The BGS Society Meeting hosted their first (and hopefully not the last) Masterclass led by Guitar Virtuoso (and BGS Member) Gary Ryan. We had a noticeably larger than usual audience for tonight's program and they weren't disappointed.
Gary Ryan provided a highly entertaining and educational class for the participants and the audience. Whether you were an experienced classical guitarist or a novice, there was something there for everyone. Normally the type of Masterclasses, I have attended in the past can be rather stuffy, cold and formal with great emphasis on technique and style. Gary's approach was engaging and encouraging, peppered with humour that put his 'pupils' and audience at ease.
Gary also provided some great tips including the importance of not being 'fixated with the music stand' - try to build your aural memory of the piece. He suggested singing part of the piece when practicing which is good advice (although in my case I think this would be a step too far for the tolerance of my family.) None the less, singing while you practice can relax your playing patterns leading to a more flowing performance.
He also mentioned the importance of being aware of the pressure that can be put on the left hand when performing a run of notes and that as a guitarist one needs to alternate between 'hold and release' to take some of the pressure off.
And we couldn't let Gary go without a couple of what Denis refers to as 'blinders' including his composition Rondo Rodeo
On behalf of the BGS I would like to thank Gary for his input into what was a great evening for all. I would also like to thank our Masterclass pupils for putting themselves forward to be 'scrutinised' (in the nicest possible way) for our entertainment and education. It takes a lot of courage to do that in front of an audience and I commend them for it. I would also like to thank our chair Denis for his organisation of the event and once more, the ever reliable Trevor Pike for doing a splendid job in the refreshments department.
I would also like to assure those BGS members who missed out on the Masterclass selection that we will be endeavouring to organise another one in the not too distant future.