Festival rocks community

The cool spring night was filled with the sounds of music during “All Styles Night on the Circle.” It was the second of the five events that make up the 12th annual Southeastern Guitar Festival. The performance took place on April 6, at 7:30 p.m., in the outdoor Pottle Performance Circle.

“This is one of the wonderful things about the university: music at night, the nice setting, the trees and their silhouettes,” said English instructor Dr. George Gibson. “I didn’t know about this, but some of the players are friends and former students, and they mentioned it, so I definitely had to come by.”

Participants included music majors, local amateur musicians and other talented students. The music was a varied collection of classical, jazz, bluegrass and original songs. Patrick Kerber, a guitar instructor and the festival coordinator, spoke of the success of the event in comparison to those of past years.

“Everyone played exceptional, and the weather cooperated, of course,” said Kerber. “I was so pleased. They’ve all been good; we’ve never had a bad one, but I have to say that technically everyone played their best tonight.”

Patrick Hammett and Matthew Ohrberg began the night, each performing a song on acoustic guitar. Sean Collins and Kristen Leblanc then performed on guitar and clarinet, respectively.

Next, Jojjo Wight and Andreina Colina played a Venezuelan folk song on guitar and violin, respectively. The two then played “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It,” a song originally by Hank Williams, Jr.

The next performer, Emma Bing, grabbed the attention of the audience with her talent on the ukulele and the acoustic guitar, as well as with her singing voice. Bing, only 10 years old, was discovered through the Community Music Program in Hammond. She played and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” as well as two Stevie Wonder songs.

Jonathan Turner, a vocal performance major, then changed up the pace of the event. A guitar pedal produced an electronic beat as he improvised an original song on the electric guitar. Zack Lanius then played acoustic guitar and sang two heartfelt, original songs.

Zac Garner, Max McClintock and Ben Livingston then mixed up the evening with a couple of jazz songs. Garner played electric guitar for one song, and saxophone for the second, while McClintock played guitar and Livingston played drums.

Sean Collins then retook the stage with Garner and McClintock, guitars in hand. For the finale of the night, the three played a song titled “Minor Swing.” The recognizable tune was originally composed by Django Reinhardt, a jazz guitarist and composer, in the French gypsy style.

The Guitar Festival is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), the Southeastern Guitar Club and Dr. Ted’s Musician’s Center. For more information, contact Kerber at 985-549-2886 or by e-mail at [email protected]