• Program Description

    The Guitar Studies Program at Blake is a nationally recognized program designed to take students from fundamentals to the highest competitive level over a four year span.  It provides a broad-ranging course of study in classical technique, music reading, music theory, different musical styles and genres, ear training and listening analysis.  It is designed for the serious guitar student that wants to excel as a young musician.

    The Blake Guitar program provides many performance opportunities for young players.  Students perform six major ensemble concerts throughout the school year. They collaborate frequently with other Blake programs, performing with Jazz Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Acting, and Musical Theatre productions.  They also give numerous other performances throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

    Over the years, Blake Guitar students have won ten national awards and have been featured on national and local media, including the NBC Today Show, NPR’s From The Top national radio show, What’s Right With Tampa Bay on FOX 13 News, and feature articles in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune and Creative Loafing.  They have performed in Japan, Ireland, San Francisco, New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

    The director, John Michael Parris, is a major prize-winner in four international guitar competitions and has extensive performing experience throughout the United States and abroad. He is a former Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department and holds national teaching awards from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.  He has 34 years of teaching experience, including 19 on the university level. 

    Faculty

    John Parris, Director, Classical Guitar, Fine Arts Department Head

    John Parris

    Contact: john.parris@hcps.net

    John Michael Parris, director of Blake Guitar Studies, is a major prizewinner in four international guitar competitions and a former Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department.  Hailed as “a player of great sensitivity and refinement” (Soundboard magazine), he has performed throughout the United States and abroad.  Mr. Parris has received national teaching awards from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and was voted Florida Studio Teacher of the Year by the American String Teachers Association.  His Blake Guitar students have won ten national awards and have been featured on national and local media, including the NBC Today Show, NPR’s From The Top national radio show, What’s Right With Tampa Bay on FOX 13 News, and feature articles in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune and Creative Loafing.  They have performed in Japan, San Francisco, New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  John Michael Parris currently serves as Fine Arts Department Chair at Blake.  Mr. Parris joined the artist-faculty of Blake in 1998; previous teaching positions include North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of South Florida, St. Leo University, and Florida State University.

    Contact: john.parris@hcps.net

     

    Audition Requirements
    Spring Auditions will be done virtually. Use the link at the bottom of the page to access audition information. Once you have applied, you will receive an email with step-by-step instructions for your audition!

    For Guitar auditions, students will perform the following:

    • Two scales of any type (student's choice)
    • One short classical piece or finger style acoustic song