Matthew Denman is the director of the Oklahoma Youth Guitars, a newly formed ensemble opportunity for talented pre-college guitar students in Oklahoma and the Co-director of the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute. Matthew has also worked as the Assistant Professor of Guitar at Oklahoma City University, the Director of Education for the Guitar Foundation of America, and the Director of Guitar at Classen School of Advanced Studies. Matthew is a student of the legendary Pepe Romero who has said, “What José Antonio Abreu is to El Sistema, Matt Denman is to the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute.”
Under the direction of Professor Denman the Oklahoma City University Guitar Studio quickly became a nationally recognized program. The OCU guitar program has won several national awards including first place at GFA Symposiums, the GFA Ensemble Showcase, the UT Brownsville guitar festival and competition, and other national competitions. In just three years, six OCU guitar graduate students secured higher education positions as professors of guitar. In the spring of 2014, the OCU guitar studio performed on stage with Ballet Oklahoma for the world premiere of the reinvented Carmen.
For the Guitar Foundation of America, Matthew helped create a national certification program for school guitar programs, a camp for pre-college guitarists, a guitar magazine for elementary guitarists, and a youth publication for elementary guitarists. A general effort was made to raise the profile of guitar education across the nation. Matthew furthered his efforts by working with ASTA and the NAfME guitar council.
Awards and honors include being the first New Mexico Guitar Festival Artist in Residence (2016), the All Virginia Guitar Conductor and Clinician (2016), and the GFA Augustine Award for excellence in guitar education (2013), Images of Excellence Award (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009), and Teacher of the Year (2010-2011 Classen SAS). In the summer of 2013 Matthew was featured with his students on the cover of Soundboard magazine Vol 39 No. 2.