Guitar Ensemble Explores the 20th Century - Humboldt State Now

Guitar Ensemble Explores the 20th Century

The HSU Guitar Ensemble explores twentieth century music in its fall concert on Friday, Nov. 9 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Students Charlie Sleep and Justin Santos perform the Tango Suite by Astor Piazzolla. “He revitalized the old tango style and incorporated more modern harmonies,” said Ensemble director and HSU professor Nicholas Lambson. “Piazzolla’s music is extremely passionate, seductive and fiery.”

The quartet of Jerry Olofsson, Greg Willis, Tyler Vaughan and Rory Urquhart plays John Duarte’s “Little Suite.” Duarte’s background was in jazz, and his style is “essentially a mixture of the traditional and the decidedly modern. Little Suite is an excellent example.”

HSU Guitar Ensemble members from left to to right, back to front: Greg Willis, director Nicholas Lambson, Rory Urquhart, Justin Santos, Dan Fair, Jason Hall, Jerry Olofsson, Kris Lang, Nigel Gunn.

Members of the Ensemble perform three works by famous composers who didn’t write for guitar, though “the guitar would have suited them very well.” Jason Hall and Dan Fair play Debussy’s Reverie, Kris Lang and Nigel Gunn play “Arabian Dance” by Bartok, and a quartet of Sleep, Santos, Olofsson and Lang perform “Pavane for a Dead Princess” by Ravel.

A quartet of Hall, Olofsson, Lang and Fair will play the most unusual work on the program: “Mbira,” written by William Kanengiser for “prepared” guitar, with instruments altered in ways analogous to John Cage’s “prepared piano.” Lambson recalls that his own student quartet wrote to Kanengiser and his Los Angeles Guitar Quartet to obtain this unpublished music. “Performing this piece was a highlight of my studies,” he said, “and I hope the same is true for the quartet playing it on November 9.”

Tickets are $7, $3 and free to HSU students with and i.d. from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Directed by Nicholas Lambson, produced by the HSU Music Department. More information: