• BHS Classical Guitar 


    BHS Classical Guitar - Combined Ensemble


    The guitar program at Bayonne High School offers students the opportunity to study and learn the art of classical guitar technique and repertoire. It is a tiered program offering Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Guitar 3, and Guitar 4 classes.


    Intermediate and advanced students participate in our numerous performance ensembles. Our performance ensembles include:

    Guitar 2 Ensemble

    Guitar 3 Ensemble

    Combined Guitar Ensemble

    BHS Honors Guitar Ensembles


    * Our ensembles perform regularly in school, in our community and regionally throughout the school year.

    * BHS has several guitarists accepted into the NJMEA All State Guitar Ensemble each year.

    * BHS advanced ensembles have consistently been awarded superior ratings at regional adjudicated competitions.

    * BHS advanced ensembles have been asked to perform in masterclass for renown guitarists Joao Luiz, Francisco Roldan, and Dr. Ana Maria Rosado.


    FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/BHSGuitar/

    TWITTER - @BHSGuitar

    INSTAGRAM - @BHSGuitar


    Guitar 3 at NJCU  



    BHS Quintet + 1 at NJCU


    BHS Quintet + 1 at TCNJ





    2020-2021...Virtual Guitar??? 


    Please visit us on Instagram & Twitter - @BHSGuitar to see and hear what we have been up to this year!


    Honors Quartet


    Guitar 3 & 4


    Senior - Carl Blasa


    Senior - Alysa Vega




    Past events...


    BHS Guitar Winter Chamber Music Recital at the Bayonne Public Library - Thursday January 16th @ 6:30pm.

    2020 Winter Chamber Music Recital



    Congratulations to Jan Quimpo, Alysa Vega, and Carl Blasa for being selected to perform in the 2020 NJMEA All State Honors Guitar Ensemble. Their performance will be at William Paterson University on April 4, 2020.

    2020 NJMEA All State Students Jan Quimpo, Alysa Vega, Carl Blasa



    BHS GUITAR ENSEMBLE visited the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, PA in October. Students learned about the guitar making process by touring the Martin factory and seeing the entire building process up close....then they got to play lots of beautiful Martin guitars!

    Martin Guitar Factory




    BHS Guitar 3 Ensemble and Honors Ensemble will be performing at the West Chester University Classical Guitar Festival in West Chester, PA on Wednesday, April 3rd.



    Congratulations to the BHS Honors Ensemble for winning Top Honors at the 2019 Hudson County Teen Arts Festival. The ensemble will complete at the NJ State Teen Arts Festival at Ocean County College on May 29th.

    (Pictured L. to R. - Jan Quimpo, Brendan Montgomery, Tyra Cruz, Sara Morgan, Danielle Zimny, Alysa Vega)

    Honors Ensemble

    Honors Ensemble at NJCU


    BHS GUITAR - Winter Chamber Music Recital 

    2019 Winter Recital



    Congratulations to seniors Tyra Cruz and Sara Morgan for being selected to perform in the 2019 NJMEA All State Honors Guitar Ensemble. Their performance will be at NJCU on May 4th.



    BHS senior, Sara Morgan, will be participating in the ANHE Guitar Ensemble in Orlando, FL in November. Sara auditioned against guitarists from all fifty states for a chair in the very first All National Honors Guitar Ensemble.
    Sara and Mr. Downes will spend three days with guitarists and teachers from all over the country attending rehearsals, workshops, and performances at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort November 25th-28th.
    Good luck Sara!!!
    Sara Morgan
    CONGRATULATIONS to the 2018-2019 BHS Honors Guitar Ensemble. These students auditioned in June for a chair in our regionally recognized and awarded ensemble.
    Tyra Cruz
    Sara Morgan
    Brendan Montgomery
    Jan Quimpo
    Alysa Vega
    Danielle Zimny
    Congratulations to the BHS Honors Trio, Comined Ensemble, and Honors Quartet fro bringing home 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively as well as three Superior Rating trophies from the Music in the Parks Festival, held at Middletown High School on June 2nd.
    Honors Trio
    Combined Ensemble
    Honors Quartet
    Congratulations to the 6 BHS classical guitarists who were accepted into the 2018 NJMEA All State Guitar Ensemble! Auditions were held at TCNJ this Saturday.
    Nour Ragab
    Steven Gonzalez
    Sara Morgan
    Nathan Gonzalez
    James Ferry
    Vincent Lam
    Nour Ragab for receiving 1ST PLACE
    Steven Gonzalez for receiving 3RD PLACE
    Nour and Steven will participate in the All State Guitar Quartet.
    This is an enormous accomplishment for all of these students and for Bayonne High School. I am so proud of each one of them.



    BHS Spring Chamber Music Recital

    Featuring Combined Ensemble, Guitar 3 Ensemble, Chamber Guitar, Honors Trio, Senior Trio, Honors Quartet

    Thursday June 7th at the Bayonne Public Library @ 6:30PM

    Spring Chamber Music Recital Poster



    Past Spring Events

    4/28 - NJMEA All State Guitar Ensemble rehearsal @ Bergen Academy 9am-12pm

    5/5 - NJMEA All State Guitar Ensemble concert at TCNJ

    5/18 - Benjamin Verdery at BHS! - Teacher Workshop & Master Class - Guitar 3 & Honors Ensembles - 9am - ?

    6/2 - Music in the Parks Festival Competition


    Don’t miss the 2018 NJMEA All State Guitar Festival at TCNJ on May 5th. We have six BHS guitarists participating in the All State ensemble which will be conducted by Mr. Downes, plus the BHS Honors Quartet will perform. Come out for an amazing day of guitar music!

    NJMEA All State Concert


    It was an amazing day/night for BHS Guitar Ensembles and Jazz Band at West Chester University. BHS students participated in workshops and performed in concert with university students and professors. It was a wonderful experience for our students to work with WCU guitar teacher, and Grammy Award winning guitarist, David Cullen. What a fantastic day!

    WCU Guitar Festival






    We had a great day performing at William Paterson University for a Classical Guitar dialogue day. Thank you to Seth Himmelhoch for coaching us and to the WPU guitarists for performing for us. It was a fantastic experience!

    WPU Guitar Day  WPU Guitar Day


    WPU Guitar Day  WPU Guitar Day




    Great day with Guitar 3 at the world famous Martin Guitar Factory & Museum in Nazareth, PA learning about the guitar making process.


    Martin Guitar Factory - Nazareth, PA

    BHS CHAMBER GUITAR & HONORS GUITAR QUARTET perform at WT Cares Fundraiser at the Bayonne Community Museum 10/24/2017

    BHS CHamber Guitar at WT Cares Fundraiser.


    It was a great day with Trevor Gordon Hall at BHS! Trevor played for our guitarists, listened to our ensembles perform and helped all the students play through his arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter”. Thank you Trevor for visiting the BHS guitar program again. Come back soon!

    Trevor Gordon Hall gives workshop to BHS Guitar 2 & 3 classes.

    Trevor Gordon Hall gives workshop to BHS Guitar 2 & 3 classes.



    BHS Classical Guitar Classes - Syllabus


    V.Downes – 6-246




    Course Description:


    Guitar 1 – This is a performance based classical guitar course for the beginner. Students will learn to read standard music notation and play repertoire using classical guitar/fingerstyle technique. Although you will learn tools and techniques that can be applied to playing any style of music, this is NOT a pop/rock guitar class.


    Guitar 2 – This is an intermediate level performance based class. Students will further their understanding of music literacy, classical guitar technique, classical music history and repertoire. Students must participate in BHS Guitar 2 Ensemble and the Combined BHS Guitar Ensemble, which requires after school participation and school, community and festival performances.


    Guitar 3 – This is an advanced level performance based class. Students will further their understanding of music literacy, classical guitar technique, classical music history and repertoire. Students must participate in BHS Guitar 3 Ensemble and the Combined BHS Guitar Ensemble, which requires after school participation and school, community and festival performances.




    Course Objectives:


    Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:


    1. Identify parts of the guitar
    2. Tune guitar properly using relative tuning
    3. Read music including the following aspects:
    4. Standard notation (including understanding the elements of music)
    5. Rhythm
    6. Melody

    iii. Harmony

    1. Form
    2. Tempo
    3. Dynamics
    4. Chord symbols/charts
    5. Tablature
    6. Perform music using proper classical guitar technique (posture, fingering, hand position, etc.)
    7. Perform classical guitar literature in a group setting as well as individually
    8. Sight-read selected exercises/songs
    9. Perform as a soloist and as part of various chamber ensembles *
    10. Develop and understanding of the history of the guitar through all stylistic periods of classical music, and perform music from each period *
    11. Explore the guitar in various musical genres


    * - Guitar 2 and 3 classes

    Student Expectations:


    1. Be on time to class wearing proper school uniform and ID. Seriously…or you will be written up.
    2. Be respectful to everyone. Helping each other is always encouraged.
    3. Be responsible for your work, words, actions and choices.
    4. Come to class prepared with your music binder and a pencil.
    5. 3 P’s… You cannot pass this class without these.


    Participate. We learn and perform as a class. Not everyone will be a great guitarist, but everyone can participate and try his/her best. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to play, and how much fun you’ll have doing it. *60% of your grade comes from your participation and effort. If you do not participate, you cannot pass.


    Prepare. You will always have plenty of class time to prepare and practice for performance tests. You are also expected to study music theory at home. You do not need a guitar at home to study the music theory we learn in class (Ex. Reading notes on staff, music markings, string/fret/finger, chord shapes, etc.). Those students who own their own guitars are encouraged to practice at home. If you do not prepare, you cannot pass.


    Practice. I will always give you time in class to practice what we learn. If you do not use this time wisely, you will fall behind very quickly and become frustrated. You can come to my room before school, during lunch and after school to practice and for extra help. Take advantage of this. If you do not practice, you cannot pass.






    Daily Class Participation, Practicing & Performance – 60%

    Music Literacy & Homework – 20%

    Tests - Performance & Written – 15%

    Quizzes – 5%




    Required Materials:


    1. Three-hole binder
    2. Pencil
    3. A good attitude



    Not required, but very highly recommended…

    Guitar tuner (clip-on tuner or tuner phone app)



    Extra Help – Tutoring:


    I am in my classroom every day by 7:45 AM. I am also in my room during my lunch period. You may come to my room during these times if you need extra help, or you would like to practice. Remember your grade is primarily made up of your participation, commitment, and effort.