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Guitar Club expands in size as its third year begins

Senior+Elizabeth+Lee+tunes+her+guitar+during+Guitar+Club.
Senior Elizabeth Lee tunes her guitar during Guitar Club.

Senior Elizabeth Lee tunes her guitar during Guitar Club.

Isabelle Braun

Isabelle Braun

Senior Elizabeth Lee tunes her guitar during Guitar Club.

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Spanish teacher Matthew Whitney created a guitar club two years ago, and it’s still going strong this year with meetings on Wednesday for beginners and Whitney said there is a possibility of practice Monday before school for those more advanced.

They began the year with a meeting on Aug. 23 to get to know each other ant to talk about what the year would entail for the students

­“In the more advanced class, we’ll be taking a look at the more advanced songs, something that’s more than just three cords,” Whitney said. “In the beginning group, it’s basically learning how to strum, and how to play three or four cords and learn popular songs.”

This year, there are approximately 17 members so far, but Whitney hopes more join. In the past, Whitney’s had three or four kids, but this year there was an increase of beginners joining the returners.

Sophomore Chloe Fitzhugh is a returner who plays multiple instruments.

“I’ve been playing bass for almost a year now, but I’ve played guitar since third grade,” Fitzhugh said. “It (the year) should be interesting; we have a lot more players than last year.”

Fitzhugh joined because she thought it’d be fun to learn more about how to play similar to junior Katie Vaughn.

“I originally joined because I’d been wanting to learn guitar for a while,” Vaughn said. “When I joined, I didn’t even have one, but since then I’ve learned how to play.”

Just like Vaughn, some beginners don’t even have the instrument, such as freshman Sergio Garcia.

“It seems fun,” Garcia said. “It’ll give me something to do.”

While there are members that do not have a guitar, others can be found with basses and even a ukulele.

“We have a bass guitar, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and we even had one student who brought a ukulele,” Whitney said. “Anybody who would like to come and bring a violin or whatever it is, the more the merrier.”

As for Whitney, himself, he plays the piano, bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and the harmonica.

“I started playing in 1991, as a Spanish teacher, my first year,” Whitney said. “I got my tax returns back and bought my first guitar and from that point forward, it’s just been a wonderful journey. I feel it’s important for students to have opportunities outside of regular school activities, sports and things that are offered here. Not everybody fits into that, and a lot of people like to play guitar.”

Whitney’s goals for this year include building the club and teaching the kids, which includes concerts. Last year, concerts were typically held in the freshman hallway, but Whitney plans to change the location this year to different locations around the school.

“We are going to be playing at the coffee shop down in the library on maroon days, on occasion,” Whitney said. “Once a semester, or once a month, we’re going to be going up and down the halls playing guitar.

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Guitar Club expands in size as its third year begins