arts   |   performances

IU student guitar ensemble to perform music from popular movies


IU students will perform music from Disney movies and award-winning films at the “Guitar Ensemble Plays the Movies” concert at 8 p.m. April 6 in Auer Hall. Courtesy Photo

IU students will perform music from Disney movies and award-winning films at the free “Guitar Ensemble Plays the Movies” concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in Auer Hall.

The concert includes music from the movies “Coco,” “The Godfather,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Deer Hunter,” “The Artist” and more. Ensemble director Daniel Duarte said this is the first time the student guitar ensemblegroup has performed this type of music.

“This is the first time that we’re tapping into pop culture and using the techniques that they learned,” Duarte said. “They’re all really wonderful players and using all the skills that they have to merge these two universes together: guitar and movies.”

Sophomore ensemble member Grace Elmer said the group has been branching out from its typical classical performances.

“A lot of stuff we do in the ensemble is really heavy and intense and very challenging, and this has been also challenging but in a different way,” Elmer said.

The pieces for the 12-person ensemble are arranged by Duarte. Elmer said the arrangements are always well put together and reflect the emotion of the movie scenes. The group was also able to watch the films and discuss the emotions involved in the scenes in order to produce a more accurate performance of the piece.  

“Whenever I get my music, I know he spent so much time thinking about it and making sure everything works and all the parts really recreate what the original setting calls for, which is like a masterpiece itself,” Elmer said. “He really challenges us to bring as much life and energy into the piece as possible.”

The concert will also feature a violinist, various types of guitars and vocalists. The guitar ensemble will also play along with some of the movie scenes as they are projected on a screen onstage.

“I think it’s a unique opportunity for the audience to see guitar music that became famous through these movies,” Duarte said. “It will be nice for them to understand how the guitar and movies actually interact and create really nice artistic product.”

Duarte said through all these movies, guitar is used to effectively portray emotions of both the characters and the setting.

“We’re just going to show how powerful guitars can be in order to deliver a musical message,” Duarte said. “That’s what all these pieces have in common.”

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