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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Guitar Ensemble delivers refreshing take on classical guitar

Photo Courtesy of School of the Arts and Joe Paul DiMaggio.

Tobin Roye, faculty member and guitarist, is the leader of Chico State’s Guitar Ensemble.

When most people think of classical music, they think of orchestras with many different instruments and perhaps piano or organ music. But on Friday night, talented classical guitar students wowed the audience with melodies using only guitars and some light percussion in “Camaieu.”

The show started at 7:30 p.m. in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall and the Chico State Guitar Ensemble played six total musical acts.

Some students played solo while others played in pairs or quartets. The last act was a set of five pieces played by the entire guitar ensemble class.

One act also included beautiful traditional singing along with the music of the guitar.

It was amazing to hear the range of mood and melody that can be portrayed with just guitar music.

The pieces played ranged from very calming and flowing to exhilarating and staccato.

The skill and precision demonstrated by the students to execute complicated picking patterns and progressions was impressive.

The Chico State Guitar Ensemble is a class at Chico State. These students have worked hard all semester to finally present their work in this show. In fact, it is even a challenge just to get into the class.

“Students have to demonstrate reading ability on the guitar,” said Tobin Roye, who teaches the class and directed Friday’s performance. “Only a fraction of students can read a little bit of music, and on the guitar, and know a little bit about classical guitar. The class is like a club, with rotating membership.”

The dedication of Roye’s students definitely shows.

“I think most people think of guitar as a solo instrument, but when you see it played in an orchestra, it makes you realize just how versatile of an instrument it is,” said Alec Beretz, a sophomore studying music industry and technology.

Matt Leyrat, a sophomore music industry major, said he liked how the different ability levels could be seen working together.

“You could see it was set up so that there was a person playing the bass all the way up to the soprano,” Leyrat said.

More people need to come out next time, said Larry Lynch, a third year business management major.

“These guys worked hard for this!” Lynch said.

A snippet of Roye and another Chico State student and member of the ensemble performing can be seen at:;=UUlQ-6fx8wTFiDIiYJsT7ERA.

Sarah Scharf can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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