For the 2018 season, instructors are set to include country music legend Albert Lee (Emmy Lou Harris, Eric Clapton), blues rocker Eric Gales, hard rocker Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper, Iron Maidens) and 2017 San Diego Music Award Lifetime Achievement winner Wayne Riker.
“We are happy to be returning to San Diego, especially with a new campus,” said GWP founder Brian Murray. Formerly in San Marcos, Murray sees the move south as necessary. “Our previous location was nice,” Murray continued, “but we have an international group of students that attend each year and this is more central, which gives more people in the area a chance to attend.
There are wonderful facilities, both for music performances and teaching, as well as dorm facilities and meals for those staying on campus. Plus of course there are incredible views,” he said.
Riker agrees. “The move will be favorable, as the locale will be closer to the airport for out-of-towners as well as having better accessibility in general for local attendees, not to mention the pristine setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean,” he said. Advance registration for classes is recommended
“It’s not just guitar,” Murray continued. “That’s obviously what we started out as, but we also offer bass, drum, keyboard, vocal and songwriting courses.” He points out that musician’s at all levels of proficiency are welcome.
“Our instructors can help students who are at any point in their career,” Murray said. “In fact, one of my favorite things about these workshops is seeing the growth in students. Some come year after year and it’s amazing to see and hear the progress they’ve made in that time.”
Riker concurs. “I’ve taught at GWP each summer since the inception of the San Diego County campus in 2015 and I can vouch that all ages and levels can benefit from the diverse expertise of the faculty, along with the interactive playing, in addition to the benefits of getting invaluable playing tips from the high visibility guest artists.”
For his part, Murray is pleased with the response to GWP. “It is a lot of hard work putting this together,” he said. “But the reward is immense. We teach music as well as interaction and it’s wonderful to see knowledge being exchanged, or to see someone working on their craft with a musical hero.
However, this is more than just a meet-and-greet,” Murray said. “Some other programs are basically glorified photo opps, with the guest instructors in and out quickly. We’re trying to give our students as much information as possible, so the instructors take their time and interact in classroom settings with students. There are nightly concerts, jam sessions and other chances for the students to interact with each other as well as with the teachers.”
GWP also holds camps in Toronto, Seattle and Nashville, but Murray has particular hopes for growth in San Diego.
“It’s such a beautiful city with a real love for music and so much to do beyond the music education we offer. It’s just about the perfect destination,” he said. “We started out in Canada, with students coming in from all over the world,” Murray recalled. “It wasn’t too long before we had students asking why we didn’t do something like this in the U.S. The response has been heartening,” he noted. “In fact, ironically we now have students from Canada coming to workshops in the States.”
Guitar Workshop Plus: June 17-22 at Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Drive. guitarworkshopplus.com