The Weber State University Department of Performing Arts presented the WSU Guitar Ensemble on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Eccles Theater of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts.  Todd Woodbury directs the WSU Guitar Ensemble, which features a variety of students playing ensemble combinations such as guitar quartets, trios and solos.

The concert was free and open to the public. Children 8 years and older were welcome to attend.

The ensemble usually performs one concert a semester. This year’s fall concert featured music of Renaissance composers, including Scarlatti, Barrios, Vivaldi and Boccherini.

Russell (last name not given), a guitarist in the show, is a junior in music education at WSU from WestPoint. Russell said he has been interested in playing the guitar since a young age, and has been playing since junior high school. He said he bugged his mother to buy him a guitar and put him in lessons until she finally did. After years of playing in junior high and high school, he joined the music program at WSU a year and a half ago. His end goal is to get a job teaching music after he graduates.

“Everyone wants to be rich and famous, but I would love to teach music in junior high and then move my way up,” Russell said.

The audience was filled with students from WSU, families of the performers, and community members. Ramona Skoglund, a piano player from Roy, said she really enjoyed the performance.

“I felt they were very good, especially when they were able to put feelings into the songs so that we could feel it,” Skoglund said.

WSU sophomore Natalie Laramie brought her 12-year-old son, Jaxson, to the performance due to his interest in the guitar. After buying his own guitar this summer, Jaxson was anxious to learn as much as he could about music. Laramie heard about the event through Student Support Services and knew Jaxson would want to come.

“Being able to come out and enjoy the arts is something we’ve never done before,” Laramie said. “We are feeling very uplifted. This performance was beautiful, and the guitar work was great.”

Frank Hameier, a community member who moved to Utah from New Jersey about two years ago, also said he enjoyed the concert. He has played the guitar for all of his life, and is still performing.

“This is the first time that I have been out here, and they were really good,” Hameier said. “I really enjoyed it. I have been checking out the list of events on the program and am thinking I will come back to the jazz program tomorrow night.”

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