High school students share the fruits of their labour at annual Guitar Show

Just a small sample of some of the guitars and basses built over the past semester through the Guitar Building Focus Program at KCVI. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Students in the Guitar Building Focus Program at Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute (KCVI) showed off the guitars they’ve built themselves at the program’s annual Guitar Show.

The annual guitar show at KCVI took place on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, and showcased the 15 to 20 students  in the program this year and their work. The students build their own guitars or basses throughout the course of the program. The guitars are handmade, and the program has resulted in 248 guitars built over the 17 years that is had been running.

Run by Gary Pattenden, the current Department Head of Art and Technology at KCVI, the Guitar Building program was started by Pattenden in 1999.

“The program provides a lot of transferable skills to student,s including overcoming your mistakes and staying positive when things don’t go so well,” said Pattenden, noting that the transferable skills can go into trade-related and university-related technology and design.

“The guitar takes a whole semester build,” said Zach Nicholson, one of the students in the program this year. Nicholson explained that the program not only helped him with time management skills, it also taught him how to use machinery.

“It was a great semester and I would definitely do it again,” Nicholson said.

More information about the program, which takes students through the entire guitar building process, from design to the final layer of finish, is available at the focus program’s website at guitarbuilding.ca. If you are a high school student and interested in the program, please contact your school’s guidance counselor.

All photos by Lucas Mulder.

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