2014 Junior Guitar Trip

Check back for Spring 2018 Junior Guitar Trip information

Read about the 2014 trip below

Junior Guitar Trip Scrapbook!

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 7.48.02 PMSerianni’s Trip Debrief: (with Sabrina Beaudoins pictures and Julie’s extra commentary)

Julie’s comments: IN BLUE!

I wrote a bit about the trip.  Feel free to read it if you have time.  We had a very good trip to New York City.  Students were polite, well behaved and generally good to each other.  It was a pleasure to experience this trip with your students.

Yeah. Everyone was particularly nice to eachother. (The guitar major is the chillest major of all so we got it!)

I’m sure you will get a description of the trip at home.  Here is my perspective.

And mine is outlined in blue.


The journey from Laguardia to Times Square was difficult.  We had to find a shuttle from the Delta terminal to the main terminal to catch the NYC transit bus that would bring us to the subway.  The traffic at Delta terminal is crazy with buses and taxis and rental shuttles – finding the correct bus to the main terminal was a challenge.

I don’t understand why Serianni wanted us to go through all the trouble of transportation. There was a bus for all of us which would be 13.99 for each with guarantee’s of not getting lost. T.T Transportation was a bit yucky but it was very new-york-like. After a while we established a “3-card system to get us through all of the gates without a portion of the group waiting.

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Next, I had to purchase metro cards for each student out of a machine (one at a time) and load trips on to them.  We caught the correct bus and it dropped us on the street.  We could see an elevated train and eventually realized it would bring us to Times Square.  If we had the opportunity to make the trip again it would be simple, but the first time was hard because we were not completely sure what to do next.

AND IT WAS SO PRETTY! Like all the stores are 10 x bigger! Denver H&M: 2 floors. NYC: 3 Floors! Forever 21 Denver: 2 floors T.T NYC: 4 FLOORS! XD We were literally right next to times square! It was about the busiest part of the entire city. The best part about New York is that there is never one thing going on. (like a small town or something).


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We made it to our hotel and checked in with about 30 minutes down time before we made the 15 minute walk to Birdland to see Pat Martino.  Pat was sitting at the bar before the show so I introduced myself and met his Grammy award winning producer and manager Joe Donofrio.  We ate dinner and listened to the show.  Our seats were very close to the stage – we could see and hear the band well.  The food was good – everyone ordered desert!

We girls (Sabrina and Me) decided to be masculine and buy all the meats. (lamb and steak) for the first night (twas quite expensive.) While all the other boys bought something small. We even split some desert! The concert was great! Pat Martino is such a unique improver! Alex loved this guy! Got his album and autograph and got to talk with him a bit!

After the show a few students spoke to Pat Martino and he signed CDs.  We discussed the clinic he would present for students Friday.  We walked back to the hotel and were in rooms by about 11:30.

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We met in the lobby at 9:30am for breakfast.  Most students wanted different things for breakfast so I gave them money and let them explore the many food options on the street.  At 10:30 we began walking toward Central Park sight seeing.  We wandered into central park and watched the ice skaters.  A few students climbed a rock.  It was noon, the shortest bus tour we could find was two hours and we had to be at The New School by 2:00pm, so we went to lunch at Ben Ash Delicatessen.

*Ahem!* The rock which was featured in a movie! I loved central park! I tried to list every movies that had Central Park featured. But of coarse my favorite is Enchanted! I can literally hear the song: “How does she know… you love her? How does she know… she’s yours?”

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 7.35.56 PMAfter lunch we took the subway to The New School and got off several blocks past our destination by mistake.  The orange line (F) train runs with the (B) and (D) trains but they don’t make the same stops (now I know that).  The (B) and (D) would have taken us right to The New School campus but the (F) train did not.

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We made it to The New School and a second year piano performance major took us on a tour, talked to students and answered questions.  We visited a nice computer lab loaded with great music composition software and learned about signing up for practice rooms, checking out amplifiers and other equipment and housing options for first year students.  Several students and staff members called out about how much they love the school when they realized we were on a tour (very friendly and welcoming).


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We left the New School and took the subway to Julliard to attend a viola recital.  We made it to Julliard with out too much trouble and listened to the first half of the recital.  The violist was very good and performed several solo pieces that were beautiful and complex.  He left the stage and returned with a pianist – again beautiful, technical and complex.  For me, the performances were the best I heard while on the trip.  Of course students were tired because we walked many miles by then (it was 5:00pm at that point), and several students were struggling to stay awake.  We left the recital at intermission to get back to the hotel and prepare for the evening.


Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 7.37.07 PMThe plan was to attend a Broadway show, but only three students were interested in that, and the shows they wanted were sold out.  So, I looked into highly rated restaurants nearby, and we agreed on an Italian place called “Bond 45” that was not far from the hotel.  The food was very good and we had a nice time.  We finished eating at around 10:00pm.  Several students wandered around Times Square for a bit and several students went back to the hotel to sleep.

Yeah I think only about 3 people went to see that concert… lol. We were so bummed out.


We had breakfast and headed to Manhattan School of Music for a 90 minute guitar literature class with guitar department chair Mark Delpriora.  The school is on the upper west side of Manhattan.  The area is very different from Times Square – clean spacious and older.   They were studying avant garde music that day.  Mark discussed the music, passed around sheet music to read, and then played recorded examples for us to hear.  The class had 3 graduate students and the 10 of us in the room.  It was very interesting to me, maybe a bit dry for some students.


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While in the class Pat Martino called me (I did not pick up) to tell me he was on his way to our hotel to get ready for the clinic.  We rushed out of Manhattan School of Music and took the subway back to Times Square.  The clinic was to be held in the one junior suite we had reserved to sleep three students (all other rooms were doubles and very small).  When we walked in the hotel Pat was sitting in the lounge waiting for us.  I went to my room to get the amp I brought from Denver for Pat, and the three students rushed up to their room to move furniture around to accommodate Pat and the rest of us.

(Ahem, concussion girl was napping at this time! But almost everyone!)


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Pat discussed his “keys” to understanding the guitar using the PDF I sent last week.  I brought copies for students to use during the clinic.  Pat was eloquent, articulate, and very relaxed and comfortable talking with students. He reminded students to love their instrument as you would love a toy as a child (be fascinated with your guitar and enjoy performing).  At the same time you have to treat being a performer like a business.  Pat was very philosophical – he explained to students that while listening to him they might not understand completely what he was describing but like planting a seed that grows into a fruit bearing tree, one day his words would become more clear.  We do have an audio recording (by Alex) that I will share when it is ready.  Pat moved students through the PDF and explained concepts by playing them on the guitar.  The document explains Pat’s approach to the guitar and improvising, and can be used by students for many years to come.  The PDF file combined with the audio will be a great learning tool.


After the clinic students had a bit of free time to look around Times Square.  We met at 7:00pm to take the subway to the Martha Masters Classical Guitar Concert at the Baruch Performing Arts Center.  Martha Masters was great – several students purchased CDs.  She came out after the show to sign CDs.  She was impressed that we had come all the way from Denver and seemed to enjoy the attention she was getting from HS students.


The next stop was “Smalls” in Greenwich Village for the 10:30pm performance by Jazz Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg.  Only three students had the energy to make to the trip with me, so I gave the other six students money for food and we all went into the subway together.  It was Friday night and there was a DJ and break dancers, a trio (guitar, bass, drums with vocals) and several other performers in the subway.  It was very busy.  Carsten, Javier, Alex and I took the train across town to Greenwich Village (Pauline was already in Greenwich Village and purchased tickets for us).  The rest of students took the train back to Times Square.


Small’s is a very small basement jazz club that fits less than 100 people.  We walked down the stairs from street level and stood in back of a packed room.  Jonathan Kreisberg was great – he is an amazing guitar player.  He is melodic, very fast and very technical.  He just got back from a tour in Europe – it seemed from his stage talk like they are very busy performing and his band sounded great.  We stayed for the second set that began at midnight.  Alex, Javier, and Carsten went to the stage and talked to Jonathan.  They managed to get one seat right in front of the stage and Pauline and I found seats in the middle for all of us.  The place is small, so the middle is about 10 rows from the front.  We took the (A) train back to Times Square at around 1:30am and went to 5 Guy’s Burgers.



We checked out at noon and went to the R Lounge for our last meal.  R Lounge is a restaurant lounge that has large windows overlooking Times Square.  It was a nice way to finish the trip.  We walked about 4 blocks with our luggage to the subway that went across town toward JFK airport.  The trip to JFK was much easier than the Laguardia trip.  We took one train from Manhattan to the JFK air train terminal which took us to the Delta terminal.  The sky-walk was under repair so we had a detour which added a lot of unexpected walking with luggage.  We made it to the gate a little early though – in time to grab flight snacks.

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