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Playing with heartstrings

During APSU’s Guitar Fest, students  showcased their talents and received advice from professionals, some of which have won multiple awards on how to keep improving.

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux taught master classes and gave a concert for APSU and the community on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Vieaux was a part of the festivities for the music department’s Guitar Fest.

“I believe the last time I was here was in 2003,” Vieaux said. “I love being a part of Guitar Fest here, it has been fun.”

Vieaux played 10 pieces ranging from dances to ballads. The pieces he played were from classical and modern eras. One of the pieces he played, “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington, was featured in his hit solo CD, “Play.” Vieaux also played pieces by composers such as Johann Bach and Paulo Bellanti.

“My favorite part was the compilation of dances he played at the end. As a guitarist, it was so interesting to not only hear him but see his technique,” sophomore music major Tia Mitchell said.

In addition to the concert, Vieaux taught master classes where some graduate students performed and received  critique on how to improve.

“While it was not my first time in a master class, he was still really helpful. Especially with our recitals coming up soon. It was a pleasure to learn from him,” graduate music performance student Alex Rockwell said.

When guests give master classes to APSU students they allow them to play and give them constructive criticism to enhance their performance. Vieaux also showed the students in the class new techniques, gave them helpful performing tips and offered them new ideas to help them prepare for a performance.

“It was fun and very interesting. I learned new ways to approach playing. It was also cool being at his level for a little while,” graduate music performance student Kieran Franzone said.

As Guitar Fest came to a close, the students involved could take a look back on their hard work as well as apply what they learned to their classes and continue to improve their performances.

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