About Us

The Christchurch Guitar Society was established in the 1970s and gained a dedicated membership throughout the 1980s. Regular monthly meetings were organized, along with various events such as concerts and masterclass/workshops.

During this time the society hosted a range of both local and international artists, including Milton Parker, Mike Rose, Ross Townsend (from New Zealand), Karl Herreshoff (from the USA), John Mills (from the UK), and Antonio Losada (a Spanish/Australian musician who resided in Christchurch for a couple of years and taught at the university). The Omega Guitar Quartet, led by Gilbert Biberian (from the UK), also performed. Several notable Christchurch members, including Kim Rockell, Phillip Hi, and Campbell Ross, have since established international careers.

In the early 1990s, the society held a summer school and concert tour featuring Julian Byzantine from London. He was based in Brisbane for many years and made multiple visits to Christchurch, presenting valuable workshops and masterclasses. Other visiting artists during this period included Stepan Rak, Lily Afshar, Matthew Marshall, and Gunter Herbig, as well as New Zealanders Jane Currie, Owen Moriarty, and John Couch. The NZ Guitar Quartet, comprised of the latter three members plus another musician, also performed.

In the early 2000s the society organized annual concerts for local players and junior musicians, as well as hosting competitions. Membership of the society has seldom numbered more than 20, most of whom attend the monthly meetings and usually play a piece or 2. Often members have teamed up to perform duets and occasionally larger ensembles.