Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts

Guitar Department


Bill Swick holding Grammy Award number 4.  The LVA music department has since received its twelth Grammy Award.

Derek Belmont and Kylee Andreasen holding Grammy No. 6.

Bill Swick holding No. 10

Bill Swick holding No. 11

Bill Swick holding No. 12


The Las Vegas Academy has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a "New American High School" and a "Blue Ribbon School".  LVA is a twelve-time Grammy Award Winning school and the only school in the nation to be awarded the Grammy seven consecutive years, six of which are "Gold."

The guitar department was added in the 2002-03 school year.  Students must audition for acceptance into the school.  (See LVA Guitar Audition Requirements).

Guitar Majors study guitar five days a week for 84 minutes a day.  The program is quite diverse including studies in classical guitar, finger-picking style, blues, jazz and eclectic music.  Students are supplied with a classroom guitars and ensemble music along with repertoire  books.

Students are required to furnish and wear formal attire for performances.

Members of the advanced guitar class performed for three national  NAMM conventions, two national MENC Conferences, ten major guitar festivals and  numerous national conventions held in Las Vegas along with the regularly scheduled on-campus performances. (See LVA Guitar Performance Schedule)

Only 28 guitar students in the state of Nevada qualified for All-State in 2003.  All but two of those students were LVA guitar majors. During the 2003-04 school year, the LVA Guitar Quartet received Command Performance at the annual NMEA Conference.  This was the first guitar ensemble in the state of Nevada to receive such an honor. 

During the 2004-05 school year, the LVA guitar program received the first Gibson Guitar Grant.  Members of the guitar program also performed at Loyola Marymount University for the first pre-college guitar festival and participated in a national guitar ensemble competition in Brownsville, TX where the LVA Quartet took first place in the guitar quartet division.

During the 2005-06 school year, LVA guitarist Becky Neher received national recognition by being awarded the DownBeat Magazine Award for outstanding classical soloist.  LVA guitarist David Malone won the state's Command Performance at the annual NMEA conference in Reno, NV.

Amanda Caporicci won Command Performance as a soloist guitarist in the Spring of 2007.  Varsity 3 Guitar Ensemble was selected as the large guitar ensemble to perform at the 2007 Guitar Foundation of American (GFA) International Conference in Los Angeles, CA in October, 2007.  In 2008, the Junior Guitar Quartet consisting of Alex Lamonte, Katrina Leshan, Brandon Russo and Andrew Silva received Command Performance at the NMEA annual conference.

In 2009, LVA Varsity 3 seniors did three performances at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.  Mr. Swick appeared on the cover of School Band and Orchestra Magazine, Varsity 3 performed at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel for Avid as a part of the National Broadcasters Association's national convention and Katrina Leshan took Command Performance as a solo guitarist.  LVA guitar club hosted its first Summer Guitar Festival featuring Michael Chapdelaine and Robert Conti.

In 2012, the Senior Guitar Quartet won the second DownBeat Magazine Award and took 2nd in the nation's most competitive Guitar Ensemble Competition held in Brownsville, TX.  The LVA Sophomore Guitar Quartet took Command Performance.

The LVA Guitar Program has recorded 17 cd's.  The LVA Guitar Program also has over 800 videos on YouTube with over 5,000 monthly hits.

For the full history of the LVA guitar program, click here. (This is more than 150-page document and takes a few minutes to load.)

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