posted September 25, 2006

PBS to Show Documentary on Guitar Building

Phil Blauw of the Hope College staff produced and directed "Modern Luthier," a feature on the art of acoustic guitar building that will be shown on PBS locally on WGVU-TV35/WGVK-TV52 on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m.

Hosted by Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records, the hour-long program features insights into the modern design and construction of a traditional musical instrument. Featured are craftsmen such as James Olson, from Minneapolis Minn., who builds hand-crafted guitars for James Taylor. Sting, Phil Keaggy, and Paul McCartney. Featured guitarists performing original work include Bill Cooley of Nashville, Tenn., who has toured with Kathy Mattea and Reba McEntire; Ed Gerhard, a prolific composer and performer from New Hampshire; and Rob Eberhard Young, who gave up the heavy metal guitar guitar scene to concentrate on acoustic guitar.

Blauw, who is studio manager and manager of video services at Hope, traveled coast-to-coast for filming, working with Fred Baker, audio engineer, and Cal Vruggink, director of photography, as well as a variety of other documentary professionals by locale.

A 1983 Hope graduate, Blauw started his career writing and producing commercials at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, Colo. He joined the Hope staff in 2000 with several years' additional experience as a freelance videographer and producer.

This summer he served as technical director for the children's television program "Come On Over!," which is co-produced by Enthusiastic Productions! And the Grand Rapids Children's Museum and was filmed at Hope. He was videographer and editor of the documentary "Tulip Time in Holland," which won an "Award of Merit" from the Historical Society of Michigan in the fall of 2003. Recent productions for which he served as a videographer or lead videographer while at Hope have included "Who Killed Janet Chandler?" (2003), "The Klan in Michigan, Part I: Reconstruction" (2004) and "Jack in the Box" (2005).