foundation donated over 50 Cordoba C-3 guitars that went directly to children in the Chicago area who needed an instrument.