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Jason Riley, the director of the St. Joseph Arts Academy, will accept the Joseph Cozad Guitar Archives, a collection of guitar music books and sheet music from the music professor.

A local arts academy will be the recipient of a wealth of guitar books and sheet music from a renowned music professor.

Joseph Cozad, a music professor and one of the first teachers to establish a university guitar department, will donate hundreds of guitar books and sheet music from his collection to the St. Joseph Arts Academy director Jason Riley.

A former student of Cozad, guitarist Anthony Glise said he’s happy the music has found a home in the area, with it in the safe hands of St. Joseph Arts Academy .

“When he decided to just kind of slow down his professional career, he was sitting on top of all this music and got a hold of me in France and asked if I’d help him find a home for it. And fortunately, we did here in St. Joe,” he said.

The donation will be celebrated with a reception. The inauguration of the “Joseph Cozad Archives” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the St. Joseph Arts Academy, 2021 N. 36th St. Everyone is welcome and light refreshments will be served.

Glise said sheet music and books are important to teaching the history of the guitar. While Google searches and PDF archives make it easier to find historic works like the ones being donated, much of what’s being donated is only available on paper.

“With the internet, getting a hold of printed music is much, much easier. But many of the things that, to me, are the most important in the pedagogical training are not available anymore. And we’re gonna have a pile of them,” he said.

The hopes are that it will be available for all to see.

“To have the archives here, first of all, means that it’s accessible not only to his students, but it is open to the public,” he said. “We haven’t quite figured out how people (will) check the music out or take a photo scan of it ... because some of it’s fairly valuable and very old.”

One way or another, Glise said it will become a property for all to enjoy.

“We’re going to be able to put this out to the public so that anybody that wants to see and experiment with that music can,” he said.

The inauguration also is a celebration of Cozad’s work as a professor. In his decades of teaching, he coached and inspired hundreds of international guitar students. In turn, many went on to record, teach and perform guitar music because of their time under his tutelage, including Glise, Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero and Oscar Ghiglia.

Glise said it’s an honor to receive Cozad’s donation that he hopes will continue his inspiration.

“It’s such a gracious act,” Glise said.

The reception is free and open to the public. All COVID-19 precautions will be observed.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNOWGaug

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