The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Kithara Duo performs NE concert

By Shanda Block/entertainment editor

Two guitarists who form the Kithara Duo are finding their way to NE Campus Oct. 20.

Olga Amelkina-Vera, a member of the duo, said the genre they will play is an all-modern program with compositions coming from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Amelkina-Vera grew up in Belarus and came to the U.S. in 1997. Fernand Vera, the second duo member, is native to Houston. The two active chamber musicians both have bachelor’s degrees in arts. The duo plays genres like Renaissance, Baroque, classical, romantic and Latin American/Spanish.

Created in 2002, the duo has written books on methods of playing guitar and has been invited to play at countless Texas festivals and organizations.

“We met at the University of St. Thomas, where we both got our undergraduate degrees at Houston, Texas,” Vera said.

Currently, they reside in Denton and created and direct the annual Guitar Orchestra Workshop in North Texas.

“The TCC NE music department likes to offer two-fer concerts where students can hear professional musicians and learn about repertoire throughout many eras of music history. And we love to invite our community to join us. After all, we are all lifelong learners,” said Karen Parsons, NE music department chair. 

Not only do the two play various styles of music from all historical periods, but they also teach their talents starting as young as 5 years old all the way to 100. They have taught guitar more than 15 years and worked with people of many ages and levels of musical progress. They require a minimum four-week commitment and tuition due on the first lesson.

When asked about which performance setting was the most exciting, Vera told of playing at a bank opening.

“They had the concert in the lobby, and they invited people to come in,” he said. “We were happy to play the gig, but it was a little unusual because it was just in a bank — it wasn’t in a concert hall. They were doing a concert series, and I think they were using the bank as the venue. It was certainly very unusual.”

The two say they are working on developing their career and playing concerts around the world.

“We’re going to add a few more continents to our tours,” said Amelkina-Vera. “We have plans for a concert in Europe this winter and then Latin America next summer.”

Vera said what inspired them to do music was “I just felt like it was a great way to express myself — the idea of reading music and learning music that way. I’m sure Olga has something very similar to that.”

The Kithara Duo concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in NE Campus’ Center Corner.

The duo’s Web site, www.kitharaduo.com/store.html, has an online store with some of their pieces and samples of their work.

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