USU Guitar Ensemble will perform in Spring concert, April 20

Multiple guitar ensembles at Utah State University are featured in a spring concert and are ready to share their music with a year-ending event. Acoustic and electric guitar are featured in the April 20 concert that begins at 7:30 p.m. at USU’s Performance Hall. Tickets for the concert are available at the Caine School of the Arts Box Office, located in the Chase Fine Arts Center, Room 138-B, 435-797-8022, or online (http://boxoffice.usu.edu/). Admission is $8, and USU students with ID are admitted free. USU’s Guitar Program has a loyal following, according to Mike Christiansen, director of the program and a faculty member in USU’s Department of Music. “This is the 33rd year that guitar ensembles have been part of the USU guitar curriculum and been performing on the USU campus,” Christiansen said. “We have more musical variety in this concert than any concert we’ve done in the past. Audiences have been very receptive to our concerts, and the students are excited to share their music with the listeners.” Mike Christiansen directs the acoustic ensembles for the concert and Corey Christiansen directs the electric ensemble. Ensemble members are music majors. Two acoustic groups are featured, including a five-member group, and a larger, 13-member group affectionately name “Guitarmageddon” by its members. A sampling of selections by the acoustic groups include “Trio in D” by Mayeur, “Quiet Nights” by Jobim, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles, “El Vito,” a traditional Spanish piece, “Gymnopodie” by Eric Satie and “Moondance” by Van Morrison. Christiansen always includes unique numbers and arrangements on the program, and this outing is no different when listeners are treated to “Kalimba” by Jurg Kindle. “This is a piece based on African and Afro-Cuban rhythm in which the guitarists place cloth under the strings to imitate archaic percussion instruments,” he said. A sampling of tunes by the electric ensemble — a group comprised of five electric guitars, bass and drums — includes “Take the A Train” by Strayhorn, “Vitamin Q” by the Dixie Dreggs,” and “Skinny Big” by the group’s director, Corey Christiansen. Also planned are “Above it All” by Hamilton, “But Beautiful” by Van Hesen/Burke and “Blue Train” by Coltrane. Both Christiansens promise an evening of music that put their students’ talents in the spotlight in a great setting. “The Performance Hall is ideally suited for guitar concerts,” Mike Christiansen said. “The acoustics are wonderful and bring out the best of the students’ playing. Whether you are a guitar player or just someone who enjoys listening to guitar, this concert promises something for everyone.” For information about the guitar ensemble concert, contact Mike Christiansen at 435-797-3011.

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