GCC guitar ensemble prepares for concert season


by Maria Mayorga

The Glendale Community College guitar students are beginning their preparations for the Guitar Ensemble that will be featuring composer spotlight programs and a special guest appearance. The next performance will be at GCC main campus Oct. 19.

Former GCC student, Francisco Munoz, will be joining the guitar concert featured as the special guest.

“He was a student here and transferred to a university in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he got his degree, developed as a composer, and teacher. He has an active studio now where he lives and so I invited him to be our guest soloist,” said Chuck Hulihan, program director of the music department since 1999.

Oscar Cabrales and Alan Gomez playing the guitar in the Student Showcase 2. Photo by Justin Pinzon

Munoz currently lives in Mexicali, Mexico and released a new album. The guitar student groups will be playing pieces from his new album. Francisco plans on coming to Glendale Community College a few days before the concert to practice with the students.

Along with a special guest performance, the guitar concert will be featuring a duo piece. Nicky Dewberry and Conner Wilson, both experienced guitarists, will be performing a piece “Two Drops of Water” by Munoz.

Although they both have been playing for a while, they say it’s normal to feel nervous on stage, the performers said. “It’s one thing to do easy songs, but when you’re playing all the parts you’re exposed and all the eyes are on you. It can get you kind of nervous, you know?” GCC music student Nicky Dewberry said.

“The first I performed I was a little nervous. My left hand was shaky which is funny because it’s kind of the creator on the guitar, but it went ok. Everybody cheered me on and supported me,” said guitar student, Conner Wilson.

As the guitar concert approaches this fall on Oct. 19, Hulihan says he wants to make sure he prepares his students for success. “You want to make sure you set people for success and prepare them for a good experience,” Hulihan said. Time is cultivated into preparation to help guitar students feel ready to play.

In addition to preparing students with time, students are also encouraged to help one another. Teamwork is key when practicing for a concert. “That’s the cool thing about guitar studio- it’s that we all play for each other as majors and give each other constructive criticism and advice,” Wilson said.

“When I was the new kid on the block. All the older guys were just like, ‘Hey, let me help you do this or do that,’” Dewberry said.

The GCC guitar students use teamwork and time to prepare for a successful performance. The guitar ensemble will be held at the GCC Performing Arts Center Oct. 19 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.