Guitar Guy Hoover steps into spotlight
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 16:10
The population of A-State’s campus was reported to be 13,538 at the beginning of the fall semester. Can you imagine playing guitar in front of an audience of that size?
“It makes for quite a large stage,” C.J. Hoover, a junior music education major of Jonesboro, said.
If his name does not ring a bell, it may be because many at A-State know him better by sight than by name. Many people know Hoover simply as “the guitar guy.”
Hoover’s Taylor Grand Symphony guitar is indeed one of his prized possessions. The sound of it can be heard drifting across campus almost daily, but there is much more to his story than a guitar.
He started playing his guitar in different places on campus as a freshman, but his passion for making music started earlier. He said he started learning to play guitar at the age of 14. He’s only had one formal class on how to play guitar, and the majority of his ability is self-taught.
Hoover has dreams of becoming a renowned guitarist which is what prompted his campus performances. “If I had any trouble with stage fright, I figured I’d better get rid of it now,” Hoover said.
Some passing listeners may have noticed Hoover has recently begun accepting donations. A note taped to the lid of his guitar case informs the public all donations go to Wolflife Campus Ministries. Hoover said he enjoys giving back to the community, and that it is satisfying to raise money for a cause he believes in.
“I began by raising money last year for Relay for Life. I made $100 in two hours,” Hoover said.“Before I began taking donations for Wolflife, I never asked for tips. It has always been just for fun.”
This year he has set a personal goal of raising $500 that will go directly to Wolflife’s community service fundraiser. Director of Wolflife Chris Buxton said, “We are thankful C.J. is helping us raise money through his music, and we are happy he is part of our Wolflife family.” Buxton said Hoover is the kind of guy who can light up a whole room.
There is no set genre of music Hoover plays when he performs on campus. He prefers to keep people on their toes. “My favorite place to play is the circle between Lab Science East and the communications building,” Hoover said. The guitar aficionado plays in all seasons. “My fingers get chilly in winter, but that’s okay. It’s worth it.”
He has recently started putting together set lists for each week. He will eventually have different songs for each day he performs. “I write my own stuff, too. I sneak that in there occasionally.” In addition to playing music he has practiced before, he takes requests.
Hoover said he has gained a great deal of confidence since he began playing his guitar on campus. As far as his future plans, A-State is just a start.
“My dream is to be discovered,” he said, “I have absolute faith in it, too.”