Faculty Information


Sean McGowan

Chair, Professor
  • Music and Entertainment Studies (CAM)

Email Address:sean.mcgowan@ucdenver.edu

Mailing Address:
  • CU Denver

Arts Building

1150 10th Street

Denver, CO 80204

Sean McGowan is an award-winning guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar. He has produced five solo recordings of original music and jazz standards, all of which have garnered critical acclaim from leading periodicals and musicians. His two most recent recordings were both first round Grammy nominations in four categories by voting NARAS peer groups (2015).

Fingerstyle Guitar Journal wrote, “Sean McGowan’s playing and arranging are world class. 'My Fair Lady' delivers with beauty, imagination, and stunning technique.” McGowan earned a DMA with high honors from University of Southern California Los Angeles and is a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians.

Since joining the faculty at CU Denver, McGowan has presented over thirty peer-reviewed papers, workshops, and performances at international, national, and regional conferences. His guitar students have achieved recognition in competitions, scholarships to various summer guitar programs, and success within the professional music industry. Since his appointment in 2007, McGowan has hosted over two dozen guitar masterclasses with high profile artists (including several Grammy winners), curated three guitar festivals, and has organized the annual CU Denver Guitar Night.

Areas of Expertise

Jazz Studies
Health Education
Music Theory

Education, Licensure & Certifications

University of Southern California
DMA; Guitar Performance

University of the Arts
MM; Jazz Studies

Berklee College of Music
BM; Professional Music


Ucross Composition Fellow (2010)


College Music Society
The Recording Academy
Jazz Education Network
Performing Arts Medicine Association
Guitar Foundation of America

College of Arts & Media

CU Denver

Arts Building

1150 10th Street

Suite 177

Denver, CO 80204


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