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Hartt School to Celebrate Guitar Department's 50th Anniversary with Special Concert, 4/11-12

Hartt School to Celebrate Guitar Department's 50th Anniversary with Special Concert, 4/11-12

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Guitar Department at the University of Hartford's The Hartt School, the oldest performance-based guitar program in the country. In honor of this landmark anniversary, the department will be hosting a weekend celebration from Friday, April 11 through Saturday, April 12 featuring concerts, special events and more. Highlights of the weekend include a special solo performance by Andrew York, the world premiere of Frank Wallace's As It Could Be, and a performance of Andrew York's Attic by students, area guitarists, and alumni. All events are free and open to the public and will be held on the University of Hartford campus (Link to a campus map). For details, please visit www.hartford.edu/hartt.

The Hartt School is the performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. It provides world class performing arts education to students in Greater-Hartford and around the world. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions each year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. The Guitar Department's fiftieth anniversary celebration is a milestone event for both students and the community. Funding was made possible by generous grants from the Augustine Foundation and LaBella Strings as well as alumni contributions.

On Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. Andrew York, a world-renowned classical guitarist, composer and long-time supporter of The Hartt School will perform a solo recital in Auerbach Auditorium. Grammy-award winning York is recognized as one of today's most visible and innovative classical guitar composers. The Hartt School's Guitar Department is honored to welcome York to their 50th year celebration. Beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, Hartt will feature a series of special events including open rehearsals, a Suzuki guitar presentation with Nick Cutroneo, new music for guitar with John LaBarbara, and a rehearsal of Attic by Andrew York for students, faculty, and alumni. At 8 p.m. in Millard Auditorium, the Anniversary Concert will begin, featuring the world premiere of Frank Wallace's As It Could Be, followed by a performance of Andrew York's Attic by students, area guitarists, and alumni.

Frank Wallace, considered to be one of the most prolific composers of songs with classical guitar of our time, was commissioned by The Hartt School to write a piece specifically for the anniversary concert. The eight works that comprise As It Could Be are dedicated to The Hartt School Guitar Department and its founder Richard Provost. "Dick suggested using The Man with the Blue Guitar by Wallace Stevens (a resident of Hartford, CT) as a source of lyrics for a song," said Frank Wallace. "I chose to use this incredible testimony to art as inspiration and have selected titles for eight pieces from the poem. Thank you Dick (and all your colleagues) who brought the guitar out of the dark ages and into a brilliant new community of creativity and progress through your courage, hard work, and vision. Let us imagine a future as it could be."

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