Female professional guitar trio performs at the Rehearsal Hall
Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 17:10
On Sept. 29, UCF was privileged to have Presti, the first all-female professional guitar trio in the country, perform at the Rehearsal Hall.
The trio includes Olga Amelkina-Vera, Valerie Hartzell and Lynn McGrath, who all achieved outstanding solo recognition before coming together, bringing culture and knowledge to their group.
Attendees at the Rehearsal Hall experienced an intimate performance from Presti. Despite the minute size of the Hall, the trio expressed its love for audience participation, which is done best in personal settings. The trio had audiences mesmerized by performing passionate classical music dating back to 1575 and included modern pieces in their performance, as well.
Amelkina-Vera, who is an award-winning composer, wrote a piece for the trio. When asked what type of music they enjoy most, Hartzell said, "Her [Amelkina-Vera's] music!"
It was clear that the women of the trio were in sync. A simple smile from one of the members was all it took for them to act as one, and that bond has contributed to their success on three continents. They were almost speechless when asked how they felt about being known throughout the globe.
"International success is something every artist strives for," McGrath said. "It is also nice to destroy stereotypes based on culture."
Nationally, they have recently performed in many areas of Florida and New York, including the Classical Guitar Society of upstate New York. Their 2012 season will have them traveling to Texas and Pennsylvania, as well.
Even though performing is second nature to the trio, they still feel excited before shows.
"We focus on one at a time. Each is unique, based on the audience," Amelkina-Vera said.
The trio also makes sure to educate their audience during performances, a deed they feel is especially important at universities.
"We are double excited because of how large this school is," Amelkina-Vera said about performing at UCF.
Students and local residents of all ages came to see what Presti had to offer.
Greg Degenhart, a sophomore aerospace engineer major at Seminole State College, attended to experience new artists.
"I am looking forward to seeing how they play together and produce their music," Degenhart said.
Zachary Rodriguez, a UCF freshman biology major also went to see new music that night at the Rehearsal Hall.
"I like the guitar and am hoping to hear some finger style and classical guitar," Rodriguez said.
To his delight, Rodriguez found the trio to be "better than I expected."
"I enjoyed the mystical sound and atmosphere they created. They blend very well together," Rodriguez said.
The performance by Presti is just one of the concerts The Guitar Series of UCF has offered to the public. Dr. Eladio Scharron is the creator and organizer of the series, and was very pleased to have Presti performing at UCF.
"They are very high-quality players of classical guitar," Scharron said.
The series has sponsored a wide variety of shows, which would appeal to all music types.
"There have been a total of seven concerts at the professional level. We also sponsor nights for student performances," Scharron said. "Everyone should come. It's free and offers and interesting side of cultures."
Next on the schedule for the series is a faculty recital on Oct. 18. The program will be diverse, and will cover music from the Renaissance to modern times.