Bob Ferguson began in the music profession as an independent studio instructor and freelance performer, and he remains active in both areas. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music with distinction from Indiana University and his Master's Degree in Guitar Performance from the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington.
At the graduate level Bob studied with international recording and concert artist Ernesto Bitetti of Spain. His teachers have also included early music specialists Jeffrey Noonan and Thomas Binkley, Bolivian classical virtuoso Javier Calderon, and American recitalist Michael Lorimer. Bob studied jazz with West Coast guitarist Ted Greene and renowned jazz performer and educator David Baker.
In addition to his private studio activities, Bob was director of guitar studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from 1985 to 1992 and, along with Laura Lydy, founded and directed the Young Guitarists Program at the Jacobs School. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at Weisser Park Arts Magnet School in Fort Wayne and guitar instructor for Taylor University, Grace College, and Trine University.
Bob is a member of the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda and the Guitar Foundation of America. He supplements his teaching schedule with research and writing, broadcasting, and performing. His weekly radio program, Guitar Showcase, has aired on Northeast Indiana Public Radio since 1985 and can be heard Tuesday evenings at 10:00 on WBOI, 89.1 FM. He arranges and plays jazz and dance band music around the Midwest with Dan Heath and the Paradise Band and also performs as a classical soloist.
Musicological research, focused mainly on the guitar in America, occupies a significant part of Bob’s time. He’s currently in the final stages of an extensive study of the career and music of 19th-century performer and composer Henry Worrall, and he maintains an ongoing scholarly interest in other guitarists active in the United States from the 18th through the first half of the 20th century. His writings appear occasionally in Soundboard, Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America.
Ancillary to these activities, Bob is owner and curator of the Guitar in America Collection, an archive of approximately 2,500 guitar books and folios published in the U.S. from the mid 1820s to the present day. Notable features of the collection are over 150 American guitar methods dating back to as early as 1828 and dozens of early jazz guitar imprints issued in the two decades leading up to World War II.