Guitar Fest continues with Ensemble

The strums and twangs of guitars filled the Pottle Music Auditorium as the Southeastern Guitar Ensemble took to the stage last Wednesday. The performance took place at 7:30 p.m. and featured performances by students from the freshman to the graduate student level.

Before the concert, instructor of guitar Patrick Kerber discussed the pieces of music that would be played throughout the performance.

“Every single piece on the program tonight is arranged by someone, meaning every single piece of music was not written for at least a guitar quartet or a guitar and violin,” said Kerber.

The full ensemble then took the stage and played the opening piece called “Tafelmusik” by George Philip Teleman, conducted by Kerber. Originally written for flutes, this calm arrangement was made to be listened to during dinner by the wealthy.

Next to take the stage was a quartet of Dustin Dawson, Blake Guidry, James Kotter and Robert Persac, who performed a song from the well-known opera, “Carmen,” by Georges Bizet. They were followed by another quartet made of Shannon Guitreau, West Lentz, Jojjo Wright and Shane Zeringue, who played two Panamanian dances, one called “Mejorana,” the other called “Socavon.”

Next to the stage was graduate student Hristos Balev and guest performer Constanta Lungu, who accompanied his guitar with her violin. The two played “Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5” by Hector Villa-Lobos and “Por una cabeza” by Carlos Gardell, which has been used in a number of major motion pictures, including “Bad Santa” which starred Billy Bob Thornton.

Next the full ensemble retook the stage. First, they played “Tico Tico” by Zequinha de Abreu and arranged by Balev for this performance. The rhythm of the upbeat Brazilian tango infected many of the guitarists, who bobbed their heads in time and could not stop smiling.

“Quite frankly, my biggest task in teaching him was just getting him to believe that he could do it and he did very, very well,” said Kerber.

Balev also played a solo during this piece, and about half of it was improvised.

“It was very good, said Kristen LeBlanc, a senior majoring in music performance. “I really liked Hristo’s solo. That was really awesome.”

The full ensemble then ended the evening with a performance of “El Amor Brujo,” written by Manuel de Falla and arranged and conducted by Kerber.

The Guitar Festival will continue with “All Styles Night On the Circle” on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pottle Performance Circle. The evening will be filled with jazz, blues, classical, pop rock and original tunes.

“The only music I am actively prejudiced against, and I will stand and admit that in a court of law, no heavy metal, no rap,” joked Kerber.

For more information about the Guitar Festival contact Kerber at 985-549-2886 or email him at [email protected]