2023 Festival Guitar Ensemble

All participants registered with Full Festival Tuition (Adult or Youth) will be enrolled in the festival guitar ensemble under the direction of Mark Hilliard Wilson.

The Ensemble will present the world premiere performance of The Secret Life of Trees by Ukrainian composer Oleg Boyko in the festival’s concluding concert at 1pm on Sunday, April 2. Parts will be distributed by email shortly after registration; the ensemble will rehearse:

5 – 6:30pm on Friday & Saturday, March 31 & April 1

11am – 12:30pm on Sunday, April 2

The festival will conclude with a concert showcasing the festival ensemble and small ensembles from our region. There will be space for four chamber ensembles (duos—quartets) to share the program with the festival guitar orchestra. Interested ensembles should audition by submitting a link to a recording of their anticipated program (not to exceed 10 minutes) to festival director Eli Schille-Hudson (schille3@wwu.edu) and festival ensemble conductor/curator Mark Hilliard Wilson (mhilliardwilson@gmail.comno later than Friday, March 10. The selected ensembles will be notified no later than Friday, March 17, and will participate in a masterclass with Duo Noire on March 31

Conductor: Mark Hilliard Wilson

Mark Hilliard Wilson has an engaging approach to teaching and programing concerts that draws from the deep well of history and a desire to relate contemporary interests to universal themes. Born in Palo Alto, California in 1965 his childhood was spent moving every two years from Minnesota to Holland, to Washington DC to Payette, Idaho before his parents finally found their slice of heaven in Boise, Idaho. Mark continued to travel to Bellingham, Rochester and visit other countries before finding his base in Seattle in 1995. He founded the Seattle Guitar Orchestra in 2000 and became the cathedral guitarist at St. James Cathedral in Seattle 2006. He has taught at Whatcom Community College, Bellevue College, the Rosewood Guitar and is currently at the Holy Names Academy, his compositions are published by Seconda Prattica and performed widely. Recently Wilson premiered a concerto written for him by the Ukrainian composer Oleg Boyko.  Wilson will be directing Guitar ensembles in the premier of a work he commissioned from Boyko at the 2023 Northwest Guitar Festival in Bellingham, Wa.  2023 will see the release of The Music of Taiwo Adegoke, Changing the canon of the classical guitar with music from Nigeria. Music for Seattle Guitar Orchestra and cello and classical guitar featuring cellist Abbie Eads. You can find these on all platforms and videos too on Mark’s Patreon site.