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ACGS board members


Armin Abdihodžić (president)

Armin Abdihodžić began playing guitar at age eight in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After graduating from William Carey University and East Carolina University, he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas. Throughout his career, he received top prizes in many renowned guitar competitions.

As a guest soloist, Dr. Abdihodžić has performed with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra and the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. He was also featured in Anchorage Opera Company’s performance of “Maria de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla. He continues to perform solo and chamber concerts in the United States and abroad.

Besides being an associate professor of music at University of Alaska Anchorage, Dr. Abdihodžić is also a founder of the International Summer Guitar School in his hometown of Bihać. He directs the Anchorage Mandolin Orchestra and frequently performs with local soloists and ensembles.

Jong Ok Han

Jong Ok Han taught classical guitar in Seoul, Korea's Chong-Ro music school and was a member of the guitar chamber orchestra  of Incheon, Korea until coming to Anchorage, Alaska. He has taught and played classical guitar in Anchorage since 1981.

Otto Nelson

Bio forthcoming...

Ryan Nitz (secretary/treasurer)

Ryan Nitz is an award-winning guitarist and has performed throughout North America, appearing as a guest artist with the Boise Philharmonic, Palouse Chamber Orchestra, Boise State University Chamber Orchestra, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, Washington State University Festival of Contemporary Art Music, and the University of Alaska Anchorage Guitar Symposium, among others. He studied classical guitar with Prof. Frank Koonce and Dr. Joseph Baldassarre, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. Splitting his time between Alaska and Idaho, Ryan is a founding member of the Anchorage Classical Guitar Society, the Boise Guitar Society, the Borealis Guitar Quartet and the Boise Guitar Quartet. He serves on the faculty of the Boise State University Department of Music in Boise, ID, where he lives with his wife, writer Bethany Maile, and their two daughters. 

Mischa Shimek

Mischa Shimek obtained his B.M. in Music Performance and Education with an emphasis in Classical Guitar from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2019. Currently a local teacher at and operator of Mischa's Music Studio, he also performs solo and with other bands/groups in the Anchorage area. He has been a competitor in the Northwest Guitar Festival and Competition, performing in Pacific Northwest locations, including Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. As a Board member of ACGS he is proud to help support the classical guitar community in Anchorage and other parts of Alaska.

Thomas Tallant (vice president)

Thomas Tallant has had an interest in early music since his late teens. He studied classical guitar at the University of South Carolina with Rodney Stucky, and he studied lute and baroque guitar with Patrick O’Brien in New York City. He helped establish the Knoxville Early Music Project in 1991. He currently performs with Frontier Baroque, based in Anchorage.

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