Cameron University Guitar Ensemble to present final concert of the season

The Cameron University Guitar Ensemble will present its final concert of the season on Friday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall. Directed by Dr. Kirsten Underwood, the ensemble is made up of Cameron music majors Damian Alvarado, Aaron Brenneman, Trevor Campbell, Hannah Esquer and Joshua Rushing, Lawton, and Samuel Phillips, Sallisaw. Traditional classical selections as well as arrangements of folk music from around the world will be featured. 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.

The evening will open with a set of Renaissance songs, “Pastime with Good Company” and “Pavan” by King Henry VIII. Underwood says, “Yes! This infamous ruler was actually a very good composer!” 

Two additional songs from that period will follow: “Ojos claros y serenos” by Spanish Renaissance composer Francisco Guerrero and French Renaissance composer Claudin de Sermisy’s “Tant que vivrai.”

The repertoire will then move to J.S. Bach’s “Boureé, and a “Gavotte” by Ponce and “Galliard” by Nichelmann.

“These pieces are highly tuneful and a true joy to listen to as played by a guitar ensemble,” Underwood says.

The next selections will feature the ensemble split into two trios.  Alvarado, Brenneman and Rushing will play “The Union Reel,” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” two traditional tunes that should be familiar to the audience. Those will be followed by “Canción” by Manuel Ponce.  Campbell, Esquer and Phillips will then perform Andrew Forrest’s arrangement of “Cuatro Jotas Aragonesas.”

“A ‘jota aragonesa’ is a musical genre in the folk tradition from the Aragón region of Spain,” Underwood explains. “A ‘jota’ contains ternary and danceable rhythms, which can be slowed down and adorned, or sped up, to show off.  A strong Hispano-Arabic influence can be heard in the melodies. Both trios of students are performing these works with wonderful musicality and enthusiasm.”

The last set of pieces, featuring all members of the ensemble, opens with “Amtrad,” an arrangement of American folk tunes “Jim Along Josie,” “Sacramento, “Shenandoah,” and “Oh Susanna.”  Next is a traditional English folk song, “The Lincolnshire Poacher.” Representative of the folk tunes of Japan is “Moon over Ruined Castle” by Rentaro Taki.  From Norway is “Anitra’s Dance” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite.”  The set will end with Mason Williams’ rousing “Flamenco Lingo.”  Underwood reports that it is easily the students’ favorite piece on the program.



April 18, 2018