Bulgaria native Georgi Petrov, 17, credits a rock band for his decision to play the guitar.
Seventeen-year-old Augusta Preparatory Day School student Georgi Petrov, a Bulgarian exchange student, has won national competitions for classical guitar while here in America.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I watched a concert on TV and decided to play," the junior at Augusta Preparatory Day School said.
After developing his talent, Georgi now plays classical guitar and participates in competitions.
Recently, he placed second in a guitar competition at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.
Before coming to Columbia County through a student exchange program to live with a host family in Martinez, Georgi played in a rock band and performed in concerts in his hometown of Bourgas.
But his musical training did not start with the guitar.
"I first started playing the piano, but I didn't like it at first," he said. "So I quit when I was in the fourth grade."
Georgi said he's always had an interest in all the different genres of music, listening to the work of jazz musicians including Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.
"I listen to all of it," he said, mentioning that he also enjoys Bulgarian folk tunes.
Georgi said he has enjoyed his first visit to the United States and attending a new school.
"I like how the students and teachers interact with each other," he said, adding that his school in Bulgaria is more formal.
"Here, there's more open discussion and the classes are small, and the teacher can help more students this way."
Although Georgi will be going home soon, he's already making plans for a second visit.
"I want to come back (to the United States) after I graduate high school," he said. "I would like to go to college here and pursue a bachelor's degree in guitar performance or sound engineer, and eventually a master's in business or finance."
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