CITY OF BROOKFIELD - Guitar players from all over already flocked to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts once a year for its annual Guitar Festival, but this year there will be 10,000 more reasons that the competition might be attractive.

The fifth edition of the Wilson Center's festival will see prize money increased from $22,000 to $32,000 thanks to a sponsorship by Milwaukee philanthropists Mark and Sharon Cameli in honor of John Cameli.

"We are tremendously grateful to the Cameli family for their generous gift, and the increased prize money is an opportunity for us to provide our competitors with a life-changing experience," Wilson Center Guitar Festival Manager Don Sipe said. "Over the past five years, the festival has grown to a true international celebration of all things guitar, with competitors coming from more than 26 states and 16 different countries, including Italy, Finland, Serbia, Japan, Croatia, Israel, Slovenia, Australia, Israel, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Singapore, Jamaica, Vietnam, and Canada. It is our goal to make sure that the weekend is a tremendous stepping stone in each of their careers."

The Wilson Center's Guitar Festival features four different genres including classical, fingerstyle, jazz and rock & blues. Throughout the three-day event, guests and participants are privy to competitions, master classes, guitar industry exhibits, free live music and headliner concerts. This year's competition, which is set for Aug. 17 through 19, will feature the Beijing Guitar Duo, Antoine Dufour, Gareth Pearson, Mike Dawes and Kevin Eubanks.

Winners in each of the four categories will receive a $5,000 prize while second-place finishers will win $2,000 and third-place $1,000. The first-place winners will also have the opportunity to open for Eubanks' concert.

For more information, to sign up as a contestant, or to buy tickets, go to www.wcguitarfest.com.

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