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News Release

8th Annual Bethlehem Guitar Festival “From Renaissance to the Present Day”

Bethlehem, Pa., May 15, 2008—A day of public concerts, master classes, workshops, and a guitar expo will celebrate classical guitar, “From Renaissance to the Present Day,” as the 8th annual Bethlehem Guitar Festival takes center stage at Moravian College on Saturday, June 7.  This year’s festival will highlight outstanding guitarists playing guitar and guitar-like instruments from various eras including the vihuela, Renaissance guitar, Baroque guitar, 19th Century guitar, lute, and modern guitar. The day-long program will conclude in the evening with a concert featuring renowned lutenists, Ronn McFarlane at 8 p.m. in Moravian’s Peter Hall. The festival is coordinated by John Arnold, director of the classical guitar program at Moravian.

The festival begins with registration and a coffee reception at 8:30 a.m. Baroque guitarist Michael Murphy will present “The Sixteen Suites of Henry Grenerin: French master of the Baroque guitar,” at 9 a.m. Dr. Robert Trent will discuss “19th Century Performance Practice: An introduction to interpretation and improvisation,” at 10 a.m., and later perform in recital at 2:15 p.m. Fran Wallace will play the guitar-like vihuela in recital at 11 a.m.

McFarlane will conduct a Master Class at 1 p.m.  McFarlane is credited with bringing the transcendent charm and timeless quality of the lute into the musical mainstream and making it accessible to a larger audience. Recently, he has been engaged in composing new music for the lute, building on the tradition of the lutenist/composers of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This new music is the focus of his new solo CD, Indigo Road.  For more information on McFarlane, visit his official Web site at http://www.ronnmcfarlane.com/.

Renaissance guitarist Manley Mallard will perform with guest vocalist Patricia Budlong in recital at 3:15 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring guitars and to join the Ensemble Play-In from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. that offers the opportunity for audience members to come up on stage and read through some easy guitar ensemble arrangements.  It’s not a concert but a fun time to join other guitarists making up an on-the-spot “guitar orchestra.” An early evening concert will be held at 5 p.m. featuring modern guitarist Troy King.

All events will be held in Peter Hall located in the Hurd Music and Art Complex of Moravian College at Church and Main Streets in historic Bethlehem. For a complete schedule of events, registration and ticket information please visit the Bethlehem Guitar Festival web site or call the music department at Moravian College (610-861-1650) or contact music@moravian.edu. For more information call 610-861-1650 or email music@moravian.edu.

The 2008 Bethlehem Guitar Festival is sponsored by Plucked String Foundation, C.F. Martin & Co., Dave Philips Music and Sound, the Mammana Family, Moravian College Department of Music, Moravian College Music Institute, and Worldguitarist.com.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.