By: Liz Slocum ~Staff Writer~
As part of the 2014 Xavier University Music Series, the Xavier community was treated to
a solo performance by renowned classical guitarist Berta Rojas on Nov. 9 in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre. The two-hour program had classical Latin folk songs, waltzes and salsas by composers such as Manuel M. Ponce, Agustin Pio Barrios Mangore and Julio Cesar Oliva.
This performance, which featured Rojas alone onstage with her guitar under a spotlight, was a
listening experience most do not often have with guitar players. In a time when the general public associates the guitar with the strumming of heavy, electronic power chords, it is unique to hear the instrument played with the virtuosity and delicacy of the classical style.
Music seemed to flow effortlessly from Rojas’ guitar to the entranced audience in the Gallagher
auditorium as the classic Latin melodies and rhythms transported them to a completely different time and place. Rojas introduced each song and composer in a soft voice, preserving
the ambient peace in the overall atmosphere that the music created.
The mastery of classical guitar that Rojas displayed at the Sunday afternoon performance continues her status as a veteran guitarist and there is a good reason why she is well-known. In the past, Rojas studied music extensively in Uruguay and the U.S., studying with renowned classical guitarist Eduardo Fernandez and earning her B. A. in Music degree from Escuela Universitaria de Musica and a Master’s from the Peabody Institute in Uruguay. The audience left the theater expressing sentiments that the performance was “beautiful” and “amazing.”
There were noticeablylong lines to buy her CDs during intermission and at the end of the
show. Clearly, the general consensus was that the guitar renditions of Berta Rojas were a terrific Sunday afternoon treat and her live performance was beautiful.
Once again, Xavier chose an exciting act to be part of its annual Music Series. Be on the lookout for other exciting artists and events that will occur as part of the Xavier Music Series in the upcoming year.
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