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Get To Know The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet


Melony Dodson talks with John Dearman, from the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, who performs in Oak Ridge on Sunday, April 10th

It's rare that a chamber ensemble stays together for ten years, much less forty-plus, but the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) seems to have found something special, in more ways than one. Founded in 1980 by John Dearman, Bill Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant, while students at the University of Southern California, the newest member, Matt Greif, was added sixteen years ago. During that time, the quartet has recorded fourteen albums as well numerous recordings with other musicians and ensembles. They have performed all over the world, won the 2005 Grammy award for Best Classical Crossover album, and have created their own identity as a guitar quartet. Known for playing in a variety of styles, the group has transcribed countless pieces for guitar quartet, drawing from their own roots of rock, jazz, and folk music.

The LAGQ performs in Oak Ridge at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 10th at 3pm, as part of the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association's Chamber Music Series. They will present selections from their newest recording, Opalescent, just released on Friday, April 8th. Additionally, they will perform Three Guitar Heroes...transcriptions of three different songs by three "guitar heroes": Michael Hedges, Jimi Hendrix, and Frank Zappa. Three Guitar Heroes has not been recorded and is a continuation of their Grammy Award-winning album Guitar Heroes. Two movements from Pat Metheny's Road to the Sun, which was recorded in 2020, also makes an appearance. Lastly, there are a few "standards" on the program, such as the Overture to Rossini's "Barber of Seville", Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, and selections from "El Amor Brujo" by Manuel de Falla.

Learn more about the quartet and the music on this program in this interview with John Dearman. Tickets and additional information are available online at https://orcma.org/losangelesguitarquartet

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.
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  • The Monday program starts off with "Mystery Melody Monday" inviting listeners to identify the music selected. "First Friday" is Melony's request show heard morning's on the first Friday of each month. Listeners can send in requests via email to mgdodson@utk.edu or by phone at 865-974-5541, or send them on our Facebook page. Composers Datebook airs at approximately 10 a.m. Note: playlists are not posted during fund drive weeks in the spring and fall.
  • WUOT's afternoon classical music program airs from 1-4 p.m. each weekday. Classics for Kids airs Mondays at 3 p.m. (rpt. of previous Saturday's show)NOTE: Playlists are not posted during fund drive weeks in the fall and spring.