The delicate melody of “Over the Raindbow” that filled the Goldtown Theater wasn’t coming from Judy Garland.
Juneau musician Dan Hopson was playing the tune on a nylon-stringed guitar as part of the Joy of Strings event, which brought five different musicians with varied playing styles to the stage.
Guitarists shredded, picked and strummed their way through a handful of tunes each.
Every set included different genres, types of guitars and even different tunings, but they were all united by a love of the guitar.
“There’s something in the guitar for everybody,” said Ward F. Ward, the show’s lone electric guitarist. “Everyone is a little different, and that’s OK.”
Here are the guitarists who played, what set them apart, and their style in their own words.
The guitarist: Dan Hopson
The instrument: A takamine classical guitar
Their style: “I play classical style.”
Their influences: Christopher Parkening and Alex de Grassi
What set their set apart: Hopson exclusively played songs from movies. “This is a movie house,” Hopson said.
The guitarist: Ward F. Ward
The instrument: A 1987 gem floral print Ibanez
Their style: “A lot of guitar players have a very diverse kind of background. I tend to focus on learning something from a classical school and applying it in a progressive way.”
Their influences: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Sabicas, Steve Vai and Jimi Hendrix among others
What set their set apart: Ward was the lone electric guitar player and mostly played songs off “Surfing with the Alien” by Joe Satriani
The guitarist: Laura Zahasky
The instrument: A Santa Cruz guitar, a custom-built guitar, a mandolin and a banjo
Their style: “I started playing bluegrass guitar, and I love that style, but discovered it was a little bit abrasive, so I tried to smooth it out.”
Their influences: Julian Lage and Sean Watkins
What set their set apart: She was joined on stage by her sister, Abigail Zahasky, who provided accompaniment on the banjo.
The guitarist: Mark Herd
The instrument: a Rob Goldberg guitar
Their style: “Finger style I guess is probably the best way to describe it.”
Their influences: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and James Taylor