All registrants are encouraged to participate, from amateurs to professionals. This is a great opportunity to have fun, meet fellow guitarists and enjoy the camaraderie that is such an enduring element of the Northwest Festival. Mark Hilliard Wilson, director of the Guitar Orchestra of Seattle, will be the director.
Wilson brings joy and technical finesse to the listener while integrating music from diverse backgrounds and different ages with a compelling story and a wry sense of humor. Performing regularly at festivals and concert series Wilson has distinguished himself as a unique voice with programs that feature his own transcriptions of the well known and the obscure. Wilson’s compositions for the guitar have been appearing on stages throughout the Northwest US and Canada for over 20 years, and he has appeared as a conductor of Guitar Orchestras across North America. The main medium he works in is the relatively unexplored genre of multiple guitars or Guitar Orchestra. Wilson is the conductor, composer, arranger and music director to the Guitar Orchestra of Seattle. Wilson has taught at Whatcom Community College and Bellevue College. Wilson’s CD El Sueno del Camino is the product of a series of concerts he played along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Wilson has been busy promoting his latest CD, a Guitar orchestra CD that features compositions for 10 guitars, which was inspired by the pilgrimage to Spain, but also pilgrimages closer to home such as Chuckanut drive and the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Since the start of 2019 he has produced concerts for the Guitar Orchestra of Seattle in fun and unusual venues for the classical guitar, such as the former 1920’s movie theater called the Jewel box in the restored bar called there Rendevous, the experimental cafe theater Cafe Nordo, in the former Elliot bay bookstore in Pioneer square. Solo engagements have taken him to numerous living rooms and gardens across Seattle through the organization Groupmuse. The summer of 2019 Wilson was engaged in 10 concerts over an 8 week spread, where he played solo, a concerto written for him and the Octava orchestra, and a series of concerts in Portland with the soprano Jessica Israels and baritone Erik Hundtoft. Wilson will be the guest guitarist fo the Sun Valley Symphony at the end of August as they accompany the soprano Morgan James. His compositions are published on Second Prattica.