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OCTOBER 23, 2009

Guitar teacher plays at Midweek Music Concert

Mark Wright STAFF WRITER

MARK WRIGHT/ THE GRAND VIEWS

Aaron Powell plays guitar at St. John’s Lutheran Church for the downtown Midweek Music Concert on October 7.

Aaron D. Powell, an acoustic guitarist and guitar teacher on Grand View’s campus, performed October 7 at St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown for the Midweek Music Concert. Middle of the week is right where I need something to just sit back and relax. This performance was exactly what I was looking for. It was not the slow boring classical music that you might be thinking about. This performance was upbeat and continuously flowing. Aaron Powell performed music from the Renaissance to the 20th Century – music written by Alonso Mudarra, Gaspar Sanz, Luigi Boccherini, Fernando Sor and Franscisco Tarrega. After a rough beginning, Powell warmed up and put

on a soothing show. The performance lasted just over half an hour. After the first couple songs he had to re-adjust the tuning of his guitar that took some time, but he spent that time explaining the songs that he just played, so it wasn’t that bad of wait. After he had tuned his guitar and began the third song he was in the rhythm playing a few songs from the renaissance style. The fifth song Powell performed was a piece from a Spanish guitarist and composer Fernando Sor, who is known as the Beethoven of guitars because he wrote a ton of music. Powell performed Fernando Sor’s Grand Sonata, which I found the most impressive. It was not just one single melody but it was constantly changing and kept you entertained for how long the piece was. This piece is more of the traditional guitar that you might be familiar with, comparing to works by Beethoven.

The final piece that Powell performed was his personal favorite Tango written by Francisco Tarrega, which is a Spanish style dance that Powell performed in the classical guitar style. This was a great piece to end on because it’s the most recognizable and it sends everyone off on a good note. Following the performance there was a prepared meal for those that wanted it. I would say it was a fantastic event to attend and I would strongly recommend going to one of his performances. Aaron Powell will be performing a couple more times this fall. On November 8th in Lekberg Hall at Simpson College in Indianola for a faculty recital, then on November 22nd at Drake University in Sheslow Auditorium for a faculty recital. These events are free and open to the public.

Blues society to host benefit for budget deficit at Blues On Grand Lack of attendance at Labor Day blues fest put accounts into deficit Courtney Townsend STAFF WRITER

On Sunday October 25 the Central Iowa Blues Society is holding a benefit to help their budget’s deficit according to Terry Cole, president of the society. “It’s just about generating money to get our neck above water,” Cole said. The benefit will be held at Blues on Grand located at 1501 Grand Ave. with performances by: Sumpin’ Doo, The Bob Pace Band feat. Steve E. George, and Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts. The society is asking for a $25 minimum donation and it includes a full meal by the Machine Shed. There will also be door prizes and a silent auction (a complete list of items can be found at www. cibs.org. “We had blues fest over Labor Day weekend and it was the first time we had held a two day festival and didn’t get the attendance we planned,” Cole said. “We actually owe

more than is in our accounts, and part of the bylaws says we can’t have a deficit.” According to the Central Iowa Blues Society website the organization was founded in 1992 by 200 people in the area that loved the blues and wanted to improve the blues scene in Des Moines. Since then membership has reached 800 people. CIBS has created and helped expand the blues section on Forest Ave. Public Library, and established of the Carol Thomas Memorial Endowment Fund for youth education programs. It also hosts the Blues Challenge every year. It’s a competition of blues bands and the winning band represents Iowa at the international blues challenge in Memphis. And in the last 6 years Iowa has been represented by 3 bands in the finals Cole said. Cole has been president for 3 years and has helped keep the society together doing events such as Blues for Baghdad, Hurricane Katrina Benefit and the Autism Walk, among others. “CIBS works to educate the community through events about the history of blues music - truly the origin of most American music

forms and to works to share the importance of keeping this music form alive by education youth and supporting their efforts and talents,” Kim Thacker-Thornton, CIBS member, said. “CIBS supports many local community efforts by providing bands for events such as the Autism Walk, Blues Before Sunset at the Historical Building, Highland Park Sweet Corn Days, I’ll Make Me a World In Iowa, and so many others.” “This community would suffer a great loss if CIBS is unable to recover from the unanticipated shortfall to cover expenses from their inaugural Living History Blues Fest,” Thacker-Thornton said. “This event alone provided a perfect example of just what CIBS and its members are capable of doing. It seemed impossible to think we could pull together a two-day blues fest and yet it was accomplished and very well received by the community.” The benefit will take place at one of the few Blues venues in Des Moines, though the Blues scene is still quiet popular. “There is a Blues scene in Iowa, people dont realize that,” Cole said.

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Blues society to host benefit for budget deficit at Blues On Grand