A self-ascribed ‘citizen of the world,’ Dr Hinsley and the ACGS have served Austin through concerts, education, and outreach programs; he has personally raised over $1,000,000 as executive director. ACGS is now one of the largest classical guitar organizations worldwide.
“I had a dream that my art form, classical guitar, could be relevant in our society, could be present in our lives as an instrument of broad community service, could be a powerful tool for outreach and education for diverse people of all ages.”
Today, that dream has become reality. ACGS hosts an International Concert Series that brings music to an audience of more than 20, 000 people of diverse backgrounds. The musicians themselves have come to Austin to perform from all around the world. In the last year this includes musicians from Russia, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Peru, Brazil, and more.
“What is music without people to hear it? We serve the community, we are here thanks to the support of the community,” says Hinsley. “We hope to serve our diverse community as broadly and completely as possible through great artistry on the classical guitar.”
In the spirit of serving the community through music, ACGS and Hinsley have a broad education and outreach program that removes the economic barriers to playing the guitar. Many children grow up with the desire to learn and play the guitar, but simply do not have the means. “ACGS has transformed school-based music education in Austin. We’ve built guitar classes in over 30 different middle and high schools, the Travis County Juvenile Justice System, and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. And we’ve served thousands of Central Texas kids who come from all sorts of different backgrounds.”
Events such as the upcoming “Guitars Under The Stars” gala on Saturday, February 9 help fund the rapidly growing education and community outreach programs of ACGS. Through such events, Hinsley has inextricably linked international culture with Austin’s flair for live music, all while serving the local community. In a night of classical music, dinner, and an open bar, event participants find a fun, new way of providing opportunities to thousands of students in Central Texas.
“Music improves our lives in myriad ways. Leaving our homes, participating in events of beauty and human achievement, celebrating the artistry of diverse people of the world, trying to play ourselves – these are all age-old critical elements of our civilization, and we are happy to provide one vehicle for Austinites to experience them all.”
“The energy in Austin is so welcoming and so open and positive. I’m struck by how many artists I’ve brought over the years, from around the world, have observed the same thing in their brief stays here. It gives one the sense that anything is possible.”