3rd Annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival Sponsored by Cascio Interstate Music

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The three day event in Brookfield, Wisconsin is a celebration of "everything guitar." Fifty-nine guitarists from fourteen countries competed for $22,000 in prize money.

Competitor Roberto Borbone (San Francisco, CA) in the Classical semi-final rounds at the Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015.

Competitor Roberto Borbone (San Francisco, CA) in the Classical semi-final rounds at the Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015.

We were again proud to team up with our friends at the Wilson Center to help present and work to inspire guitar players and fans from across the globe.

Cascio Interstate Music of New Berlin, Wisconsin, provided promotional support for the 3rd annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival, held August 13-15, 2015. Fifty-nine guitarists from fourteen countries competed at The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, a Milwaukee suburb.

A jury of renowned artists from each genre selected the semi-finalists from YouTube and DVD applications received in the spring, and these guitarists were invited to perform in the live semi-final rounds on August 13 – 14 at the Wilson Center. Six competitors in each genre were then selected to advance to the live final rounds on August 15.

Cascio Interstate CEO Michael Houser commented, “We were again proud to team up with our friends at the Wilson Center to help present and work to inspire guitar players and fans from across the globe. The multi-genre guitar stylings of this year’s performers provided an exciting experience for attendees throughout the three-day event. We are already working on plans for 2016!"

Cascio's store and website offer electric and acoustic guitars, with the area's largest in-stock selection of top brands including Milwaukee’s number one dealership for Martin, Breedlove, Guild, PRS, Fender, Dean, Luna, Yamaha, Archer and more, along with guitar amps and accessories, drums, wind and string instruments, and numerous other items.

First-place winners in each genre received $3,000 and an opportunity to perform as part of the Festival headliner concert featuring fingerstyle legend Leo Kottke with special guest Antoine Dufour on Saturday, August 15. Second-place winners received $1,500, and third-place winners received $1,000. Guitarists were allowed to compete in up to two genres.

In the Classical competition, first place was awarded to Nathan Bredeson (Ottawa, Canada), second place to Samuel Hines (Long Beach, California), and third place to Mark Akin (St. Louis, Missouri). In the Jazz competition, first place was awarded to Matthew Rotker-Lynn (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), second place to Jordan Rattner (Brown Deer, Wisconsin), and third place to David Colon (Whittier, California).

In the Fingerstyle competition, first place was awarded to Rachael Carlson (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), second place to Sam Balistreri (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and third place to Ryan Ayers (Playa Del Rey, California). In the Rock/Blues competition, first place was awarded to Frank Cara (Salerno, Italy), second place to Chris Schuck (Brookfield, Wisconsin), and third place to Mark Mendoza (Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin).

The weekend's ticketed concerts included Croatian virtuoso classical guitarist Ana Vidovic; internationally renowned guitarist Troy Stetina and American jazz guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg; and fingerstyle legend Leo Kottke with special guest, Canadian guitarist Antoine Dufour in a sold-out show.

Free activities open to the public included master class and clinic opportunities; information booths from Fender, Ibanez, Dean/Luna, Cordoba/Guild, Jonathan Marshall Guitars, Archer Guitars, Melokia Ukuleles and festival sponsor Cascio Interstate Music; along with pre-concert performances on the Wilson Center's Young Artists Stage by local guitar students.

About the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts:
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary cultural arts center that presents performances by world-renowned artists and ensembles; offers arts education opportunities; curates the Ploch Art Gallery, which features both national and Wisconsin-based fine artists; and is committed to extending the arts beyond the walls of the Center through Lynn Chappy ArtsPark—a vibrant, outdoor sculpture landscape that will engage and inspire the broader Southeastern Wisconsin Community. Visit http://www.wilson-center.com/.

About Cascio Interstate Music:
Cascio Interstate Music ranks in the top 15 nationally among musical instrument retailers and is one of the nation's top drum retailers. Cascio provides musical instruments and accessories to musicians of all ages, including music educators at over 100,000 schools and universities, and music professionals worldwide. The company started in 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Besides the Wilson Center competition, Cascio's involvement in the Milwaukee music community has also included concert sponsorships at area theaters and venues, sponsorship of a stage for local/regional bands at Summerfest, (the world's largest outdoor music festival), the Bucks Beats drumline for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, and live performance/educational clinics at their New Berlin retail store.

Over 100,000 musical products are marketed nationwide via catalogs and online, and locally at their SuperStore in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Cascio’s retail location offers private music lessons, free educational clinics, instrument rentals, musical instrument and electronic repair, and more. Cascio designs, markets and manufactures proprietary brand musical instruments including Union Drums, Archer Guitars, Ravel Band Instruments and Melokia Ukuleles for consumers, major eCommerce online retailers and schools worldwide. Connect with Cascio at http://www.interstatemusic.com/ on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Mike Houser
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