The Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet is comprised of four award winning
guitarists who currently make their homes in the West Michigan area,
Andrew Bergeron, Brian Morris, Michael Stockdale, and Jason Werkema.
For the past several years they have received an overwhelmingly positive
response from the audiences at their sold out performances at colleges,
universities, art centers, chamber music series and community concert
series. This season the Quartet will again present a program of a variety of
transcriptions of masterworks and music originally written for guitar quartet,
along with entertaining, informative and often humorous explanations
about the music.
The GRGQ's programs features music by Mozart, Bach, Brouwer,
Bizet, Roman, Ravel, Bellinati, there own original compositions and much more....
Program Notes for the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet CD
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (b Salzburg, 27 Jan 1756; d Vienna, 5 Dec 1791). While the young Mozart was known throughout Europe as a child prodigy, the mature Mozart was known as a composer accomplished in all mediums of music common during his lifetime. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik was written in 1787 during the same period that Mozart was writing the opera, Don Giovanni. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik demonstrates his gifts for beautiful melodies, elegant formal structures and rich harmonies. Originally for string ensemble this arrangement for four guitars was made to use as much of the range of the standard guitar as possible.
Swedish composer Johan Helmich Roman (b Stockholm, 26 Oct 1694; d Kalmar 20 Dec 1758) is known as the “Father of Swedish music”. Roman spent the years from 1716-21 studying in England, and in later years traveled to France, Italy and Germany to perfect his art. The Drottningholm Music or Music for a Royal Wedding, one of Roman's best-known compositions, consists of a collection of 24 pieces that were written for the wedding of the Crown Prince Adolf Frederick of Sweden and his bride Louisa Ulrika of Prussia in August of 1744. The four movements here are from a set of eight that were arranged for guitar quartet at the request of the publisher.
Michael Praetorius (b Creuzburg an der Werra, nr Eisenach, 15 Feb 1571; d Wolfenbüttel, 15 Feb 1621) was known primarily as a church musician, composer, organist and theorist. Terpsichore published in 1612 is a group of 312 dances from various sources that he arranged for four, five and six voices. Dedicated to Duke Heinrich Julius, Terpsichore was the only secular music collection that he published during his lifetime. These arrangements for four guitars were made by the noted British guitarist and composer Gilbert Biberian.
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Andrew Bergeron splits his creative efforts between composition and performance. During his Master's degree in composition at Michigan State University, Andrew Bergeron composed music for a variety of ensembles including, solo guitar, guitar and flute, electro-acoustic music and chamber music. He received his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Philosophy from Grand Valley State University, and has performed solo guitar recitals throughout mid-Michigan before co-founding the flute and guitar duo Folias. Andrew Bergeron teaches classical and Suzuki guitar at Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College.
Brian Morris' programs of classical guitar, jazz, blues, original and folk songs have received enthusiastic approval from music scholars and elementary school children alike. He has performed with the West Shore Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony; and at the College Music Society's Regional Conference in Madison, WI, the Kennedy Center and has twice been featured as a presenter of Latin American Music at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies on the campus of Notre Dame University. Brian has been a member of the music faculty at Grand Rapids Community College since 1992. Earning music degrees from both Florida State University and Montana State University, Brian's past teachers include Christopher Parkening and Bruce Holzman.
English-born guitarist, Michael Stockdale is a graduate of London's prestigious Royal College of Music where he studied with Charles Ramirez and Patrick Bashford. Mr. Stockdale has given numerous performances as a soloist and chamber musician and has been featured on both English and American radio and television. In 1993, Mr. Stockdale received the Chamber Music America/ASCAP award for adventurous programming. Aside from his many accomplishments as a classical musician, Michael has been active in Christian Music for over 20 years. In 2003, he performed with Michael English in a special concert to benefit Prison Fellowship Ministries. Since moving to Grand Rapids in 2003, he has become a part of the Worship and Creative Arts Department at Resurrection Life Church, ministering with several groups. Before moving to the Grand Rapids area, Mr. Stockdale was the Chair of Music and Director of Detroit's Institute of Music and Dance (1991-96) and was on the adjunct faculty of Wayne State University. Michael Stockdale is currently the Director of Contemporary Christian Music at Cornerstone University.
Jason Werkema is Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Division at Grace Bible College, Grand Rapids, MI. With expertise in both classical and jazz guitar, he is distinguished in Michigan as a leading guitar pedagogue. An accomplished musician, he has performed concerts in churches, recital halls, and schools throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including a series of performances at the 1992 World's Fair in Sevilla, Spain. He has participated in guitar master classes and/or private study with renowned guitarists including David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Alice Artzt, Clare Callahan, Nicholas Goluses, Chris Buzzelli, Randy Johnston, Fareed Haque, John Holmquist, Joshua Breakstone, Mark Elf, Paul Vondiziano, and Brian Morris. Previous to his current administrative/faculty position, he finished a Bachelors of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI and a Masters of Music degree in Jazz and Classical Guitar at Bowling Green State University, OH. He is currently nearing the completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Leadership through Western Michigan University. In addition to his full-time responsibilities at Grace Bible College, he serves on the music faculty at Cornerstone University and at Grand Rapids Community College.