Dan Hopson, classical guitarist teaching and performing in Juneau, Alaska, recalls the day his musical life took a dramatic turn. "I was living in a small wooden yurt in the Southeast Alaska rainforest when a friend came by with a proposition. A classical violinist, she had encountered problems with the quality of local pianos while touring in bush Alaska with an accompanist. She handed me a stack of piano scores and asked if I could work them out on guitar - specifically the Martin D-18 that I was playing at the time. Being of an age when the only answer to that would be 'Of course!', I soon found myself flying out to a remote fishing community, transcribed scores in hand, to play our first concert of popular light classics."
There soon followed purchase of a classical guitar, regular lessons, more transcriptions and a couple years of touring around Alaska - even a tour out to the Marianas Islands with his violinist friend. Then, feeling the need for a challenge at the next level, he enrolled for a year of music study at Montana State University, including a guitar master class with Christopher Parkening. "Chris was wonderfully generous, helping my new bride and me out when most of our belongings were stolen and patiently bringing my playing up to more acceptable standards. It was a great year, personally and musically."
Back in Juneau again, he managed to work in his music interests around a career with Alaskan natural resource agencies, while also helping raise two daughters. After his retirement in 2005, Dan opened a teaching studio, got a regular gig playing weekend dinner music at a local hotel and eventually released "Dan Hopson - Solo Classical Guitar", a collection of favorites, in 2011.
"I give a lot of credit to my early piano, band and vocal teachers back in New York where I grew up," he notes. "They laid the foundation that ultimately led to this recording; as of course did my mom, who paid for lessons and saw to it that I practiced."