Anna Clifford Makes All-National Guitar Ensemble

Anna Clifford Makes All-National Guitar Ensemble

Every year, the National Association for Music Education constructs honor ensembles in multiple categories of the top music students throughout the country. Students in the program apply with the assistance of their music teacher and receive the chance to learn, rehearse, and perform music for a final concert.

This year, our own Anna Clifford has been awarded a seat in the 2020 All-National Guitar Ensemble.

 

Interview with Anna Clifford

How long have you been playing guitar?

I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 5 years old. I actually started in piano when I was 3, but I quit because my sister played the piano and I was annoyed that she was better than me.. despite the fact that she was 7. I immediately showed an interest in guitar after that but my teacher didn’t accept students until they were 6. Luckily he was really close to my family and let me start when I was 5 since he was also my fathers guitar teacher.

 

What made you decide to enter the competition?

Well there isn’t exactly a big teenage classical guitar community, so the only competitive opportunities I had were in elementary school.  My sophomore year I was in Mr Grimshaw’s music theory and guitar class, and he basically told me that he found an ensemble that I could be apart of. I’m a bit of a competitive person, so having that kind of outlet really excited me and I immediately decided to enter. 

 

How was your experience with the competition? Did you enjoy it, and would you recommend it for others?

So due to COVID the competition was a bit different since we didn’t preform in person with a judge watching us. I actually really enjoyed that! It allowed me to play in an environment I was used to which helped me a lot. I would totally recommend it to anybody interested in classical guitar! It’s not too anxiety provoking which is good.

 

What’s your favorite thing about playing guitar?

I really like that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it, but there are also multiple ways of doing it correctly. While there’s one right note to play, you have an infinite ways of changing the quality of that pitch and adding your own embellishments to written music. While you can do that on other instruments too, stringed instruments have many more possibilities to make the music your own which I like.

I really like that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it, but there are also multiple ways of doing it correctly. While there’s one right note to play, you have an infinite ways of changing the quality of that pitch and adding your own embellishments to written music.”

— Anna Clifford

What are your plans for the future, regarding guitar?

I hope to find a college where I can major or minor in classical guitar! I don’t plan on using music as my primary  job, but I think I’ll play competitively for a long time. As of now, I’m thinking about getting a Bachelors of Arts degree at Furman University while also pursuing a degree in biology.

 

Thank you! Anything else you’d like to share?

Only that if you have any desire to play in the ensemble you should audition! If you really love it, it will give you lots of other opportunities such as applying to the national ensemble.

 

 

 

More Information About the Program:

For 2020, the program was a virtual event, with online rehearsals during early January. In a typical year, the program would meet in-person for rehearsals and a final performance.

If you are interested in applying for the guitar—or another–ensemble in the upcoming years, Mr. Grimshaw will most likely have the information and support you need.