About Guitar Circus

Guitar Circus is an umbrella organisation dedicated to promoting events and activities which develop and nurture classical guitar education and performance throughout the UK.

The guitar is now one of the most popular instruments taught in the UK and for many children is their first experience of learning a musical instrument, thereby introducing them not only to the guitar, but the wider aspects of music in general. For most children this is an opportunity to merge creativity with the discipline of learning an instrument – key skills which will help them both socially and academically throughout their lives.

Currently there is very little scope for classical guitarists to experience the interaction and motivation of making music as a group. A core activity of Guitar Circus is to promote ensemble playing for young people through our participatory and inclusive events. These range from providing all guitarists with the opportunity to attend the World Youth Guitar Festival, to inviting young classical guitarists who have already attained an intermediate standard to play in the National Youth Guitar Ensembles.

The World Youth Guitar Festival (WYGF) is a unique residential event that unites young classical guitarists aged 8-18 from all over the world, to enjoy making music together. Working in an ensemble setting under the guidance of internationally renowned tutors, WYGF nurtures guitarists of any ability, from those taking their first musical steps, to those on the verge of a professional career.

The National Youth Guitar Ensembles (NYGE) give aspiring and gifted young classical guitarists the unrivalled opportunity to experience world-class ensemble coaching. These guitarists are dedicated, passionate musicians who are seeking to perform at the highest level and establish the guitar orchestra on the international concert stage. The National Youth Guitar Ensembles comprise of two core groups; NYGE UK which are regionally based ensembles that meet monthly from October to March, and NYGE Academy which offers two residential courses, in the Easter and Summer holidays.

Guitar Circus is also keenly aware that despite keeping fees to a minimum, some children will struggle to attend our events and so our bursary schemes are able to offer partially assisted places to those with financial need.

To develop the skills for all these activities there is a need to help guitar teachers to provide stimulating lessons and workshops. Unfortunately, many teachers are very isolated and as a future initiative Guitar Circus intends to set up and provide a network with access to vital teaching materials, support from top professionals and opportunities to improve their own skills.

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