Giving the Gift of Music: Classical Guitar Donation being made t - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Giving the Gift of Music: Classical Guitar Donation being made to USM

Photo credit: USM Photo credit: USM

The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music is receiving the generous donation of a fine musical instrument this fall. Sharon Varnado of Hattiesburg has agreed to donate an Antonio Raya Pardo classical guitar, made in Granada, Spain during the 1970s, to benefit the guitar program.

Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo, associate professor of guitar at Southern Miss, and Varnado have discussed the wonderful possibilities this instrument will offer, including the ability for a deserving student to perform on the instrument, on loan, for up to two years. Students can now use the guitar to better prepare for degree recitals, graduate school auditions, and international competitions. This provides a unique opportunity for the student, as they may not have the financial means to perform on such a fine instrument.

To celebrate this generous donation, Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo will present the instrument to the public at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Friday, Nov. 4, at noon. Dr. Ciraldo will perform a short program of Spanish guitar music on the donated guitar, and the Southern Miss School of Music will offer a light lunch following the music. All are invited to attend.

Antonio Raya Pardo is an internationally-renowned guitar builder who still makes guitars to this day. Sharon’s father met Raya Pardo while on a business trip in Spain in the 1970s. He purchased the guitar and brought it back to the states. Some time later, he gave the instrument to his daughter, Sharon. Now she is donating it, in honor of her parents, and now the Southern Miss School of Music will be its proud owner and caretaker.

For more information, e-mail Dr. Mike Lopinto at

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