Guitar series to feature the cream of the crop

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By Kirsten Laskey

 Guitars and Gateaux series will feature the cream of the crop in regards to young musicians.

The Albuquerque Academy Guitar Honors Quartet will perform for Los Alamos starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge.

The four students in the quartet: Tony Mariano, Norm Farquhar, Louis Fazio and Laura Worden will prove just why they were accepted into this group. They will perform pieces by composers Celso Machado, Patrick Roux, Felix, Mendolsohn, Enrique Granados and Joseph V. Williams.

To get into the quartet, students need to audition. Greg Schneider, organizer for the series, said it is a competitive process to get into the ensemble.

He explained it is competitive because “First of all, the depth of talent at Albuquerque Academy is amazing. It’s very impressive. I think they have somewhere around 140 kids in the guitar program at Albuquerque Academy … naturally, there’s got to be an outlet for the better players … but these are ideally the four best players in the program.”

Schneider added he is happy to have the students be a part of the guitar series.

“When I envisioned the series … I always wanted some of the students at Albuquerque Academy to take part because I wanted to give the students a showcase … I think really Albuquerque Academy may have the very best guitar program in the country for middle school and high school students. It’s the very best.”

According to a press release, John Truitt founded the Albuquerque Academy Honor Guitar Quartet in 1995. Mickey Jones became the director in 1997.

The quartet has performed around the country, the press release reports, including the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Assad Duo and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet. Additionally, the quartet has performed in music festivals around the country including Chicago, San Antonio, Oberlin, Ohio, Oklahoma City, Tucson and Dallas.

A major event, Schneider said, was when “They played as invited performers at the Guitar Foundation of America two years ago and that is very prestigious. That is a premiere classical guitar competition in the country and to be invited there is something.”

The quartet program, he added, is “just an amazing program. It’s the best I’ve seen.”

Besides hearing some sweet music, participants at the show will be treated to some edible sweets. Desserts will be served from 7-7:30 p.m. Thursday before the music begins. The fee for the concert, which is sponsored by the Los Alamos Arts Council, is $10 for art council members and $15 for non-members.