Troy Gifford is an award winning guitarist and composer whose music synthesizes elements of Latin music, jazz, modern classical, and rock. His compositions have been performed on multiple continents, including at festivals and concerts in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. He has written music in a variety of settings, including pieces for guitar, voice, piano, orchestra, choir, band, and various chamber ensembles.
Troy has won a number of awards for his music, including first prize in competitions sponsored by the Guitar Foundation of America, Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine, and the University of Miami. His first CD, “Delineations,” was released in 2008 on the Flatfoot Record Label. His second CD, “Olvidando,” was completed in 2014 and contains both solo guitar compositions and chamber music that includes the guitar. His music has been published by Doberman Yppan and Mel Bay, performed by guitarists such as Lorenzo Micheli, Robert Phillips, Eduardo Meirinhos, and Rene Gonzalez, and recorded by artists Eric Hansen and Cesar Paucar. Troy is an ASCAP composer who has also written for the stage and film. In 2012 he composed music for the film “My Fair Lidy” which was premiered at the Florida Film Festival. He has also created a DVD called “The Art of Composing for the Solo Guitar".
Troy began his musical studies on the piano as a child and picked up the electric guitar in his mid-teens. After spending several years learning how to play rock guitar, he began exploring fingerstyle technique and listening to steel string guitarists such as Michael Hedges and Alex Degrassi. This eventually led to an interest in the classical guitar which in turn sparked his desire to study music in a formal college environment. He went on to study at Florida Atlantic University, where he earned a Bachelors degree in guitar performance and a Masters degree with a focus in composition under the guidance of Dr. Ken Keaton and Dr. Stuart Glazer. While at FAU he was named the recipient of the Esther B. Griswold Award, an award given biennially to the university’s most outstanding music student. He earned a Doctorate in composition from the University of Miami, where he studied with Dr. Dennis Kam while teaching courses as a full time graduate teaching assistant. He has also taught at Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University. He currently serves as the chair of the music department at Valencia College in Orlando, FL.