Guitar Institute Announces 2011 Steve Vai Scholarship Winner is Benjamin Lechuga

The Guitar Institute, part of London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Steve Vai Scholarship, as chosen by legendary Grammy award-winning guitarist Steve Vai.  This exclusive scholarship is worth over £7,500 annually, with the award comprising one fully-funded place plus one part-funded place on the Guitar Institute’s renowned one-year Higher Diploma course.

After uploading original performances to the Guitar Institute’s Steve Vai Scholarship website, a selection of finalists were chosen by a combination public voting and a panel of experts from the Institute. The shortlist was then presented to Steve Vai, who has recently confirmed that he will be joining the 2011 ‘Experience Hendrix’ tribute tour, to pick the full scholarship winner and the partial scholarship winner.

The Guitar Institute and Steve Vai are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2011 Steve Vai Scholarship is Benjamín Lechuga from Chile with the partial scholarship going to Gabe Dovaston!

Benjamín now has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to professionally develop his talent and skills at London’s Guitar Institute. As well as enjoying this great opportunity to learn, Benjamín will also benefit from the many opportunities that arise at the school to write, collaborate and perform in live London showcase events in front of key industry insiders. Benjamín had the following to say about the experience:

I still remember the first time I went to a live concert; December 6th, 2000, I was 12, and Steve Vai played in Santiago, Chile as part of his Ultra Zone tour. That day my perception not only about guitar playing, but most importantly, music, changed completely.  When I found out that I made it to the final round and that Steve Vai himself was going to listen to my music and watch my video, it was an enormous prize in itself! But being chosen from participants from all around the world, as the overall winner is simply unexplainable.  Now Mr. Vai is changing my life once again. Many thanks to both the Guitar Institute and Steve Vai for giving me this wonderful opportunity!

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