The guitar faculty approach teaching as an individualized activity. Lessons are designed with each student’s interests and needs in mind. Believing that a student will learn best with music that he or she knows and loves, the guitar faculty tailor lessons to each student’s tastes while addressing the important technical, theoretical, and musical requirements for each style of music. Age ranges are from 8 to senior citizens. We teach in many different styles including Classical, Folk, Blues, Rock, and Jazz. Electric guitars as well as acoustic instruments are taught.
For younger students (8 years and younger), we are able to accommodate their physical limitations with such starter instruments as baritone ukuleles and half-size guitars, often lending the instrument for a time until the student is ready to move ahead to his or her larger instrument. Our faculty structure lessons based on the cognitive and physical talents of each student as well as musical tastes, making lessons educational and interesting as well as enjoyable.
Bruce Casteel, classical guitar
Performing and teaching guitar since 1965 and at Howard Community College (HCC) since 1987, Bruce Casteel is a leader in producing professional guitarists and students who obtain academic degrees. Dr. John Meyers, founder of the Guitar Department at HCC, was Bruce’s student and colleague at Chambers School of Music. As a private teacher, Bruce explores innovative approaches to guitar instruction at all levels to match the goals and abilities of each student. He teaches all students with equal attention and enthusiasm, whatever their aspirations.
Bruce began lessons at age fourteen and formed his own band at fifteen. He continued to perform professionally in various bands for twenty years. Most notably, he played with Saturday (led by Paul Johns, former arranger and bandleader for Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett), The Buddy Voelker Eighteen Piece Jazz Orchestra, and Instant Simca. In addition, Bruce also regularly played sitar at the Bombay Peacock Grill in Columbia. For twenty years, he was the top rated classic guitarist for the Washington, DC agency, Sidney's Orchestras, which gave him the opportunity to play for Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton at the United States Capitol. In 2004 Bruce was invited to play on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Currently, he performs solo classical guitar styles on Sunday evenings at Ranazul, a tapas restaurant in Maple Lawn, Maryland.
As a student at the Peabody Conservatory in 1969 and 1970, Bruce was first introduced to the idea of expanding the guitar's range beyond six strings by his teacher, Aaron Shearer. He carries on that legacy, performing regularly on an eight-string guitar.
Bruce has donated several unusual musical instruments from his collection to HCC; they are exhibited in the Music Department’s display case.
Scott Goriup, guitar
Scott Goriup received his Bachelor of Arts from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University in Guitar Performance (1991) with a minor in Lute Literature and performance. Mr. Goriup has been an adjunct professor at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland (2000-present) in guitar performance, and director of classical guitar ensembles. He is a private instructor, soloist, and has been a performer in various guitar and flute duos in the Baltimore and D.C. metropolitan area.
Mr. Goriup has studied extensively with Julian Gray, Ron McFarlane, and Richard Strobe. He has participated in master classes and private lessons performing for Manuel Barrueco, Aaron Shearer, and Emily Remler. He is also involved in developing and assisting in HCC's music therapy program under the guidance of Mrs. Rita Mayhew.
Mr. Goriup is an alumni of Howard Community College and grew up in Columbia. While attending HCC, he studied guitar under John Myers and performed with Art Monroe's Howard Community College Jazz Band. His interest in classical music is matched with a love for blues, jazz, country, and rock idioms which he directs and explores in his Gumbo Ensembles at The Music Institute" at HCC. He is a multi-instrumentalist with a working knowledge of Afro-Cuban percussion,electric bass, harmonica, ukulele and other "disrespected and orphaned" folk instruments.
Michael Raitzyk, jazz guitar and improvisation
For the past 20 years Michael Raitzyk has been one of Baltimore’s preimer jazz guitarists. His recent CD release (May 2006), Live at Café Hon, has been well received by the local community. Raitzyk’s musical interest and influences include Jazz, Blues and Klezmer. In 1996, Raitzyk started the band Charm City Klezmer, which has included performances at the Kennedy Center, New York City’s Klezmer Brunch at Tonic, and the Columbia Festival of the Arts. The CD release, Charm City Klezmer, was voted best of 1999 by Baltimore City paper.
The Michael Raitzyk Trio is his current project which released two CDs (2000 & 2006) and a Live DVD performance at the Hon Festival (June 2006). The trio has performed every week at Café Hon since June 2003. In 1992 his interest in big band music led to the formation of the MRJO (Michael Raitzyk Jazz Orchestra). He led a 16-piece band for four years. They played arrangements that included Thad Jones as well as MRJO’s own Mack Rucks, who studied with the tenor sax great Frank Foster.
Michael’s guitar style is based on a mix of blues, funk, R&B and Jazz. Raitzyk grew up listening to bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, the Allman Brothers Band, the Police and the Pat Metheny Group. In the 1990’s Raitzyk was introduced to Klezmer music and soon realized he had married into a klezmer band. His wife is a vocalist and his father-in-law plays clarinet. Klezmer music has now become a part of Raitzyks’ guitar syntax. For the past 3 years Michael has been performing a Friday night Sabbath service at Congregation Beit Tikvah. Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton leads this rockin' service full of music and spirit.
Raitzyk studied guitar at Towson University and at Thomas Jefferson Performance Arts High School in Portland, Oregon. He has also studied with Walt Namath, Larry Coryell, Sheryl Bailey and Adam Rafferty. Raitzyk has performed with Bill Hardman, Junior Cook, Pepper Adams Carl Grubbs, Mel Torme, Mary Ann Price, Kyle Caughlin, Ethel Ennis, and Greg Hatza.