Guitar ensemble goes traditional

David Freese

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Director of the Guitar Ensemble Patrick Kerber led his students onstage in the Pottle Music Building Auditorium to perform 12 pieces from several different eras of musical history on Tuesday, April 12.

“We had music from the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classical era and the Modern era, one of the more traditional programs we’ve ever done,” said Kerber.

Along with the audience, members of the band were satisfied with their performance and effort following the program.

“I thought it went a lot better than I thought it would go,” said Jared Jordan, freshman music major and member of the Guitar Ensemble. “We practiced every Monday and Wednesday, and we had about an hour of practice before everybody got here.”

“I loved it,” said Dylan Taylor, sophomore History major. “I liked the mix of instruments. I just like the rhythm and harmony of all the guitars.”

The program began first with Tilman Susato’s “Danse.” Susato was born in France, but received recognition for his publishing and composing work in Antwerp, Belgium, according to Kerber. The ensemble warmed up with this piece and followed up with “Ronde-Tripla” and “Pavane-Tripla,” both being Renaissance pieces.

Up next were three Baroque pieces by Georg Frederic Handel titled, “Gavotte,” “Bourée” and “Minuet” performed by a trio of Shannon Guitreau, Jeremiah Johnson and West Lentz, all on guitar. These pieces were soft performances of the fifth movement of a Baroque sweet, consisting of a moderate tempo.

Following these three pieces was a second trio of performers playing a fast-paced folksong with a higher pitched melody entitled “El Cachimbo.” Lentz was again featured with this piece along with Jojjo Wight and Shane Zeringue. In order to propel attention further from the audience, Lentz rolled his fingertips along the edge of his guitar to give background rhythm and balance.

“Gymnopedie, No.3,” a piece made famous through wine and cheese companies according to Kerber, was performed next, featuring Kristen LeBlanc on clarinet and Sean Collins on guitar.

After the first and only clarinet performance of the night came the arguably top performance by Durand Jones on saxophone and Hristo Balev on guitar. They showcased an Astor Piazolla Argentina based piece “Café 1930” and “Adios Nonino.”

“He is so sensitive to the volume of the guitar that it really made that duo exceptional,” said Kerber in regards to Jones. Audience member Carter Patrick MacFarland also thought Jones performed well.

“I mean he played the saxophone like a beast,” said MacFarland. “It should be made out of mahogany.”

The second to last excerpt allowed the entire ensemble back on the stage to play Luigi Boccherini’s “Minuet Op. 11, No. 5” from the classical era.

“Introducion et Fandango Op. 10, No. 6” was the last song of the night and the only one truly meant for guitar according to Kerber. Each song played in chronological order became more modern but “Fandango” disrupted the timeline. “I choose to go backwards because the ‘Fandango’ is a finale, a true piece to end with,” said Kerber.

 

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