Classical Guitar Immersion – Overcoming Performance Anxiety

CGI ‘23 – June 26 – July 2 2023, Mt Angel Abbey, Mt Angel, Oregon – Scott Kritzer with Mario Diaz

Classical Guitar Immerions is 10 month program that culminates in a 6 day workshop held each June at the Mt. Angel Abbey (located 1 hour south of Portland, Oregon). The purpose of CGI is to help the amateur or professional player overcome the effects of performance anxiety through the application of professional level work and concepts developed through my popular course Performance Anxiety Rehab. Performance anxiety robs us of our potential its my goal to help you overcome those affects.

CGI’s New Home

CGI has moved from a private home in 2006, to Lewis & Clark College, then to the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center and now, its most ideal setting, the Mt. Angel Abbey located in Mt. Angel, Oregon. This ideal location provides private and modern accommodations, modern classrooms and dining facilities, all located in the Guesthouse, and an auditorium for our formal performances located in the renowned Aalto library. 

In addition there is a coffee shop, bakery, and brewery, all located on the meditative grounds of the Abbey which features a 360 degree view of the Willamette Valley. Students can also treat themselves to morning sunrises and evening sunsets from the many rooftop patios. The setting at the Mt Angel Abbey promotes and facilitates the focus and reflection that deepens the learning experience of CGI.

More Than a Week in June

While CGI is scheduled for a week in June, our work begins in the previous September. Beginning in September I’ll lead a monthly workshop to help better prepare the students. This September I’ll teach my Fretboard Theory course. Beginning in January, with our pieces chosen and learned, we’ll work on practice techniques and performance preparation. When the student arrives at CGI we implement simple aspects of performance development that adds the finishing touches. In addition, in the fall, Mario will begin working quarterly with players on the CGI Ensemble repertoire.

Classical Guitar Immersion (CGI) has focused on the development of performance skills, with a different emphasis each year. This is achieved by focus on technical excellence, practice development, musicianship and performance skills that include coping with and eliminating the effects of performance anxiety.

Master Classes, Ensemble Rehearsal and Student Lectures

CGI ‘22 focused on Advanced Technique, a 12-week course that introduced left and right hand relaxation techniques into already learned technical skills. The result in this year’s performances were fewer errors and better musicianship.

CGI ‘23’s theme will be “Breaking the Musical Code” where we will develop the musical expression tools of timbre, dynamics and rhythm along with musical analysis, Fretboard Theory, and finally, the introduction of the Musicianship Practice Directives. Breaking the Musical Code will lead to more refined and musically satisfying performance skills.

In addition to our new location I’ve invited guitarist Mario Diaz to assist again this year. Last year he lead the CGI Ensemble and assisted in teaching some of the workshops. With his addition we will expand CGI to accommodate more players into the immersion experience. 

Also, we are looking forward to continuing our opening day festivities of a luthier exhibit and presentation with Jeffrey Elliott, Cindy Burton and Gregory Miller as well as an opening night performance by Mario and myself.

CGI ’23

CGI participants will work with Mario and myself in master classes and ensemble rehearsals in preparation for our final performance. 

Performers will form two groups; Groups A & B. Group A performers will work with me in the morning master class and Group B performers will work with Mario Diaz in the afternoon masterclass. Each group should plan on auditing the other group’s class. Practice and free time is built into the CGI Schedule (below)

The final day of CGI will consist of three performances. Group B will perform for all members of CGI as well as monks from the Abbey. This morning performance will take place in Westminster Classroom. 

In the afternoon Groups A & B will join forces for the CGI Ensemble concert. Following a dinner break Group A will then play a formal recital. Both the Ensemble and Performer Group A recitals are open to the public and take place in the Aalto Auditorium.

Below you’ll find an example of the CGI schedule.

CGI Daily Schedule

The following schedule is subject to change.

  • 7:00-7:30 Breakfast
  • 7:30-9:00 Practice/Free Time
  • 9:00-12:00 Master Class Group A (Westminster Meeting Room)
  • 12:15-12:45 Lunch (Dining Room, Abbey Guesthouse)
  • 1:00-3:30 Master Class Group B (Westminster Meeting Room)
  • 3:30-6:00 Practice/Free Time
  • 6:00-6:30 Dinner (Abbey Retreat Dining Hall)
  • 7:00-8:00 Ensemble Rehearsal (Westminster Meeting Room)

Public Performances

CGI 23 will feature performances and lectures that are free and open to the public. On Monday, June 26th, world renowned luthiers Jeffrey Elliott, Cyndy Burton and Gregory Miller return for a popular workshop on “The Care and Feeding of Your Instrument”. Featured instruments from the luthiers will be available for viewing.

Luthier Discussion “Care and Feeding of Your Instrument”

Also on Monday, June 26th Mario Diaz and Scott Kritzer will share the stage for opening evening performance featuring works by Harrison, Bach, Default and others.

Scott Kritzer and Mario Diaz in Performance

Public Performance Schedule*

Please Note: all public events will be held in the Alvar Aalto Library

  • Monday, June 26th, 4-6 PM; “Care and Feeding of Your Instrument” with Jeffrey Elliott, Cyndy Burton and Gregory Miller
  • Monday, June 26th, 8-9 PM; Mario Diaz and Scott Kritzer in concert
  • Saturday, July 1st, 4-5 pm; the CGI Ensemble Concert
  • Saturday, July 1st, 8-9 pm; the CGI Performer’s Concert

*subject to change

And on our final day, Saturday, July 1st, we have two performances. First, an afternoon CGI Student Ensemble performance that may also feature some of this year’s auditors. And, our final evening performance featuring our CGI Performers.

The Performers Recital


The cost for CGI is $2495. This includes meals, lodging, attendance for all masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals and performances. The fee also includes eight workshops that I’ll be holding from the fall through the spring. 


Participants need to send a non-refundable deposit of $495 to be admitted. This deposit will hold your spot or keep you on a waiting list. This deposit also allows you access to the monthly workshops.


All participants should be able to play up to 3 works from memory and all skill levels are welcome. Participants will need to also attend the monthly workshops. If you’re not currently a student of Mario Diaz or myself, a meeting either in person or via Zoom will be required.

Important Dates

  • August 13 – Potential New Attendees Zoom Meeting*
  • August 15, 2022 – 2022 CGI Participants Deposits Due
  • August 16 – Open Enrollment Begins
  • August 28 – CGI 2023 Participants Zoom Meeting
  • September 24 – May 27 (fourth Saturday of each month, except for a December break) Breaking the Musical Code: Fretboard Theory; Practice, and Performance Development Workshops
  • March 31, 2023 Final Deposit Due
  • June 26-July 2 – 2023 CGI Mt Angel Abbey

*All ZOOM meetings begin at 1:00 pm, PDT and are recorded. 

CGI often sells out but with the expansion of our openings we can offer a rare chance to not only get in to CGI this year but future year’s as well.

Mario and I will be holding an Introduction to CGI on Saturday, August 20 at 1:00 pm PDT via Zoom. Here we can answer your questions regarding CGI. If you’re interested in attending CGI you should attend the meeting. Just contact me via email and I will send you the login information for the meeting.

Scott Kritzer

This entry was posted in Guitar Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.