Thank you so much for the beautiful music you preformed during our October 3rd wedding at the Norman Rockwell Museum Rob! The jazz combo you arranged was fantastic, as well. We appreciate your efforts to help make our wedding so special. Best to you.
Liz & Dean

We can’t believe it has been over three months since our wedding.  We finally received our wedding video.  You were right when you said that we wouldn’t hear you playing during the ceremony.  We were so caught up in the moment!  You played beautifully during the ceremony and cocktail hour.  You added a special touch to our wedding and we are extremely grateful.  Thank you again for sharing your gift at our wedding!
Krista and Brian




Dear Rob,

Thank you for having a copy of your new and innovative book sent to me…..The concept is easily grasped and clear.
You appear to be a scholar and sincere teacher.  I respect and admire your spirit of searching for was to improve.  I’ll recommend that our teachers use your book and I’ll try it personally at the first opportunity……

All the best wishes,
Aaron Shearer

Aaron Shearer was one of the most widely recognized and respected Classic Guitar teachers in America. He had been director of the guitar program at Peabody Conservatory and the North Carolina School of the Arts and towards the end of his life was adjunct professor of Classic Guitar at Duquesne University.


Learning Guitar Fingerboard Theory is well thought out and consistent.  If applied as directed it should greatly enhance any student’s understanding and fluency in relating basic theoretical ideas to the fingerboard.  The presentation avoids unnecessary jargon, and Phelps puts things in a concise and straightforward manner.  Some of the concepts are, by nature not easily explained and the assistance of an instructor will be helpful. If the drills, particularly in the “guitar keys” are repeated occasionally the book will also greatly enhance the student’s sight-reading ability. Phelps’ book would be an ideal text for a fingerboard theory class; it is suitable for use by dedicated students from age ten to adult. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Soundboard, the magazine of the Guitar Foundation of America

(Read Entire Review - PDF)




The Williams Record
By Julian Hess

On Saturday evening in Chapin Hall, the Williams Chamber Players performed a concert comprising both avant garde and Baroque pieces…

The concert opened with Elogio de la Danza, a piece that draws heavily on Afro-Cuban motifs.  Elogio is a technically demanding piece, a demand Phelps met with aplomb.  Despite the complexity of its melody and timbre, the piece is fundamentally a rhythmic work, a characteristic many performers often disregard for fear of sounding mechanical.  Although Phelps played with metronomic precision, his execution was anything but robotic.  This was evident even from the piece’s monotonous opening of three low open E’s, a passage that creates the sense of rhythmic constancy pervading throughout the piece.  Phelps used these monotonous passages to instill a feeling of suspense that accentuated the piece’s subsequent energy, which required the same highly punctuated staccato of the base rhythmic elements.  Phelps’ precision was incredibly impressive- each note was as perfectly distinguished as the last. Clearly, his technical mastery extended to all aspects of the piece……




Springfield Union News
By Richard Riley

Flutist Sue Kurian and guitarist Robert Phelps treated Wednesday afternoon’s lunchtime crowd at the George Walker Vincent Smith Art Museum to a light and lively program of music from the 18th and 20th centuries.  As a duo, these local professionals are known as Scepter; individually, both maintain extensive teaching studios in Springfield, Westfield, Northampton, and Amherst.

I caught the final two pieces on their four-piece program- quite long enough to be smitten by what I heard.  The Telemann sonata was full of inventive touches from the Juilliard-trained Kurian.  This was a modern flutist’s rendition of a baroque piece, to be sure, but the resources of Kurian’s gold flute were used with taste and imagination.  Phrasing was supple, the modulation of color and dynamics elegant.

Jacques Ibert’s “Entr’acte” was the closer.  Bathed in the reverberant acoustcs of the museum, the swirling figures created a vivid sound environment.  Phelps was more prominent here, effectively drawing from his guitar the hot, dance-inflected Spanish sounds that raise the temperature on this little piece.  Kurian’s   fingers were more that equal to the cascade of notes in the flute part.