Cameron University Guitar Ensemble to present first spring concert

The Cameron University Guitar Ensemble will present a diverse and eclectic concert on Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall. Directed by Dr. Kirsten Underwood, the ensemble is made up of Cameron music majors Trevor Campbell and Hannah Esquer, Lawton; Tyler Farmer, Geronimo; and Samuel Phillips, Sallisaw.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military and middle/high school.  CU students, faculty and staff are admitted at no charge with CU ID. 

“With a program consisting of a variety of works by contrasting composers, the members of the CU Guitar Ensemble are looking forward to demonstrating their prowess,” says Underwood. “The diversity of this concert will appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes.”

The program will open with two pieces by J.S. Bach: “Praeludium and Fugue in D minor, BWV 867,” a transcription of a keyboard prelude and fugue originally in B-flat minor, and “Suite No. 2,” featuring Farmer on the principal guitar part.

“The first Bach work was chosen because it is important for music majors to be able to understand - and perform well – Bach’s complex and beautiful fugal writing,” says Underwood. “The second piece was written for transverse flute, violin, viola and basso continuo. The ensemble will perform an excellent transcription by Andrew Forrest, playing the Rondeau, Sarabande, Bourée I and II, Polonaise, Minuet and Badinerie movements.”

The concert will continue with Miguel Llobet’s “Three Catalan Folk Songs.” 

“In this wonderful arrangement for four guitars, the original meaning of each of the songs is clearly accessible to the listener,” Underwood explains. “The first, ‘El testament de n’Amèlia,’ was famous for its melancholy, telling the tragic tale of a daughter fatally poisoned by her stepmother. ‘L’hereu Riera’ describes a dancer who, when his beloved falls ill, offers with great dignity to dance for Christ.  The last song, ‘Canço del lladre’ has as its subject a bandit, or thief, narrating the story of his life.  All three tunes were very popular in the 1920s in Catalonia, Spain, and are still well known today.”   

An original composition by contemporary German composer Günter M. Schillings entitled “Stationen” will also be performed. According to music publisher Chanterelle Verlag of Heidelberg, Germany, “Schillings quotes works by Bach, Wagner, Rodrigo and Piazzolla which all tackle problems of our life such as grief and farewell, but also love and hope which, in the very end, dominates despite all adversity.  It is an encouraging work which shows us the worth of life.  The music is a balancing act between baroque strictness and pulsating Tango.  It is fun for both player and listener alike and its easy understandable character will satisfy both sides.”

Campbell and Phillips will combine their talents for a duet of “Sonata, L. 388” by Italian Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti.  Originally for solo piano, it is a light-hearted piece that is highly conversational in nature as a guitar duet.

The concert will conclude with three pieces especially suited to guitar ensemble.  Juventino Rosas’ “Sobre Las Olas” is a set of waltzes that will remind concertgoers of melodies heard at the circus.  Gunar Ulrich’s “Jubilation” is a piece with great rhythmic drive reminiscent of an energetic gospel song.  The final composition will be Kevin Love’s “All Aboard!,” which highlights the unique resonances heard when multiple guitars combine in unusual combinations of syncopated rhythms.

For more information, contact the Cameron University Department of Art, Music, and Theatre Arts at 580-581-2346.

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February 21, 2017