Students sling six-strings at latest recital

While students are used to hearing the crashing sounds of basic rock guitar in the Rathskeller every week, classically-trained student guitarists took over the campus music scene on March 6 during a recital in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall.

The recital, which showcased both solo and chamber music for classical guitar, ranged from Baroque to contemporay styles.

College guitar kingpin Stephen Dadaian headlined the performance, blending his electric and classical styles together to delight the crowd.

“(He) really captured the mood and the sensitivity of the piece,” Larry Aspec, sophomore open options science major, said.

Already the winner of Slash’s “Ultimate Guitar Showdown” in January, Dadaian is once again shredding his way toward a championship in the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society 2008 Competition.

“I competed on Sunday at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and am now advancing to the final round. I beat out the students from UPenn, Temple, and West Chester U during the semifinals,” Dadaian said. “The final round (when they will decide the winner) is during the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Annual Festival on April 13.”

Anthony Caruso kicked off the evening with “Sonata for Lute in E minor” by Silvius Leopold Weiss. He later returned with a selection from Frederic Hand’s “Four Excursions” accompanied by Vanessa Lim, freshman music education major, on the flute. After the recital, Ben Krupit said the flute accompaniment was “impressive. It was nice to hear a more subtle instrument.”

Caruso’s first performance was followed by Jordyn Gallagher. Her three-part selection came from Leo Brouwer’s “Estudios sencillos.” Gallagher was pleased to showcase her efforts, and was quick to mention the efforts of her fellow guitarists.

“We’ve all worked really hard and we all played really well tonight. I’m proud of all of us,” she said after the recital.

Other performers that evening included Keith Petrillo (Francisco Tárrega’s “Adelita”), David Ortiz (Agustin Barrios Mangoré’s “Julia Florida”) and Alan Rigoletto (“Four Pieces” by David Leisner). The song selections ranged from slower, more romantic-sounding pieces to ones with fast upbeat tempos.

Performers Robin Fried and Darlene Marcolini performed a duet after showcasing their solo efforts. Fried skillfully sampled from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Prelude (BWV 998)” and William Walton’s “Bagatelle no. 2,” while Marcolini’s version of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Prelude no. 5” sounded like a lullaby. During their duet to “Spanish Dance no. 4: Villanesca” by Enrique Granados, the two complemented each other very well, to the audience’s approval.

All the performers at the recital are students of James Day, professor of music, and he was proud to praise their accomplishments.

Day said he and his students selected their pieces for the evening together.

“Four of the performers are preparing for their senior recitals, so these are some of the highlights,” Day said after the recital.

Joan Goodman, a friend of performer Marcolini, summed up the evening when she said the performances had a nice variety.

“All of the performers are of a pretty high caliber. It was wonderful!” she added.