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Don Hlus B.Mus. (UBC), MA (UBC)
Don Hlus has performed throughout Southwestern British Columbia as a soloist as well as a chamber musician, including performances with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and the CBC Radio Orchestra. Although his formal training was on the classical guitar, he enjoys a wide variety of music, including acoustic fingerstyle, jazz, world, Flamenco, and Celtic music.
Don has been on Faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 1993, Chaired the Music Department from 2012 to 2018, and currently is Director of Guitar. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival, now entering its twenty-first season.
Although Don wears many professional hats (instructor, performer, a festival organizer, an administrator, and curriculum developer), his first love is teaching. His attention is usually focused on helping young musicians find and develop their own artistic voice. There is nothing more satisfying than working with students, whether they are just discovering music and the guitar for the first time or fine tuning their artistry and advancing their professional careers.
Prior to Don's first foray into the music for classical guitar (under the tutelage of Dennis Olsen), Don studied jazz composition & arranging and jazz guitar at Capilano College. Don later attended the University of British Columbia where he was the first person in Western Canada to receive a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance, studying under the guidance of Michael Strutt. He has performed in master classes conducted by Elliot Fisk, Mark Teicholtz, William Kanengiser, Scott Tenant, Benjamin Verdery, Paul O’Dette, and Stephen Robinson. Post-graduate studies were with the Canadian guitarist Harold Micay. He then went on to complete his Masters Degree at UBC in Higher Education. His research examined how different educational beliefs and values affect the design, development, and implementation of curriculum.
In addition to his duties at KPU, he teaches privately in Fort Langley, and is member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association and the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers' Association (South Fraser).