LA Guitar Quartet, by Hayden Steckel
The L.A. Guitar Quartet is the best group of guitarists I have ever seen. I saw them in Brownsville with the rest of the McCallum ensemble earlier in 2012, and they completely blew me away. They had been leading the guitar world for some time now, so when Mr. Clark told us that we would be opening for them, I became very excited. Later when he told us we would also be a part of a master-class with the LAGQ themselves, it was clear this would be something very special….more
Our ensemble was playing “Bantu” written by Andrew York, who is, himself, a former member of the L.A. Guitar Quartet, so they knew the piece backwards and forwards. After we played it, the four began to walk up and make comments. They were critical but very constructive, demanding but laid back, and really helped with the percussion parts and our tone. They also just seemed to be normal, funny, relatable guys, and they brought a whole new level to our group. Overall, their master-class was insightful and beneficial, and it was very inspiring to hear critique and acclaim from such high quality guitarists.
Later as we walked on stage to perform, we were as confident as ever. And when it was over, the cheering and clapping soon ensued! Thanks especially to the earlier master- class, “Bantu” just sounded incredible. Then we got to sit down and listen to the Grammy winning artists play – and they did not disappoint. With a set consisting of international music, Miles Davis and John Coltrane arrangements, and various other masterpieces, the quartet whipped through their program, talking, laughing, and playing with virtuosity. It was mind blowing, and I will never forget the experience.
Hayden Steckel is a junior and a classical guitar major in the McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy under the Direction of Andrew Clark.