Pre-College Guitar

This program has been cancelled for 2021. We hope to see you in 2022.

Designed primarily for classical guitar, the pre-college guitar program is intended for high school students who wish to refine their technique and expand their repertoire through individual lessons and group classes. The program includes technique workshops, repertoire class, individual lessons and group masterclasses. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of styles and techniques that will strengthen their performance skills and prepare them for college auditions, recital planning, competitions, etc.

Format: In-person on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12.


  • Grades 9 – 12
  • At least two years of guitar experience, and one year of classical guitar experience

Tentative Pre-College Guitar Schedule

9:00 – 10:00 AM: Warm-Up Routine/Workshop
10:00 – 11:00 AM: Masterclass
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Special Topics
1:00 – 2:30 PM: Individual Practice/Lessons
2:30 – 3:30 PM: Repertoire Class

Application Materials

  • Submit the ISYM Application Form
  • Participants only: Upload a 5 minute recording of your playing. Audio or video (cell phone quality) is acceptable, and your recording should contain 2 contrasting selections of your choice. Recordings are NOT used to determine your acceptance but for faculty purposes for class preparation. Files must be named “Last Name, First Name_Title of Selection”. Recordings are due no later than Sunday, June 13, 2021.
  • Acceptance notifications are sent on a rolling basis.
  • Additional accepted student information will be available after April 15, 2021.


  • $100 – Participant

Program Faculty

Guido Sanchez-Portuguez, Clinical Assistant Professor of Music, University of Illinois

Dr. Guido Sanchez-Portuguez began his musical studies at the University of Costa Rica’s School of Music where he graduated with honors in 2001 under the guidance of Mario Solera. In 1997, 1998 and 1999, he earned the “Student of Honor” scholarship at the University of Costa Rica and traveled to France and Spain to attend the Stage de Guitares D’Alsace and the Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Córdoba. In 2000, he was a finalist at the Concurso y Festival Internacional de Guitarra de La Habana, Cuba–one of the most prestigious guitar competitions in the world. He obtained the Jury’s Mention of Honor at the 2001 First Composition Competition for Guitar for his piece, Rondó de Vidrio (available on Trazos). Additionally, he won first prize the following year for his guitar orchestra piece, Arenal.  From 1995 to 2003, he was the first guitar of the Guitar Orchestra of Costa Rica, with which he has recorded five CDs and toured around the World, and in 2003, he won First Prize at the National Guitar Competition in San José, Costa Rica.  He is also a co-owner of the “Escuela Superior de Guitarra” in Costa Rica for which he has worked as both teacher and director. 

Read more about Professor Sanchez-Portuguez here.