Students string together classic melodies

By Stephanie Sokol

Prepping for the performance

On Feb. 28 special lecturer of music and dance Bret Hoag invited guests to attend his classical guitar ensembles performance free of charge.

Held in the Varner Recital Hall, the hour long performance was made up of a collection of pieces ranging different classical genres and musical periods.

Before the concert, sophmore Kyle Marker and junior Mark Chandler warmed up together back stage.

“Playing music with others isn’t always an option, so it’s a nice opportunity,” Marker said.

Marker performed Fernando Sor’s Variations on a Theme of Mozart.


Guitar and vocal fall in harmony

Together, freshman Lauren Wilson and vocalist Allison Vernon performed pieces by Fernando Sor and John Dowland. Wilson also performed a solo piece.

Experience, expertise and technique

Suite for Lute No. 3 by J.S. Bach was senior Michael Latcha’s choice for the recital.

“Bach is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever learned. And playing it memorized is very difficult,” he said.

Latcha has been playing guitar for 15 years. He will be playing the Metro Times Blowout March 2 with his band, Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment.

Latcha said people tend to not realize the range and amount of music that classical guitar can reach, but there is a wide range of techniques, he said.


Solo performance, group growth

Freshman Lauren Wilson enjoys performing with her fellow students.

“I enjoy our guitar ensemble concerts because it shows the culmination of everyone’s work throughout the semester — it’s nice to see how well everyone has progressed,” she said.

For her solo perforamce, Wilson chose Songe Capricorne, written by Roland Dyens.


Mounting progress made

Hoag is very impressed with the progress his students have made.

“Every year the group gets stronger and better,” he said.

Haog stressed the importance of music as a form of communication.

“Music is important because it allows people to say what can’t be expressed in words,” he said.

To learn more about Oakland University’s music ensembles, visit