Former VCU Music students will return to the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts as the next guest artists for the 25th annual guitar series on March 23.
Formed in the mid-2000s, the Richmond Guitar Quartet was the result of four undergraduate student’s desire to play as a small ensemble. The quartet members are Andrew McEvoy, Nathan Aldhizer, Matt Rise and Ron Alig.
McEvoy said before performing professionally, the members of the group were just friends who enjoyed performing on the guitar.
“We all enjoyed each other’s company, and shared a similar passion for the guitar and the myriad of styles encompassed by its repertoire,” McEvoy said.
Guitar coordinator John Patykula began the guitar concert series at VCU. Patykula said he requested to have the quartet perform because the members showcase their talent in a wonderful way.
“They have the ability to play the music and also to arrange it,” Patykula said. “They can take any piano piece or an orchestral piece and change the notes … for four guitars.”
In the past, the guitar series has featured classical and flamenco guitarists. Some notable artists who have performed include Ricardo Marlo, a classical and flamenco guitarist, and Torcuato Zamora, a flamenco guitarist.
By including a variety of performances such as the Richmond Guitar Quartet, Patykula said younger students can learn how to set themselves apart from the crowd as professionals.
“If you’re just learning to play the guitar, it’s nice to get exposed to some very good guitarists,” Patykula said. “Students can see what they want to be.”
McEvoy jokingly said his quartet performances have more unusual benefits as well.
“RGQ concerts cure most minor illnesses within two weeks of attendance,” McEvoy said. “On many occasions, our younger audience members find love and are married within five years of concert attendance.”
Patykula said the guitar series is more than just watching artists perform on stage. When performers interact with the audience, people are more engaged and leave with a memorable experience. Patykula said he also wants the guitar series to teach students how to bring their own personality to the stage.
“There are so many different approaches to the classical guitar and everybody is different,” Patykula said. “As faculty, we want students to have their own personality and their own say, with some direction, of course.”
As a former student, McEvoy said he was able to learn how to develop his own talents through diverse musical training. McEvoy said he is thrilled to attend the annual VCU concerts and is honored and humbled to contribute to them.
The quartet performance will take place on March 23 at 4 p.m. in the W.E. Singleton Center for Performing Arts in the Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for general admission. They can be purchased online through VCU Music or at the box office in the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts at 922 Park Ave.