Don Pride, Guitar & Composition Faculty
Guitarist and composer Don Pride has an extensive performance background. Don is noted for being able to play a wide variety of styles. As a classical guitarist he has presented concerts and recitals throughout the United States. Don recently played lead guitar as part of Clay Aiken’s band during his 2006 and 2007 Christmas tours. Don is also a member of the Chelsea Symphony and the TACTUS New Music Ensemble in New York City. Don is currently Music Minister for Windham Assembly of God and also teaches guitar and composition.
Don maintains an active performance schedule. He recently performed for President George W. Bush in Kennebunk and has been the leader of Pride & Joy, a group that has played at numerous festivals, concerts, functions, and weddings throughout New England, since 1995.
Don was formerly on the Applied Music Faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he was head of the Guitar Department.
The Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra premiered his first major piece for orchestra, “One Breath,” in May 2004. He also received a grant for this work from the American Music Center in New York City. Don has also released two albums of his own compositions. About Don’s original music, The Cutting Edge said “Pride is a guitarist’s hero. He flows between classy folk to hard rock to blues-driven solos. Pride’s finger-lickin’ picking borders on the incredible. If Jimi Hendrix was mixed with Phil Keaggy, you would get a style similar to Pride’s.”
Don has studied privately with distinguished guitarists Eliot Fisk, David Leisner, Mark Delpriora, Keith Crook, and Tony Gabouri. He has also studied composition with Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Charles Fussell as well as Elliott Schwartz and Mark Scearce. Don graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine with his bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance. Don pursued further graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City and New England Conservatory in Boston. Don also attended the University of Maine at Augusta where he received a two year diploma in Jazz Guitar Performance. While attending there, Don had the privilege of playing with the great Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.
Don is the recipient of New England Conservatory’s Artist Award, scholarships from both Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory, the Presidential Scholarship from University of Southern Maine, and was nominated to take part in the 2004 Honors Recital at University of Southern Maine.