Radio Station Hosts Annual Guitars Unplugged

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KSUU Thunder 91.1 crowned its 16th winner of Guitars Unplugged, Mose Kwon, a freshman accounting major from Seoul, South Korea, for his finger-style rendition of the song “Sunflower.”  

The station hosted the annual competition from 5-7 p.m. during the monthly Bread and Soup Nite. This year 10 SUU students and Cedar City community members competed to win a $1,000 value guitar package donated by Whittlesticks.

Contestants included: Kwon, Michael Atwood, Kenny Russell, Benjamin Meacham, Brandon Prunty, Brennan Hansen, Levi Sutera, Chase Leavitt, Guillermo Garcia and Ian-Thomas Shelton.

Voice of the KSUU’s “Morning Brew” show Tia Wilson said this year she and KSUU’s Manager Cal Rollins wanted to bring a more technical side to the judging of the competition.

“In the past we’ve had professor or student judges,” Wilson said. “This year we wanted people who knew more about guitars.”

Three musically inclined members of the Cedar City community judged the competition based on musicality and technique.

Judges include: Dave Skowron, the owner of Red Bear Trading, who makes hand-crafted guitar picks; Mason Cottam, a previous Guitars Unplugged winner and owner of Gradient Sound & Entertainment; and George Loosely, an alumnus of SUU and active member in Cedar City’s political and musical scenes.

The styles of the contestants varied from singer-songwriter to acoustic pop and rock covers to original songs and ballads.

Second place winner and member of the band Bohemian Cowboy, Atwood, a sophomore music major from Bellevue, Washington, performed varying covers. Third place winner Leavitt, a junior biology major from Pocatello, Idaho performed a cover by Jason Mraz.

Kwon said he started playing guitar five years ago and learned from YouTube before coming to SUU. Kwon said he is excited to win the Whittlestick’s guitar and already loves how it sounds.

For more information on winner, Mose Kwon, check back to SUU’s December edition of the University Journal.

Story By
Samantha Burfiend

Photos Courtesy of 
Matthew House