Whitney Hale


College: Fine Arts

UK Program Strumming its Way to Excellence

Published: Jun 18, 2013

UK Professor of Guitar Studies Dieter Hennings plays UK Fight Song

Dieter Hennings performs his arrangement of the "UK Fight Song," as requested by a former student. Video courtesy of artist.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2013) — Since the arrival of Dieter Hennings in 2009, the guitar program at the University of Kentucky School of Music has grown in leaps and bounds from one student enrolled in guitar classes to 19 undergraduate and graduate students. The major has even opened the door for novices to learn through the popular UK Core class "Beginning Classroom Guitar," which sees 480 students a year taking group guitar lessons and getting involved with the activities of UK Guitar Studies.


"The key to the success of our program is due in big part to our engagement with the university community at large not just offering lessons to music majors, but implementing courses that engage the entire university community in creative music making," said Hennings, director of UK Guitar Studies.


UK students wishing to concentrate on their talents in guitar can find both graduate and undergraduate programs of study, various performing prospects, and the opportunity to get to know and work with some of the world's most acclaimed instrumentalists.


Undergraduates majoring in music performance with a specialty in guitar at UK advance their talents while attaining a well-rounded education in music. Guitar performance students must demonstrate a proficiency in piano; take classical guitar classes; study music theory and conducting; and present a senior recital to get their degree. In addition to their guitar studies, students take classes in music history, attend recitals of other music performance students, and perform with a music ensemble.


Students can choose to hone their performance skills with a number of ensembles that call School of Music home and can even choose to audition to perform with one dedicated specifically to their instrument. The UK Guitar Ensemble performs music for solo guitar, multiple guitars and guitars with other instruments. The ensemble’s repertoire consists of music from different eras and countries, to even students' arrangements of pop and rock music. 


Outside the classroom and university performance venues, UK guitar students are finding several opportunities to showcase what they have learned. Last summer, freshman Joseph Douglass, of London, Ky., won the youth guitar competition at the University of Louisville. He is now gearing up to participate this summer at the International Guitar Festival of Cordoba in Spain, where he will take lessons from the most famous guitar duo in the world, the Assad Brothers. Doctoral candidate Ricardo Saeb, from Chihuahua, Mexico has kept an intense performing schedule while completing his studies with solo performances with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Chihuahua and at the Second Latin American Guitar Festival in Chicago, where he shared the stage with some of the best young guitarists of today.


UK Guitar Studies has become the guitar hub of the region where guitar instructors from around the area come and perfect their performing and teaching skills. Currently, graduate students Andrew Rhinehart and Brent Webster are guitar instructors at Indiana University Southeast and Murray State University respectively.


"Forging strong partnerships with the guitar programs around the state has been a fundamental part of our mission," Hennings said.


In addition, the UK International Guitar Series has literally put UK Guitar Studies on the map. The series has quickly become the most respected guitar series in the area having brought to the Singletary Center for the Arts stage and the Lexington community some of the best guitarists of the day and provided students with a chance to work with some of the world's biggest talents.


"We recently had Grammy-winner David Russell come back of the second year in a row. This is a privilege that very few schools around the country afford. Mr. Russell taught a four-hour master class to our students and played one of the best concerts, I have heard in my life," Hennings said.


Other noted guitarists who have visited campus are Paul Galbraith, Zoran Dukić, Jorge Caballero, Marcin Dylla, Les Frères Méduses, Tabajara Belo, Guiherme Vincens,

Nicholas Goluses and Paul O'Dette.


Much of the growth in UK's guitar program is credited to Hennings, who balances a busy schedule of classes for 19 guitar students while also continuing to tour. The artist's musical endeavors span from new music on guitar to early music for lute, baroque guitar and theorbo. He has recently performed with Grammy award-winning flutist Molly Barth, a founding member of eighth blackbird, at several acclaimed music schools and at March Music Monderne in Portland, Oregon. Hennings also toured Europe with concerts in Germany, Slovenia and Italy, where he also taught and played at the Conservatory of Matera. In April, the guitarist joined Alia Musica for the premiere of a new sextet by Eastman School of Music composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.


To listen to one of Hennings' new music collaborations, play the video below of his performance of Juan Trigos' Ricercare No. 6 for guitar and chamber orchestra performed in Orlando, Fla. at the 2011 Accidental Music Festival.

Video courtesy of artist. 


This November, Hennings will perform in Mexico with the Symphonic Orchestra of the University of Guanajuato and he will travel to Thailand to perform and teach at Mahidol University in Bangkok.


Hennings is an active proponent of new music, particularly that of Latin America, having recently worked with composers Mario Davidovsky, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Juan Trigos and Zohn-Muldoon.  He has recently premiered works by composers Jake Bancks, Wes Matthews, John Aylward, Beth Wiemann, Hebert Vazquez, Luca Cori, Juan Trigos and Scott Worthington. Hennings has received grants from the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music and the Fondo Estatal para la Cultura y las Artes to commission and premiere contemporary works for guitar.


Current recording projects for Hennings include an album of works by Silvius Leopold Weiss for baroque lute and the guitar works of Trigos and Luca Cori. Recently he collaborated in a recording project with singer Natalie Merchant and producer Anders Levin.


Hennings, has won several prestigious competitions including:  the 2008 Aaron Brock International Guitar Competition (Canada); 2005 Eastman Guitar Concerto Competition; the 2002 Villa de Petrer, Alicante International Competition (Spain); and the 2001 Portland Guitar Competition, among many others.


To hear a sampling of music performances by Hennings, check out the musician's website at http://henningsguitar.com/.


The award-winning UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716whitney.hale@uky.edu

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Reset Page