A variety of genres, levels and styles of guitar music were represented at the Guitar Ensemble and Studio Concert Wednesday night. Krinovitz Recital Hall was almost at capacity with family, friends and classmates of the 16 guitar ensemble students. 

The concert has been happening every semester since 2003.

 “When I first got here, all the performing majors performed in one show, and the majority of the performers were guitarists,” Michael Fratino, adjunct guitar professor and director of the show, said. “So I figured, let’s make our own show.”  

Fratino’s favorite part of putting together the show is watching them go through the learning process or, as he refers to it, “the baptism of fire.” 

“It’s good exposure for young musicians that don’t get to play otherwise,” senior chemistry major and math and music minor Richard Chandradat said. “Our professor lets us pick our own piece because it’s important to play the best and perform the best, something that you want to do. It’s important to have fun in whatever you’re doing.” 

The students work all semester to prepare a show made up of solo acts from each student, most accompanied by Fratino. It was concluded with five songs performed by the ensemble, including the Mario Bros. theme song. 

“I like just playing guitar,” Daniella Micallef, a sophomore childhood and special education major with a concentration in music, said. “It’s relaxing. It’s a different thing from all your other classes. It’s just something I enjoy doing. Playing music and being with everyone [is] fun, and Michael’s really fun too.” 

This is Micallef’s second semester playing the guitar. She plays the oboe but found the guitar to be a drastic change. Micallef said the two instruments don’t even use the same notations, forcing her to learn to read music all over again.   

“As a beginner, I’ve learned so much,” Micallef said. “I’ve been able to play songs I never thought I’d be able to play. It’s really nerve-wracking performing in front of people, but it’s also rewarding. You spend the entire semester learning a song and then get to perform it for people.” 

Michael Pautz, a junior communications major, has been playing for five years, after receiving a guitar as a high school graduation gift. This is his second concert with the ensemble. Pautz said Tuesdays are his favorite day of the week because he has a lesson with Fratino during the day and meets with the ensemble to practice in the evening. 

“People that play guitar are a tight-knit community, so it brings the students together that play guitar,” Pautz said. “You connect with other people so you can jam outside of this. Professor Fratino plays any genre, so whatever you’re interested in, you can pursue it.” 

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<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/alana-penny/" rel="tag">Alana Penny</a>