Accardo takes over the Wray with ‘Frank and Friends’

Rio Hondo continued their annual music concert featuring professor Frank Accardo and friends on Nov. 3 at the Wray Theater.

“Frank and Friends” was a night filled with beautiful music composed by Accardo; as well as staff, current students, and alumni.

Accompanying Accardo was current Rio student Daniel Olvera, self-taught guitarist Juan Sixtos (winner of the ‘Music Student of the Year Award), former Rio student Blanca de los Santos, who is now a Spanish professor at Rio, and musician Cassandra Nevarez.

Accardo kicked off the show at 7:30 p.m. with “Etude Op. 111 No.1” by M.Giuliani, “Prelude,Fugue (exposition only)”, and “Allegro” by J.S. Bach. Accardo, who teaches guitar and music appreciation, led audience members through an array of emotions while playing these classical songs.

Rose Rivera, a student at Rio Hondo was quoted as saying, “The professors style of playing was very entertaining, very soothing, and made me want to pick up the guitar after listening to him.”

Following Accardo, Sixtos took the stage with songs such as “Op.60. Etude 7” by M.Carcassi, and “Capricho Arabe” by Francisco Tarrega. Sixtos guitar playing was outstanding and instantly became a crowd favorite.

Accardo joined Sixtos for his last song and both did a phenomenal job together. Each note was very precise that it left all audience members in silence until the last note was played.

Olvera followed with a performance of “Sonatine, Op.71, No.1, Movement 1, Maestoso”, by M. Giuliani, “Three Movimentos (Op 168)”, and “Andante, Andantino, Allemande and Trio”, by Jos Kuffner.

Olvera, who seemed a little nervous at first, did an extraordinary job on his arrangements with his classical guitar.

“You have to practice two hours for every instrument. For example: Piano is two hours, and guitar is another two hours; total of four; but not only the instruments…the musicianship as wells,” said Olvera after his performance.

Olvera was always curious in learning how to play the guitar during high school but began taking it serious when he started playing in the spring of 2013 at Rio.

Olvera is currently studying at Rio and plans to major in statistics and music.

The night seemed magical and serene with the classical music that was being played, however one of the crowd favorites De Los Santos when she sang “Cancion con Todos” by Tejada Gomez and Cesar Isella, as well as two of her personal pieces; “Re Menor” and “25 de Julio (Pasodoble)” with Accardo.

De Los Santos sang each song beautifully and receive a roar of applauses from the whole audience after her performance.

The night concluded with Nevarez as she performed the songs “Invention 4” and “Invention 8” by J.S. Back; as well as “Megalopolis” and “Solo Rhythm” by Rodrigo y Gabriella.

The audience were extremely thrilled to watch her superb performance throughout the show and ass she was using her insane wah pedal, she invited the audience to clap and follow her rhythm; an experience that no doubt ended the night on a high note (pun intended).

Overall, the music was amazing and each performance had the audience intrigued and glued to their seats. The theater may have been too cold for comfort, but nonetheless it was worth watching each performer inspire everyone to pick up the guitar and play.