The Georgia Guitar Quartet Comes to Anderson

      The Georgia Guitar Quartet will join forces with the GAMAC Chamber Orchestra for an evening of music with Spanish flare on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 7:30pm in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in downtown Anderson.    Titled “Spanish Sketches,” the orchestra will be led by guest conductor, Neil Casey, Assistant Director of the University of South Carolina Orchestras. This performance represents a few “firsts.”  It will be GAMAC’s first concert featuring classical guitar repertoire, Anderson’s introduction to the guitar as an orchestral instrument, and our professional chamber orchestra’s first experience with repertoire by beloved composer Joachim Rodrigo whoseConcerto Andaluz for Orchestra and 4 Guitars will be a highlight of the evening.  With winter’s chill returning this week, Spanish Sketches offers a chance to warm up with a musical jaunt through Spain.
      The Georgia Guitar Quartet is considered a pioneering ensemble on the American chamber music and classical guitar scenes. Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996, GGQ performs throughout the United States in venues ranging from concert halls to music clubs.  They are universally praised for delivering a high-energy blend of virtuosity and imaginative programming while taking an adventurous approach to classical music. Borrowing from both the past and present, the GGQ draws inspiration from an ever-evolving palette of influences: classical masters such as Bach and Brahms, experimentalists in the vein of John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and contemporary rock icons like Led Zeppelin and Radiohead. Their incredible range and interactive style leaves audiences with something to remember, resulting in a thrilling new way to experience chamber music in the 21st century.   With 5 critically acclaimed recordings to their name, the GGQ has been featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today and performed with such notable ensembles and artists as the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Christopher Parkening.  During their stay in Anderson, quartet will perform for the entire student body at Southwood Academy of the Arts.  They will also present a special class session for both guitar and commercial music students at Anderson University to which students from Southern Wesleyan, Clemson, Erskine, Furman, and Bob Jones University students have also been invited. 
      This might be a leap, but it feels safe to assume that the guitar is the string instrument with which most of us have the greatest familiarity.  Unfortunately, its use in Rock music has rendered the guitar a victim of musical snobbery among some hard-core symphony fans.  Such snobbery is unfair and dismissive of the instrument’s deep roots in music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras.  A quick Google search of “Classical Guitar Concertos” conjures composer names like Vivaldi, Paganini, Boccherini, Von Weber, and many more in addition to the 20th century’s own Joachim Rodrigo. 
       Spanish Sketches promises to be an absolutely gorgeous evening of music!  (And, if you’ve been guilty of looking down upon the guitar, an opportunity for redemption!)  Our guest conductor, Neil Casey, has planned an outstanding program of familiar Spanish-themed favorites to accompany the concerto.  You’ll hear Gioachino Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture, George Bizet’s Carmen Suite #1, Emmanuel Chabrier’s Espana, Rhapsody for Orchestra, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cappricio Espagnol.  Tickets are available and priced at just $20 for adults and $10 for children.  Call the GAMAC office to buy tickets in advance at (864) 231-6147, or buy a seat at the door that night.  Come, hear Anderson’s own professional chamber orchestra do something we’ve never done before!

Saxophonist Chris Vadala "Takes Five" with The Electric City Big Band

Chris Vadala

Chris Vadala

     The Electric City Big Band will present Take Five with acclaimed saxophonist, Chris Vadala, on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 7:30pm in the Rainey Fine Arts Center at Anderson University.  Recognized as a skilled performer and music educator, Mr. Vadala will also host an open rehearsal for woodwind students of all ages earlier in the day.
     As one of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in high demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. His performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet, which included performances in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Japan, Phillipines, China, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the Caribbean, and Europe.  His accolades also include performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, two Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, one Georgie (AGVA) and one Golden Globe Award.  As a performer and recording artist, he has worked with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, New York Voices, Frankie Valli, and many others. In 2009, he became a member of the Award-Winning Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has been the first call saxophonist with National Symphony Orchestra for many years.
     Founded in 1982 and performing in the tradition of America's big bands, the Electric City Big Band (ECBB) performs popular, current, and nostalgic selections of music with wide appeal.  Directed by Mr. Alan Nowell, the ensemble performs as part of GAMAC's Anderson Symphony Series and as the headlining act for the USO Sweetheart's Dance. The ECBB is a semi-professional ensemble with professional instrumentalists and seasoned community players teaming up to celebrate big band's uniquely American style.
     Tickets to see Chris Vadala with The Electric City Big Band are just $15 for adults and $7 for students and available by calling GAMAC at (864) 231-6147.  Students and teachers interested in attending the open rehearsal earlier that day are asked to call.  


Meet Maestro Morihiko Nakahara

Photo by Hamilton Studios

Photo by Hamilton Studios

The GAMAC Chamber Orchestra is thrilled to welcome Maestro Morihiko Nakahara to Anderson as its guest conductor for the opening concert of the 2016-2017 Masterworks Series titled Oktoberfest on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7:30pm in The Rainey Fine Arts Center at Anderson University. Billed as a “whirlwind musical journey to Germany,” the evening will feature Mendelssohn’s Nocturno for Winds in C Major, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major “Pastorale,” and a special performance of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Keyboard & Orchestra in D minor with pianist Matthew Carden Ganong.

Maestro Nakahara has served as music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic since 2008. The 2016-2017 season also marks his 14th season with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, first as its associate conductor and now as resident conductor. Known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium, innovative and audience-friendly programming skills, and thoughtful interpretations of both standard and contemporary repertoire, Nakahara was featured in the League of American Orchestra’s prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview in March 2005, hosted by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Since then, he has developed a close working relationship with the JSO, conducting the orchestra regularly and serving as its associate conductor during the 2007-2008 season. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic, symphonies of Oregon, Charleston, Chattanooga, Lansing, Peoria, and Green Bay, as well as with the Chicago Pro Musica. Recipient of the David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution in 1999, he recently returned to guest conduct the Music School Festival Orchestra there.

Equally at home in a wide variety of musical styles and concert formats, Nakahara has collaborated with Chris Botti, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Brandi Carlile, Pink Martini, Sergio Mendes, and Roby Lakatos to name a few. A tireless champion for the music of our times, Nakahara recently led world premieres of works by Joan Tower, Dan Visconti, and John Fitz Rogers. A passionate believer in audience development and music education for all, Nakahara is a popular clinician, guest conductor, and lecturer at various educational institutions. As a personable ambassador for classical music, he is regularly featured on local media outlets, and speaks about wide ranging topics including arts advocacy, leadership skills, and economic development at local businesses and service organizations. A native of Kagoshima, Japan, Nakahara holds degrees from Andrews University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He previously served as music director of the Holland Symphony Orchestra in Michigan and taught at Eastern Washington University and Andrews University.

Tickets to Oktoberfest are on sale now and priced at $20 for adults and $10 for students. Maestro Nakahara’s appearance with the GAMAC Chamber Orchestra is made possible with generous support from Techtronic Industries North America, Inc., The Bleckley Inn and Lilia Day Spa. Support is also provided in part by The South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support in part from the National Endowment for the Arts.



GAMAC Children's Chorus Holds Auditions for 2016-2017

GAMAC Children's Chorus- Christmas 2014

GAMAC Children's Chorus- Christmas 2014

            The GAMAC Children’s Chorus under the director of Dr. Bob Heritage will hold auditions for new singers throughout August and September by appointment.  Auditions are open to boys and girls in grades 3-8 with older children considered on a case by case basis.  Those wishing to audition will be asked to perform My Country Tis of Thee or a similar piece of their own choosing to demonstrate vocal range and tone.

            Formed in 2013, the mission of the GAMAC Children’s Chorus is to teach musically talented kids to achieve high artistic and personal standards through choral performance.  Weekly rehearsals focus on professional vocal instruction and reading music while fostering friendship, confidence, character and teamwork.  The ensemble performs 3 times annually as part of GAMAC’s concert series and is often invited to perform for special events such as “Anderson Night” at the Greenville Drive baseball game, community Christmas celebrations, and more.  The chorus rehearses on Tuesdays from September to April.  A modest tuition fee of $450 per year, which breaks down to $15 per week for 30 weeks, is charged to cover the cost of professional vocal instruction, music, and uniform maintenance.  Scholarship assistance and payment plans are available.

            Dr. Bob Heritage, conductor of the Children’s Chorus, holds a doctorate in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.  As a music educator, he has served as a choral director and vocal instructor for public school and college students of all ages in addition to maintaining an active private vocal instruction studio.  He sang for three years with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers.  He is the Director of Music at St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown Anderson. 

            Parents and guardians wishing to schedule an audition appointment are asked to call the GAMAC office at (864) 231-6147.  The GAMAC Children’s Chorus is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives funding in part from the National Endowment for the Arts.  .