Howard Vance Academy Guitar  Instructors

Howard Vance

Classical Guitarist Howard Vance has studied, performed, taught, and composed for three decades.  His primary influence was classical guitarist Bunyan Webb.  Mr. Vance received his Master's degree in music theory and composition from the University of Memphis in 1974 and opened Howard Vance Guitar Academy the same year. The school serves as an outlet for his arrangements, publications, recordings, and instructional material.  Howard performs with his wife, Beverly, in
Duo Vance. They have two albums and a concert tour of Venezuela to highlight their accomplishments.

David Hekking

David Hekking, talented musician and concert guitarist, was born in Columbia, South Carolina. At home in many styles, he comes from a musical family. Taking up rock guitar as a teenager, he virtually taught himself to play by ear. Later, after changing college majors, David studied classical guitar under John Stover at the University of Memphis, and then with the renowned Cuban guitarist, Mario Abril, at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. David relocated to Atlanta, Georgia as a professional musician. He returned to Memphis to perform and to teach at the Howard Vance Guitar Academy. Mr. Hekking is a man in love with the guitar. Let his performance experience, education, and versatility help you reach your primary goal - Making Music!

Tom "T-Bone" Lawless

Young Tom watched his brother switch from rock n' roll bass to bluegrass banjo, and was exposed to everything from Frank Zappa to Flail and Scruggs. Attacking the guitar in 1974, T-Bone started with ragtime and bluegrass. He quickly moved on to rock, blues, country, jazz and classical, stopping at all points in between. After studying music at Old Dominion University, he marched into the Army. Graduating from the Armed Forces School of Music, he spent three years as a guitarist in the Army Band. Changing ships in 1986, he joined the Navy Band, playing guitar with them for nine years. Always broadening his "chops," Tom picked up the banjo, mandolin, bass, harmonica and tenor ukulele along the way. He joined the staff of the Howard Vance Guitar Academy in 1995, where he enjoys teaching all ages and skill levels, from brand-spankin'-new players to seasoned professionals.

Eddie Slusser

Eddie picked up the guitar in 1962 and no one ever had to tell him to practice. A professional musician since 1969, Mr. Slusser has appeared with such stars as Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap and Charlie Daniels. He has toured the U.S. and Canada with Jerry Lee Lewis. One of his compositions was recorded and released by Ace Cannon. In addition to teaching, Eddie continues to remain active in the music industry by composing, producing, and performing. He teaches guitar (any style) as well as electric bass. Eddie has taught full-time at the Howard Vance Guitar Academy since 1993. Eddie loves teaching and his students love him.

Chris Stokes

Chris Stokes, a talented and sought after guitarist and instructor, was born in Amory, Mississippi on April 7, 1969. He began playing the guitar at age 12 and by age 16 was playing night clubs in local bands. Upon graduating from GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Hollywood, California, in 1989, Chris moved to Memphis, Tennessee to begin teaching guitar and performing locally. Mr. Stokes joined the Howard Vance Guitar Academy in1992. He teaches guitar and bass in all styles and specializes in rock, classical, and blues. Chris has CD's, excellent bands, and successful students in his wake. His schedule often contains a waiting list because students, professionals, and even competitors refer him. Chris has the ears, mind and technique to make you a pro. Let him prove it!

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