Ensemble rocks Singletary Center


Bryan Station High School student Cody Coleman performs a solo at the Bryan Station High School Guitar Studio at the Singletary Center in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Photo by Cameron Sadler

By Kaylee Hobbs

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The UK International Guitar Series showcased the talents of the Bryan Station High School and the UK Guitar Ensembles Tuesday night at the Singletary Center.

“This event is about celebrating the classical guitar in Lexington,” said Dieter Hennings, an assistant professor of guitar. “We are collaborating the (UK) guitar program with the gold standard of the high school guitar programs in the state.”

Andrew Serce, a student teaching assistant in his first semester conducting the undergraduate guitar ensemble, worked with the high school for several months before the event, Hennings said.

26 UK and Bryan Station students performed at the series, Hennings said. Ensembles and soloists performed on the Recital Hall stage, seated in a semicircle.

Classical guitar performance freshman Enrique Ortiz performed “Testament of Amelia,” a piece by Steve Reich. Ortiz said that he enjoyed having the opportunity to play with high school students and show them what years of practice can do for their abilities.

“They’re going to be, like, wow, this is what you can do if  you continue on,” Ortiz said. “Most of us didn’t have that.”

Ortiz has been playing since he was 12 years old. Hennings said that on average, the Bryan Station Guitar Ensemble members had about three years of experience playing classical guitar.

Seth Dean, a Bryan Station senior, started playing guitar as a freshman. “I enjoyed playing tonight because most of the people I played with were my friends,” Dean said.

The guitarists performed the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,” a classic from “The Nutcracker,” to conclude the session. The piece was a way to celebrate the holiday and the final performance of the semester for the UK International Guitar Series, Hennings said.

“It’s definitely a celebration,” Hennings said. “A celebration of our shared passion for the classical guitar.”