PRESTONSBURG — Since graduating from Allen Central High School in 2004, James Meade has gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and master’s degree in music performance from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
All of that will pale in comparison, however, to a three-week study session this summer in Italy.
Meade, a classical guitarist, earned a chance to study under master classical guitarist Oscar Ghiglia in Gargnano, Italy, near Milan.
For Meade, the opportunity is the chance of a lifetime, and one he feels certain will help him further his music career. Ghiglia only accepts 15-to-20 students a year for the classes, many of whom have gone on to win competitions around the world.
“It’s about credibility,” Meade explained. “Just making it in will be by far the biggest thing on my resume, bigger than my degrees.”
Meade, an Allen native and the son of Sophia Collins, of Prestonsburg, says he will receive three weeks of intensive one-on-one instruction from Ghiglia, who he expects to pull no punches. Afterwards, Meade will have the chance to perform in a concert to cap off the experience.
“He’s essentially going to tear me apart, telling what’s bad and what works, I guess,” Meade said of his expectations.
But getting to Italy is expensive. To help in defraying the cost, Meade will hold a concert Sunday, Aug. 18, in the May Lodge, at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.
The concert will begin at 4 p.m., with ticket prices of $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free admission for kids under 5.