Rock Ridge Guitar Strikes the Right Chord at Their Spring Concert

On May 15, the Combined Guitar and Artist Guitar Ensembles came together to perform their spring concert, featuring solos from several players.

On May 15, Rock Ridge guitar performed their last concert of the year, highlighting their seniors. 65 students in two ensembles played a total of nine songs. Both the students and directors aimed to make this concert a final sendoff for seniors, and to make it something for all grades in the guitar ensembles to remember fondly.

The concert began with the Combined Guitar Ensemble–made up of beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar students–taking the stage. Director Teresa L. Gordon led the performance of “Spanish Dance” by Clementi/arr. Jeffords. Afterwards, Gordon announced that the next song would be “Boogie Blues” by W.C. Handy/arr. Gordon. Her preface included an introduction for four freshmen soloists who would perform 12 bars that they each wrote during the song. Freshman Rithvik Gabbireddy was one of the soloists. “She didn’t choose the soloists; she allowed us to volunteer for it,” Gabbireddy said. “I thought maybe it would be a good time to test out my skills.”

Combined Guitar then finished off with “Let It Be” by Lennon and McCartney and “Fiesta Mediterranea” by Miroslav Lončar (husband of Artist Guitar teacher, Dr. Nataša Klasinc-Lončar). Gordon wanted the students to be able to choose the songs they wanted to perform that were both within their skill range and fun to play. “It was just something that I thought was fairly easily attainable in the time that we had,” Gordon said.

Afterwards, Artist Guitar director Dr. Nataša Klasinc-Lončar introduced two senior spotlights: Noah Chang and Hannah Adnan. Chang took the stage first–cheered by an enthusiastic “Go Noah!” from a fellow Artist Guitar player–to play “Beneath a River of Stars” by Richard Charlton. As with his previous solo at the winter guitar concert, he prefaced the song with its story. The composer wrote the piece after a visit to Uluru in Australia’s “Red Centre.” Seeing the blackness of the sky and the vast stars of the Milky Way, Charlton felt inspired to write about the “river of stars” above him. 

Then, Adnan played “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. Sheeran wrote the piece to express his experiences of having a long distance relationship with Nina Nesbitt while on tour.

Finally, to end the concert, the Artist Guitar Ensemble took the stage. Before playing, Dr. Lončar congratulated guitar’s graduating seniors, noting that some couldn’t make it due to other obligations. Nonetheless, she was happy to have them and will miss them next year. 

The two seniors who were present were able to speak to the audience about their future plans. Next year, Adnan will be attending Belmont University to major in Songwriting, and Chang will be attending William & Mary to major in Japanese Studies. Afterwards, Lončar presented Adnan with a student award certificate.

Artist Guitar then performed “Kalimba” by Jürg Kindle, a song Lončar introduced as having lots of plucking to mimic the sound of the kalimba, a percussive instrument played by plucking metal pieces over a wooden body. Then, they played “Lotus Eaters” by Andrew York and “Latin Groove” by Dieter Kreidler. With that, the Rock Ridge Guitar concluded their final concert of the year, and bid their seniors farewell with one final performance.