Making his Los Alamos debut

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By Kirsten Laskey

David Gonzales has studied with some of the guitar greats.

Now he shares his knowledge with the next generation of guitar musicians as an intern at Albuquerque Academy.  

Gonzales is also taking his skills as a guitarist to the stage. Thursday, he will be the next performer in the Guitar and Gateaux concert series. The show kicks off with dessert at 7 p.m. followed by music at 7:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.

The program for the concert will include music by Mauro Giuliani, Manuel Ponces, Manuel de Falla, Francis Pouleno and Albert Ruosel.

“There’s a little something from the classical period, something from the romantic-Segovia (period), then a couple of newer pieces but they are well in the traditional repertoire of guitar,” Gonzales said.

He explained he chose a multitude of musical periods because “it helps to keep the audience interested if you provide a balanced program … just to keep things exciting. It’s also music that I love.”

Gonzales said he is eager to share the music that he loves with Los Alamos.

“It’s always exciting to perform, especially out of town because it’s a new audience,” he said. “That’s exciting to do.”

Although this is his first time in the guitar series, Gonzales, who graduated from Northwest University in Illinois last year, takes center stage everyday as an intern at Albuquerque Academy.

He also works as a visiting artist/teacher at several high schools and plans to begin a Master of Music program in the fall.

Having been taught by some of the masters of the guitar has been advantageous for being a teacher.

He has participated in master classes with world-class talents, including Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Paul O’Dette, Raphaela Smits, Shin-ichi Fukuda and Roland Dyens. In 2006, he won first place at the Society of American Musicians guitar competition.

While learning with these master guitarists was intimidating and at times terrifying, Gonzales said it was also inspiring and enlightening, particularly performing for Oscar Ghiglia.

Although learning to become a teacher himself is more practical than artistic, Gonzales said it does force him to listen to himself.

“It forces you to really think about what you are saying and to be honest.”

Honesty, he said, is important because kids know when you are lying.

It was through his position at the academy that paved the way for Gonzales to perform in the Guitar and Gateaux concert series.

His internship supervisor Mickey Jones, has performed several times in the concert series and he mentioned Gonzales to Greg Schneider, the organizer of the series.

Gonzales said he was happy to be given the opportunity to perform. “I’m excited to perform in a new place for new people.”

Los Alamos Arts Council sponsors the event. Tickets cost $10 for LAAC members and $15 for non-members.