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!