School of Music > Academics > Studios & Areas of Study > Guitar


​The classical guitar studio at DePaul is designed to develop the subtle artistry, highly refined technique and a profound understanding of style and performance practice necessary to succeed as a professional musician. Students study repertoire of the various style periods including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist and Modern music.

Enjoy a recent performance from the DePaul Alumni Guitar Ensemble.


Mark Maxwell
Mark Maxwell

The Guitar Studio​

​The classical guitar studio at DePaul operates on a traditional model which emphasizes the three-fold area of a performer's development: repertoire, etudes and technique. The demands of the 500-years' worth of repertoire (the last 200 in particular) inform the studio's choice of technical exercises.

The etudes, by such guitarist/composers as Carcassi, Sor, Giuliani, Aguado, Regondi, Legnani, Mertz, Pujol, Brouwer, among others, and the concert/etudes of Villa-Lobos place the technical demands in a high-level musical setting. Early music performance practice concepts are employed in preparation of renaissance, baroque and early nineteenth century repertoire.

One-hour lessons per week for guitar performance majors, performance class and guitar ensemble make up a students weekly experience. Upper level and graduate students also take Lute, Guitar History and Literature and Guitar Pedagogy classes. Students work together in a variety of chamber music settings with multiple guitars, other instruments and voice and in large groups of guitars with conductor under the auspices of the DePaul University Guitar Ensemble.

Guitar Students

Recent Student Performances

Students perform in a wide variety of settings at DePaul. Solo degree recitals occur during the junior and senior years for undergraduates, at the end of both years of the two-year programs of the performance masters degrees, and the post-masters performance certificates. In addition, students of all classifications perform in quarterly guitar ensemble concerts which include large ensembles with conductor and chamber music settings of guitar duo, trio, quartet or more. Often these concerts will also include other instruments or voice. Students also participate in non-degree recitals including quarterly studio showcase concerts.

Recent repertoire performed by students in recital has included selections from Stravinsky's Petruska; Falla's Three-Cornered Hat and El Amor Brujo, arranged or composed for large guitar ensemble; Brouwer's Cuban Landscape with Rain and Toccata; Roland Dyens' Cote Sud and his arrangement of Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras; Piazzolla's Tango Suite; Suite Valenciana by Vincente Ascensio; and Quintetto for guitar and string quartet by Mario Castlenuovo-Tedesco.

Solo repertoire included suites by Bach; lute music and songs for voice and lute by John Dowland; Henze's Drei Tentos; Walton's Five Bagatelles; Roland Dyens; Astor Piazzolla; Carlo Domeniconi; Joaquin Rodrigo; and many others.

Alumni Accomplishments

Many DePaul guitar alumni have become successful performers in a wide variety of areas. Graduates have found success as solo classical guitar performers, chamber musicians, early music performers in baroque opera continuo and as solo performers on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, new music performers, and Latin American music specialists. Even more have become accomplished teachers at universities and community schools of music, some even starting their own community schools. DePaul guitar graduates have continued their training achieving advanced degrees as well as pursuing European study. 

Mark Maxwell’s students have had success in winning or placing in international, national and local competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America’s 2006 International Guitar Competition, Senior Division (first place), New England Conservatory 2007 Guitar Competition Senior Division (second place), and numerous first, second place and honorable mentions in the Collegiate, Senior and Junior Divisions of the Society of American Musicians Guitar Competition.