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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

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Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director

Red Wing Student Guitar Show at MSC Southeast features guitars, mandolins & more built by college students on Wednesday, May 15

Minnesota State College Southeast, Red Wing campus
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 3 to 5 pm
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN
Free and open to the public

Red Wing, MN (May 1, 2019)
--- Dust is flying, the smell of lacquer is in the air, and excitement is building as the Guitar Repair and Building students of Minnesota State College Southeast are completing work on their brand new musical instruments. At the Student Guitar Show on May 15, 2019, their beautiful new guitars will be on display in the guitar labs and played in concert by professional musicians. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. 

  • In the first year Guitar Repair and Building program, you'll find flat top acoustic guitars in the works. All first year students are required to build a flat top guitar. Several have chosen to build electric guitars as well. 
  • In the second year Guitar Development and Production program, students are building a variety of more complex instruments, including archtop guitars, mandolins, and electric guitars. Second year students explore more challenging options in finishing and inlay work.

During the Student Guitar Show, three award-winning guitarists -- Phil Heywood, Mike Cramer, and Chris Silver -- will play the new acoustic instruments, giving students the thrill of hearing their instruments played on stage by expert professional musicians. (See biographies below)

First year student Eric Ouren, from Kasota, MN, said has been interested in coming to Red Wing for a long time -- about ten or fifteen years. "I wanted to get better at building musical instruments. There's a lot I still don't know, but I would say I'm learning how to be more precise," he said modestly. His small-bodied acoustic guitar is built from fine tone woods, including East Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce.

Caleb Holst, a second year student from Hartford City, Indiana, is putting the final touches on a guitar and a mandolin. "I came to Red Wing because I was interested in working with my hands, and I enjoy making music, so I felt that it's the perfect combination," he said. "I've gotten a lot of knowledge and skills here that are going to be really valuable to me in the future. I am planning to into furniture or cabinetry building, but eventually I'd like to have my own guitar building business."

For more information about the Student Guitar Show, please contact Katryn Conlin, 1-651-385-6364 or


About Minnesota State College Southeast

Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. The college's signature band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States and around the world, many with advanced education and performance degrees. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit

About the Musicians

Phil Heywood

Fingerstyle guitarist Phil Heywood has been based in Minneapolis-St. Paul since the mid-1980s, performing locally and regionally while also establishing himself in the greater guitar and acoustic music world. In 1986 he won the National Fingerpicking Championship, and followed up in 1987 by winning the American Fingerstyle Guitar Festival Competition. He plays with a bluesy swing and tone, lyricism, and groove.

Mike Cramer

Guitarist Mike Cramer is a music major from the University of Northern Iowa. His award-winning flatpicking technique has earned him championship titles in both the Minnesota State Fair Flatpicking Competition and Wisconsin's Upper-Midwest Flatpicking Contest. A fluid and powerful guitarist, Mike is as comfortable playing jazz standards as he is playing Bill Monroe instrumentals. He plays guitar in The Good Intentions and teaches flatpicking guitar online.

Chris Silver

A veteran of top bluegrass bands including Stoney Lonesome, Tangled Roots, and the Kate Mackenzie Band, Chris Silver now plays with The Good Intentions. He is an award-winning flatpicking guitarist and an accomplished fiddle and mandolin player. Chris is featured on many recordings that showcase his ability as a guitarist, stretching beyond the boundaries of traditional bluegrass into jazz, blues, roots, and global music.

© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State