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7th annual Bethlehem Guitar Festival to feature “Jazz on the Classic, and More”

Bethlehem, Pa., May 18, 2007— A day of public concerts, master classes, workshops, and a guitar expo will celebrate jazz and the classical guitar as the 7th annual Bethlehem Guitar Festival takes center stage at Moravian College on Saturday, June 2.  This year’s festival will highlight outstanding guitarists playing jazz on classical guitar. The day-long program will conclude in the evening with a concert featuring the legendary guitarist Gene Bertoncini at 8 p.m. in Moravian’s Peter Hall.

Bertoncini has won the highest critical acclaim for his artistry on both the classical and electric guitar, and has worked with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra; the Benny Goodman Sextet; singers Tony Bennett, Morgana King, Lena Horne, Vic Damone, and Edye Gorme; jazzmen Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, and other well-known names; and arrangers/composers Burt Bacharach, Michele LeGrand, among others.  He performed regularly on the Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson shows, and has been one of the most popular and prolific musicians in New York City.  For the past eight years he has performed with bassist Michael Moore in a duo described by the New York Times “as one of the finest pairings of jazz strings…….”  He is a highly sought-after guest clinician in colleges and universities throughout the country, and his superb structure of arrangements and improvisations win continual praise.

The Festival begins with registration and a coffee reception at 8:30 a.m. that continues to noon. Peter Symser, jazz guitar instructor at Moravian College will give the first recital at 9 a.m.; and Glenn Caluda, classical guitar professor at Shenandoah University will present a lecture entitled “Fundamentals of Fretboard Theory,” at 10 a.m. The Mayes Guitar Duo composed of classical guitarists Joseph Mayes, professor of music at Rowan University and Kathleen Mayes, adjunct professor at Rowan University and Burlington County College, will perform at 11:00 a.m., to be followed by a luncheon break.

A Master Class will be conducted by guest artist, Gene Bertoncini at 1 p.m.  A pre-recital lecture/recital will be delivered by jazz guitarist Tom Kozic at 2 p.m., followed at 3 p.m. by the Satori recital, featuring Claude Bolling’s “Picnic Suite” for classical guitar, flute, piano, bass, and percussion. Bolling’s music is an exciting fusion of jazz, classical, and baroque styles.

Attendees are invited to bring guitars and to join the Ensemble Play-In from 4:30 to 5:00 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.”  Jazz arrangements will be the choice of repertoire so basic sight reading is a prerequisite.  At 5:15 p.m. a recital will be performed by the talented guitarist Christopher Ladd, known throughout the country as one of the most promising young classical guitarists.

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: www.guitarfestival.moravian.edu. or call the music department at Moravian College (610-861-1650) or contact music@moravian.edu.

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.