FSU’s Graceful Guitar Ensemble

Frostburg’s guitar studio and ensemble performed December 9 in the Pealer Recital Hall. The theme for the concert was Latin music, and the concert was conducted by Patrick Sise. Sise began playing the guitar at the age of eleven, and it is quite clear that his passion has never stopped growing. The passion was evident in both the nine students who performed and in the eagerness of Sise’s conduction.

The concert began with guitarist Charles Engleka who performed “Danza Brasilera” by Jorge Morel and “Lobster Tail” by Brian Head. “Lobster Tail” seemed a lot more complex and upbeat, specifically the beginning and end, than the first piece.

Engleka was followed by the fantastic Alexa Bashaw and Zachary Dodge before the entire guitar ensemble performed “Invierno Porteno” by Astor Piazzolla, which Sise arranged for guitar trios. Sise mentioned that Piazzolla pioneered a type of music called “nuevo tango” that incorporates tango, jazz and classical music. This specific piece translates to “winter.”

Following the first full ensemble performance, three more solo performances followed. Gregory Hays performed “La Gatica” by Antonio Lauro, Corey Snowden performed “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Eric Gontrum performed “Etude No. 1 in E minor” by Heitor Villa-Lobos.  Following these fabulous performances, the entire ensemble returned once again. This particular piece was very interesting since it was a Chilean folk song, arranged by Eythor Thorlaksson.

The final solo performance was by far the crowd favorite. Garrett Yoder performed two upbeat and spectacular pieces by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer: “Canción de Cuna” and “Danza del Altiplano.” Both songs were cheerful, and Yoder’s confidence definitely affected his performance.

The final ensemble performance was a piece by Celso Machado titled “Catira.” This song was absolutely perfect to end the night with because it was also very buoyant. “Catira” is an example of how different sounds can be made using the guitar in different fashions, like slapping.

Sise also mentioned that next semester’s performance may be either French music themed or video game music themed. This performance will take place on May 5, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall. It is also a free performance and is open to the public. Please visit FSU’s Department of Music website to view the rest of the performances coming this semester as well as next semester.

 Photo from the FSU Department of Music’s Facebook page.

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