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Proper Guitar

Article Published: Jun. 10, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Proper Guitar

Classical guitarist Gregory Guay performs at Proper Restaurant Sundays for brunch and this Friday, bringing Bach to the High Country.

Photo by Lauren K. Ohnesorge

You've probably seen Gregory Guay around King Street.

If the macaw perched on his shoulder doesn't give him away, ("I take him out around town here and there and socialize him to make sure he gets to meet girls. It keeps him going," he said) hand him a guitar and prepare for a show.

"I've been playing guitar for over 20 years ... the past five or six years, I've dedicated myself to classical guitar," he said.

And it shows as he picks.

Those used to traditional bluegrass might be surprised at what a classical guitarist can do. "With classical guitar, you're getting a lot more sound out of the instrument," he said.

That's because classical guitarists pluck strings with both hands. "It's almost like orchestra music instead of delicate strumming," he said.

Originally from Maine, Guay first heard classical guitar in 2002 and knew he was hooked. "I was just so impressed that there was only one person playing," he said.

And he's bringing the sound to Boone as he pursues a master's degree at Appalachian State University in the art form. It's a far cry from what he initially studied as an undergrad: Sound design.

"I didn't want to be stuck behind a computer pushing buttons," he said. "I preferred to actually be performing."

And perform he did, as well as cultivate another love: Teaching.

It's something he hopes to continue after he gets his degree: Teaching children and adults the art of classical guitar. "I'd be pretty happy teaching with a private studio," he said.

In the meantime, he plans to share his music and enjoy what the mountains have to offer.

"I really love the Boone area," he said. "It reminds me of Maine. I enjoyed the rough winter we had here, but I also enjoy the early spring ... I love hiking and backpacking. There's something about the serenity and the meditative nature of hiking and being in the moment ... that classical guitar does for me and, hopefully, does for listeners, as well."

With the help of classic masters like Bach, Guay brings soft ambient noise to Boone brunchers each Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Proper Restaurant, located at 142 S. Water St. in downtown Boone. This week, he brings a special performance to Proper during dinner service, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 11. Additionally, he utilizes his talent in weddings throughout the High Country.

For more information on Guay, or for more information about classical guitar lessons, visit

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