Growing up in the Philippines, Richard Alcoy, who adopted the stage name Ric Ickard, started playing guitar at the age of eight by mimicking the recordings of Andres Segovia, Laurindo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Chet Atkins. At seventeen, he began performing guitar concerts. Until he began formal studies at St. Paul College in Manila, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in music education, he was entirely self-taught. At graduation, his alma mater presented him with a special award in musical performance. He won first prize in both classical and jazz guitar competitions in the 1980 Philippine Guitar Festival, and was the first guitarist to ever win both categories Â– all on the same day. Ric's talents blossomed as a young artist. The Philippine government granted him a scholarship to study classical guitar. Aside from performing around the world, Ric is a regularly featured artist at the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. His varied repertoire covers a broad musical spectrum.