GuitarFest benefit concert Nov. 2
A concert Nov. 2 benefitting the annual GuitarFest at Appalachian State University will feature guitarists Pasquale Rucco, Douglas James and Andy Page.
The fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. The suggested admission is $5.
The duo of Pasquale Rucco and Douglas James specializes in the guitar literature of the early 19th century performed on authentic instruments of the period. The two first met and became friends at guitar festivals in northern Italy during the early 1990s. They have been performing together for more than 15 years, charming audiences with their interpretations of music from the first true “golden age” of the guitar.
The duo’s repertoire features some of the most famous of the early 19th century guitar duo masterpieces as well as newly discovered gems. They will perform a Filipo Gragnani arrangement of Rossini’s popular overture to “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”
James is professor of guitar and directs the Appalachian GuitarFest at Appalachian. Rucco is the winner of several European guitar competitions, including the 1989 Arturo Toscannini Solo Guitar Competition for the performance of 19th century music. He is the founding director of ACIF, a consortium of music academies operating in the greater Naples, Italy, region.
Other musicians performing at the benefit concert will be Gary Boye, who will perform on lute, vocalist Priscilla Porterfield and the Appalachian Guitar Choir.
Boye trained as a classical guitarist at the University of Georgia. He has played and performed on lutes and early guitars since 1985. In addition to the eight-course lute, he plays six-course (Renaissance) lute, 13-course (Baroque) lute, theorbo, four- and five-course guitars and vihuela. He currently performs with Harmonia Baroque, the early music ensemble at Appalachian. He is an associate professor and music librarian at the university.
He will accompany Porterfield on three compositions by John Dowland.
Porterfield is a professor of voice at Appalachian. She is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, which have taken her for study and performance to the Carmel Bach Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival. She was a national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association Collegiate Artist Awards, the winner of the Toledo Opera Young Artists Competition, and has twice been a winner in the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
Porterfield has sung with the Toledo Opera, the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Ohio Light Opera.
Her staged repertoire also extends to the lighter vein, having performed comic roles in the operettas of Offenbach and Sullivan. Equally as versatile within the concert repertoire, she sings regularly with chamber music groups and orchestras throughout North Carolina as well as the Midwest. Her recent interest in the Anglo-American ballad and its influence on the Appalachian region resulted in a travel grant to sing a series of recitals in Great Britain. She was invited to sing and lecture at the Elphinstone Institute of the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Page is an adjunct instructor primarily in the jazz guitar area in Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Japan’s Muroran Jazz Cruise. He was recently the featured artist at the Jazz Composers Forum in Asheville.
Page will perform works by Thelonius Monk.
The Appalachian Guitar Orchestra is a major ensemble in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian. Directed by Dr. Douglas James, the orchestra averages more than 35 members and is one of the preeminent groups of its type in the country. In addition to the normal six-string classical and steel-string acoustic guitars, the ensemble regularly uses six-string contrabass guitars and smaller alto guitars, as well as the occasional mandolin or banjo.
The orchestra will perform a selection of works by Billy McLaughlin.
Student soloists are William Petty, Daniel Tompkins and Ronald Ott. Petty will perform “Granada” by Isaac Albeniz. Tompkins will perform two works by Johannes Heironymus Kapsberger, and Ott will perform a composition by Mauro Giuliani.