My first memories of the Sacramento Guitar Society begin with a meeting held in the home of then society president Robert Vettle circa late 1974. There was a lively group gathered at Rob's home numbering about twenty. The featured performer was Dave Deranja, who I remember playing Ponce's Scherzino Mexicano. I played Tárrega's Capricho Árabe later that evening. Meetings at Rob's house were always a very socially oriented affair with an emphasis on libations and good conversation. Meetings were hosted by various members at their homes and for a short time at the Sacramento Municipal Airport's public room on the 3rd Sunday of the month with a summer hiatus. A monthly newsletter was published by longtime member David Henderson that included a recap of the previous meeting, articles and reviews of recitals and Henderson's consistent plea for “grist for the bulletin”. Mr. Henderson at that time maintained the society's status as a tax exempt organization.
Sometime around 1976 I took on the role of program director for the society, and in the following three years we sponsored recitals/concerts for George Sakellariou, Philip Rosheger, Alice Artz, Timothy Kain and the duo Ako Ito & Henri Dorigny. We also presented a concert featuring guitar society members performing solos, duos and quartets. These events were usually held at Sacramento State University with the exception of the Ito-Dorigny concert, which was held at American River College, and Tim Kain's recital, which was held at the home of member Dr. Paul Gottlieb. The events were well attended averaging a crowd of about 150. After I moved from Sacramento in 1979, society member Dave Deranja organized a house concert and masterclass for Manuel Barrueco at the home of Dr.Gottlieb. Member Stuart King, who was a Davis guitar instructor, organized several events in Davis at that time including recitals by Timothy Kain, Abel Carlevaro, Richard Stover and Juan Mercadal. There were also masterclasses and workshops by Rosheger, Stover and Carlevaro. Jack Warren was the guitar instructor at Sac State during that time, later to be replaced briefly by guitarist- composer John Major. Guitar maker Dake Traphagen had a shop on the lower level of a music store on 'K' street. Jack's House of Music was the main store for classical guitars and sheet music.
On occasion there were guest performers at the meetings, including San Francisco guitarists Bunyan Webb and Spencer Burleson. There were also several local professionals who would play at meetings, including Gilda Taffet, Tom Patterson and Franklin Lei.
The following is a partial list of meeting hosts and attendees from that time: Robert Vettle, David Henderson, Will Solomon, Gilda Taffet, Tudor Hall, Howard Dilts, Susan Doi, Paul Gottlieb, Jim Hanna, Harriet McGrew, Don Oliver, Edgar Murray, Mark Penwell, Dave Deranja, John Oster, Emmett O'Sullivan, Susan Scangarella, Ed Trujillo and Craig Logan.
Update from Craig 1/20/11:
Just found out that a great friend of the guitar passed away recently. David Long Henderson was the secretary of the Sacramento Guitar Society for many years back in the '70s. David hosted meetings, published the society's newsletter (mimeograph) and maintained the tax exempt status of our group during that time. "Henderson" as I called him, was a gentle soul and shining light of enthusiasm for art and life. All who knew him were the better for it. Farewell friend!
Update from Craig 2/12/11:
Just found out another old friend from the Sacramento Guitar Society died about a year ago. Huger Tudor Hall was 75. Tudor was the life of the party at society gatherings in the '70s. He introduced me to Juan Mercadal, a great favor from an old friend.