There has been a classical guitar scene around Sacramento since the '50s, or so we've heard. Our History Project attempts to fill in the gaps in our own organization's history. Please add in to what you see below with your own memory of Sacramento Classical Guitar Society or Sacramento Guitar Society memories. Shoot an email to help and feel free to add to previous posts.
The Sacramento Guitar Society (SGS) is a non-profit educational and service organization that has existed in one form or another since at least 1961 – drawn together by the classical guitar and its music. In the course of countless gatherings in homes, schools and community centers to share music and camaraderie, guitar teachers and their students, professional concert artists, amateur aficionados and the public have met to enjoy this art form and the related styles that can overlap, including flamenco, jazz and steel-string fingerstyle.
The classical guitar is noted for its special quality of soothing, contemplative and intimate music, and today’s concert will have that as well as lively, exciting selections. Classical guitar playing requires special training and rigorous study, and today’s performers have been pursuing excellence in their art for many years, including some earning masters’ degrees in classical guitar performance.
Over the decades of its existence, SGS has had people take the helm for a time, scheduling meetings and “keeping things going.” Starting with building a service based website (including listing contact information for every guitar teacher in the county) and continuing with building up a board of directors, clarifying the mission, hosting monthly meetings and planning programs, SGS has upped the energy of the classical guitar scene in California’s North Central Valley and Sierra Foothills.
On May 16, 2003, Brandon Yip and Greg Williams incorporated the Sacramento Guitar Society with the State of California with the intent of becoming a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization similar to the South Bay Guitar Society based in San Jose. Matthew Grasso served as Artistic Director and Brandon as President. Many meetings took place at California State University Sacramento, where Greg was on the faculty. The federal level application is significantly more challenging for small arts groups to manage, and the project was dropped.
In 2005 John Oster took over as President, and meetings were held at members' homes. In the Fall of 2008 Daniel Roest took over from John, and after rebuilding the website, he and a board of previous leaders and members again pursued building the group into a non-profit recognized by both the State of California and the IRS.
The December 2009 inaugural Board of Directors of this new stage of SGS included:
Daniel Roest - President
Brandon Yip, Past President
Greg Williams - Vice President
Stephen Roberts - Secretary
William Anderson - Treasurer
Daniel Rooney, Legal Affairs
Michael Harbison - Web Design
Matthew Grasso - Director
Harold Sexton - Director
In Spring of 2010 we began meeting monthly at Christ Community Church in Carmichael.
In June and July of 2010, Daniel produced a 76 minute CD of contributions from 14 area classical guitarists showing the range of talent on the Sacramento Region.
In August of 2010, we acquired our tax exempt status from the IRS.
Daniel served as President until relieved by Steve Roberts for a year, then Daniel resumed the role. Lili Williams served as President in the 2017-18 and 18-19 seasons as well as serving as grant writer. Through her leadership SGS has won support from The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Cultural Arts Award & Cultural Equity Grant Programs, funded by the City of Sacramento; TourWest, WESTAF & National ENdowment for the Arts; The California Arts Council's Artists in Communities Grant & Veterans in Arts Grant; D'Addario Foundation; Alfred Publishing, etc.
Another reason to support SGS is Membership: we want to bring guitar music to non-traditional audiences – those who can’t get out to venues. There are more – ask our artists and board members for information, and join us at our free "3rd Sunday 3pm" monthly meetings, hosted in Midtown Sacramento.