U of A Guitar Ensemble 4/9/15
We had our spring Ensemble concert at the University of Akron Thursday. It was the last such concert there that will take place under my direction and so the evening was poignant. As usual, the program was made up entirely of mixed chamber music. Also, as per our tradition, all the musicians met afterwards at a local restaurant/bar, Bricco, to celebrate together.
As the evening unfolded, the audience was treated to guitarists playing with three singers, two flutists, two pianists and a dancer. The program opened with first-year guitarist Micah Alsouss and soprano Katherine (Katie) Miller, in a charming performance of several early 19th c. English ballads:
Next was a reading of six of Bartok's Romanian Dances, arranged for flute and guitar and played by Hannah Westfield and Daniel Silverman:
Philip Logan then played a movement from Giuliani's Concerto Op 30, accompanied by Jin Yu:
Our first half concluded with another concerto outing, this time as Adam Keeler played the Villanos e Ricercar from Rodrigo's Fantasia. He was accompanied by pianist Julia Thornton:
Soprano Alyson Just opened the second half, in a compelling reading of Rodrigo's Tres Villancicos, ably accompanied by guitarist Sarah Boyson:
Next up was an energetic and delightful interpretation on Merlin's flute/guitar version of his Suite del Recuerdo, with Donovan Laughlin, flutist and Tyler Spuzillo at the guitar:
The next piece was a unique offering. Guitarist Philip Logan again took the stage along with dancer Lauren Baroch, and presented a work they'd created entitled "it was apparent only in the space and the difference between them..." They walked out and sat, and as he played Auld Langsine, she blew up a balloon. She let it go, sending it flying up into the air, then they both took bows and left the stage. Immediately, they returned and repeated the routine. They kept doing this over and over--presenting the same music, the balloon, the bows and the departure, only to return again. Eventually it became evident that the timing was slightly off between them, a disparity which led eventually to Lauren sitting on stage alone, blowing up her balloon, as Philip walked out afterwards to play his piece, also alone. They cycled carefully back into synchronicity, little by little, and the last time, Lauren popped the balloon. The audience loved it:
Finally, our concert concluded with a gorgeous rendering of de Falla's Seven Popular Spanish Songs, as performed by soprano Vandi Terell and guitarist Jeremy Avalos.