For those of you who follow my journey, you will know how excited I am to announce that I placed first in the 2015 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition! It is undoubtedly the single-most exciting thing that has ever happened to me as a musician. You may not know that I really didn't think I would have the opportunity to compete. I originally signed up too late to be guaranteed a slot to compete and was placed on a stand-by list. However, I took a chance, made the trip, and hoped for the best. It was by some miracle that an opening became available (due to a cancellation) and the alternates on the stand-by list who were ahead of me did not show up to the competition.
The competiting artists were phenomenal! The word "talent" does not adequately define the folks who performed in the competition. I was nervous and very excited. Did I say I was nervous? The competition judges do not actually see you play when you compete. To elimintae bias, the judges are housed in a booth so they cannot see the musician and the music is piped in. Knowing this, I had to carefully choose my selections. Before the competition, I originally played the ending of "Bayou Boogie" on my lap. I had to revise the ending in order for it to be picked up by a condenser mic. For competition, I chose to play "Bayou Boogie" first and "Kai" second. Considering my nervousness and excitement, I felt ok about my performance. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I made it to the finals (5 were chosen). From there, I really didn't know what to expect in the final round. All of the finalists were fantastic so I knew it would most likely come down to song selection, and honestly, I only had one other song prepared. So by default, I played "Shibboleth" on my Baritone guitar as my final piece. When they announced the winner, I can honestly say that I was shocked to hear my name! I was overwhelmed with emotions. It was truly a moment of a life-time and one I will never forget!
A special thanks goes out to the folks at the Canadian Fingerstyle Festival and Compeition. You are a world-class act! Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners. I can't believe I shared a stage with you guys! In addition, I would like to thank Stonebridge Guitars International for the unbelievable prize guitar. It is fantastic! I also want to thank each and every one of you who have reached out to me and for providing me words of support and encouragement as I continue my journey. You keep me inspired! Take care, be safe, and God bless!