MU Honors Guitar Quartet performing at The Benton Country Club in St. Joseph, Missouri.
In 2010, just one year after the establishment of the University’s first classical guitar program, guitar professor Anthony Glise founded the MU Honors Guitar Quartet. This elite group of guitar majors were pleased to have the opportunity to travel on a mini tour January 20-22. Junior guitar performance major Ryan Marquardt states, “I was very proud to have the fellow members of the MU Honors Guitar Quartet alongside me as we shared this beautiful music. These concerts were also the debut performances of some of my arrangements and one of my compositions, which was very exciting!” Graduate guitar performance student Nick Faller was thrilled with the experience. “This tour has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my musical career and, under the guidance of Anthony Glise, has brought a new level of musicianship and inspiration to the members of the Honors Guitar Quartet. I am extremely excited to continue working with these incredible musicians as we continue to push each other’s musical and technical capabilities to new heights.”
Guitar professor Anthony Glise coordinated the tour as a valuable learning experience for the students but also as a pleasurable listening experience for the audience. Says Glise, “One of the most exciting things about our MU classical guitar program, and the entire School of Music, is that students not only learn their musical trade, but through tours like this, they learn how to launch their careers. I couldn't be more proud of this ensemble; their professionalism, talent, and commitment to the art has been exceptional!” The concerts included solo, duo, and quartet music from the Renaissance through the 21st century. The quartet performed in St. Joseph, MO, Lawrence, KS, and Maryville, MO. In addition, they performed three video shoots, and six live/prerecorded radio shows that were simultaneously broadcast internationally via KFOH-FM web radio. They also performed live on KQ2, St. Joe’s cable news channel which can be seen here.
They packed a lot of experience into those three days and that in itself was a great learning experience. Graduate guitar performance student Sam Jennings explains, “The tour was relatively intense. We had probably close to 6 or 7 full performances, some of which were for radio and television. As musicians, we hear a lot about performing for exposure – we certainly got some, but the key part of the trip for me was simply having that back-to-back-to-back performance schedule; you figure out how to really practice for performance, which is so rare for a college student.” Robbie Lawson, Senior BA-Music student, agrees. “I thought the trip was a great experience, it is not common for students like us to have so many performances back to back. Normally you rehearse and rehearse for one or two performances and that's about it. Every day of the trip we performed at least twice, and I think that sort of schedule really helps to allay performance anxiety and build confidence.”