Joël Shields gives Feb. 8 guitar recital

January 30, 2002

Joël S. Shields, a 1999 graduate of Maryville College, will present an evening of classical guitar on Feb. 8 in the Music Hall of the College's Fine Arts Center.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.

Shields' program includes Bach's Cello Suite No. 2, Antonio Lauro's "Suite Venezolana," and Alan Rawsthorne's "Elegy." The recital will conclude with pieces written by Mauro Giuliani and Brian Head.

Shields, 25, came to Maryville College in 1995 from Roanoke, Va. His connection to the East Tennessee school came through his grandfather, Dr. A. Randolph Shields, who graduated from Maryville College in 1934 and chaired the College's biology department for many years.

Shields enrolled at Maryville as a self-taught guitarist. His formal instruction began under Dr. Sheri Matascik, Maryville College Associate Professor of Music. Upon graduating with honors and being selected as a finalist for the College's Outstanding Senior Award, Shields enrolled at the University of South Carolina, where he is currently finishing a master's degree in guitar performance under Christopher Berg.

"As a student, Joel epitomized the spirit of Maryville College - his motivation, determination and enthusiastic pursuit for excellence were tempered with a quiet sense of service and a truly giving nature," Matascik said of her former student. "As a musician, Joel traveled quite a road in four years - from never having played classical music on the guitar to performing two full-length solo recitals by the end of his senior year.

"His accomplishment represents the rich world of possibilities for music majors at Maryville College and also speaks to the tremendous potential in each of us," she added.

While studying for his advanced degree, Shields has shaped himself as a musician and interpreter through his participation in various seminars held by Mary Akerman, Manuel Barrueco, Julian Gray, Nakita Koshkin, Susan McDonald and Benjamin Verdery.

Additionally, Shields has received private instruction from Matteo Mela, Lorenzo Micheli, Andrew Zohn and Richard Todd at the Seminari di Primavera in Imperia, Italy.

His ability on the guitar has been recognized with numerous awards in the United States and Europe, including the Oscar Philip Steele award and the prestigious Semper Fidelis Award from the U.S. Marines for outstanding musicianship.

Following a recital in South Carolina, Larry L. Hamilton of The State [Columbia, S.C.] newspaper wrote: ' … [h]e began to play and it was gripping. What satisfaction, what a pleasure to watch up close. There's not much in guitar music Mr. Shields doesn't touch, and all that he touched in each case sounded sophisticated and subtle: played with great appreciation as well as humility."

Currently, Shields performs as a soloist throughout the Eastern U.S. and is commanding attention as both a premier artist and instructor.

For more information on the recital, call 865/981-8150.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.