Guitarists to pluck with heart

In Arts & Entertainment, Music
Courtesy of CSUF Music Department
Courtesy of CSUF Music Department

The Clayes Performing Arts Center will perform highlights of music history in the upcoming Cal State Fullerton’s Guitar Chamber Recital on Friday.

Director Martha Masters, renowned classical guitarist and winner of the 2000 Guitar Foundation of America international solo competition, arranged a refined guitar performance.

“There is no theme in particular, but will feature small ensembles, and a few solos as well, covering a wide variety of music from baroque to folk music,” Masters said.

This recital will highlight the strengths of the Music Department’s finest guitarists.

“We have some great students who will be not only really solid in terms of their technique, but also offering an interesting musical performance, said Masters.

One of the performers, Ebaa Kahamas, will perform a duet with graduate student Stephen Laughlin in a light baroque piece by Antonio Soler.

“The most challenging technique that I’m working on this semester would have to be playing at a faster tempo than I’m used to with simply said ‘letting go,’” said Kahamas.

One of the greatest things about the guitar is the wide range of music it has been used in, from baroque to punk rock, from country to heavy metal.

“We are lucky that due to the nature of our instrument, we have a very diverse program within that world,” said Masters.

Students will not only showcase their mastery in technique and skill, but also their passion for the art form as well.

“My favorite style/genre is ‘80s rock and heavy metal; but since I came to CSUF I started to enjoy playing several other style like classical music and flamenco,” said Kahamas.

With such devotion and adoration for the art form, students hardly make the music sound like work. Rather, the pieces are expressed and interpreted to seamlessly mold on its own.

Although some pieces may seem like classical standards, students have learned to make each piece their own.

“My favorite part about being a guitarist is that I’m going to play guitar for the rest of my life and get paid for it (hopefully). I’m going to wake up everyday excited about going to ‘work’,” Kahamas said.

Masters shows the same enthusiasm in her trade, offering a contagious love for becoming a disciplined musician among the performers.

“I love every aspect of what I do, performing and teaching being the main components,” said Masters. “The teaching is particularly rewarding, because I remember what an important role my teachers played in my development, and I feel a great responsibility to do right by these students who are working so hard.”

Students have been given the ability to excel in a major that is not only considered a trade, but a passion for most.

“Making music for a living is a lot of work, but when one defines work as something that you couldn’t live without, I think we should count ourselves as lucky,” Masters said.

Martha’s direct experience in the professional music industry has shed plenty of new light on the student performers.

“Martha’s involvement in the CSUF guitar program simply elevated the program to a new level. A few things that I’ve learned and am learning from her are musical expressiveness, dedication, focus and most importantly mental discipline,” Kahamas said.

The performance promises to uplift spirits and an adoration for life.

“I aspire to make change in people’s lives through music. Music can be a truly healing art,” Kahamas said.

The Guitar Chamber Recital will take place Friday at the Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

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