Press

Welcome to the Lead Guitar press kit, your one-stop shop for all press-related needs!

Here you’ll find news articles, videos, our logos, photos of our program in action, and our full history.

Articles

Alta Journal
Acoustic Guitar
UA News
BizTuscon
Arizona Highways
U.S. News & World Report

Videos

During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 50 Lead Guitar students received free Córdoba C3M guitars from Guitar Salon International.
In the fifth episode of our We Are Guitar YouTube series, Denver student Maya Valdez plays and sings an original song for Guest Artist Mia Garcia (start at 13:23).
In this video collaboration between the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and Lead Guitar, Tucson student Zach Hensley and his family discuss his transformation through Lead Guitar.
Executive Director Brad Richter introduces Lead Guitar.

Logos

Vertical w/ tagline
download
Vertical
download
Horizontal
download

photos

Guest Artist Iliana Matos plays a concert to students at Holaway Elementary School in Tucson, 2017.
Students at Amphitheater High School in Tucson meet the Beijing Duo, 2019.
Guest Artist Mia Garcia plays “Greensleeves” with Lead Guitar students in the 5th episode of We Are Guitar, 2021.
Leilah Castro of Maurice Sendak High School in Los Angeles glows at a compliment from OneRepublic’s Zach Filkins in the 2nd episode of We Are Guitar, 2020.
Miles Exploratory Learning Center students in Tucson meet guitar virtuosos Alex de Grassi and Andrew York at an in-school assembly, 2018.
Brad Richter visits Chicago Tech Academy, 2017.
Jared Klain and Sherwin Shepard of Page High School play guitar on a retreat during the early days of Lead Guitar, 2005.
Billy Lane Lauffer Middle Schools students play at the 2019 Tucson showcase concert, held at University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall.
Guitars wait for performers onstage at a 2019 Tucson showcase concert, held at University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall.
Students at Pistor Middle School in Tucson participate in a 2013 class.
Two friends fool around backstage at a showcase concert held at Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Concert Hall, 2015.
Guest Artist Jose Luis Puerta poses with Summit View Elementary School students in Tucson, 2017.
Chicago students dig into food at the 2019 Showcase Concert held at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center.
Chicago instructors Zhivko Nikolov and Kacey Ellis perform with students during the 2019 Showcase Concert at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts.
Brad Richter and Colorado Regional Director Nick Lenio play with students at the 2015 Aspen showcase concert.
Guest Artist Douglas Lora of the Brasil Guitar Duo signs a guitar for a student at Sky Islands High School, Tucson, 2017.
2017 Wellness Through the Arts Grand Prize Awardee, Ismael Mercado of Hollinger K–8 in Tucson, Arizona, performs his original song at the University of Arizona.
Tucson Regional Director Alfredo “Freddy” Vazquez poses with students at Morgan Maxwell School in Tucson, Arizona, early 2020.
Director Denis Azabagic helps teachers at the 2019 Teachers’ Workshop in Los Angeles.
James Moore of Muchin College Prep in Chicago talks about Lead Guitar’s impact on his life during a 2018 showcase for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Brad Richter helps Jack in Aspen, 2012.
Carlos Bonell teaches a 2014 master class to Tucson students.
High school students at Chicago Tech participate in a Lead Guitar class, 2017.
Christian Gomez of Basalt Middle School near Aspen plays a 2015 showcase concert at the Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Concert Hall.
Teacher-of-record Latifat Momson conducts Chicago Baker Prep students at a 2019 showcase concert at University of Chicago’s Logan Center.
A Baboquivari high school student finishes her solo at the 2019 Tucson showcase concert.
Brandon, a J. Robert Hendricks Elementary School student of Tucson, plays with his chord buddy, using our Adaptive Curriculum, 2019.

History

In 1999, Lead Guitar co-founder and Executive Director Brad Richter - who was a concert artist at the time - gave a workshop at Page High School near Arizona’s border with Utah. There he met a group of immensely talented Diné guitar students who had taught themselves and each other to play music from Metallica to J.S. Bach. They inspired Brad to design a curriculum to help the school’s choir teacher guide them and other guitar students at PHS through note-reading and technique fundamentals using the diverse range of music to which they were gravitating on their own. Brad also began to make regular visits to the school to help mentor students, especially the many identified by PHS’s dropout prevention counselor as being both at-risk for leaving school and interested in guitar.

Over the years, the curriculum expanded to address a range of ability levels and include scholarships, retreats and performance opportunities, garnering a reputation for improving grades and attendance among participants along the way. By 2005, Brad and the curriculum that would become the Lead Guitar Method were serving around 90 mostly first-time music students at PHS and had spread to Page Middle School as well as to schools in Bullhead City, Sedona and Tucson, Arizona. That’s when Brad met friend and Lead Guitar co-founder Marc Sandroff, a venture capitalist and philanthropist who credits his career success to studying classical guitar. Marc saw growth potential in the budding program and assembled an experienced Board of Directors to support it. LG gained 501(c)3 status in 2007 and began operating in schools throughout Arizona as well as in Colorado through a partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School.

In 2013, Lead Guitar began collaborating with the University of Arizona in order to provide students with access to on-campus performance opportunities, matinees, and in-school assemblies by high-profile touring artists. The university also asked Brad and the LG team to co-design programs for other arts disciplines using the model of co-teaching, teacher training and in-school partnerships that was proving successful with Lead Guitar. The effort spawned UpBeat (drumming), and Step Up (dance) as well as the adoption by UArizona of Music First, an early-childhood music program Lead Guitar had created in 2010. These three LG inspired programs served around 4,500 students in Tucson and Phoenix between 2014 and 2021.

The collaboration with UArizona was key to visualizing the elements necessary to expand Lead Guitar into new cities and states and to establishing what we refer to as our Four Pillars of Service: in-class co-teaching, professional development, in-school concerts and university engagement experiences. By 2016, Lead Guitar had established operations in Chicago: with Roosevelt University providing talented Teaching Artists; The University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts providing a magnificent performance space for student performances and Chicago Public Schools helping us pinpoint city schools of greatest need.


In FY22, Lead Guitar is serving 85 schools in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson and many communities in between. Our institutional partners include the Aspen Music Festival and School, the University of Southern California, Roosevelt University, Glendale Community College, the University of Georgia and the Eastman Community School of Music.