Student guitarists to showcase talent at upcoming recital

On the third floor of UAA’s Fine Arts Building, a plethora of musical instruments are being played all at once. Within each room sits a student or two practicing their musical skills. Among those students are the guitarists that are preparing for the Guitar Studio Student Recital.

Students are able to showcase their repertoire they have been learning throughout the semester. Classical guitar pieces will range in sounds from Spain, South America, Baroque, Renaissance and other times and parts of the world.

“There are two things: to test out some of the pieces they’re working on and to practice performing, which is very important. Most musicians don’t feel super comfortable with that. It’s uncharted territory. Everybody is looking at you, it’s silent. If you make a little mistake, it’s audible,” Armin Abdihodžic, assistant professor for UAA’s Department of Music, said. “There’s a process and strategies that go with preparing the students for that. For that reason, I incorporated guitar studio to give my students to practice that as well.”

Abdihodžic teaches private guitar lessons throughout the day until 9 p.m. The lessons are flexible to meet the needs of the students’ availabilities.

Each student comes from a different background of guitar skills. James Bodolosky, a sophomore in the program, learned how to play the guitar when he was 12 years old.

“My neighbor taught me how to play. He was just trying to make his way into music. He taught me the basics of playing guitar,” Bodolosky said. “When I moved from South Carolina to Alaska, I had to kind of teach myself. It was a lot of transitioning during that time. I went with very little instructions on how to play the guitar until I got here.”

James Bodolosky, a sophomore in the fine arts program, likes the structure of classical guitar and how it is versatile in different forms of guitar instruments. Photo credit: Mizelle Mayo

Students like Mischa Shimek also wanted to pursue guitar, despite having no musical family background.

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“I didn’t know if I was going to stick with it or not. It was one of those things I wanted to try. I had experience in music when I was in high school and throughout my life… It’s been very developmental in my career,” Shimek said.

Not only do students have the opportunity to showcase their skills as musicians, Abdihodžic welcomes the guitar community in Anchorage to participate in the recital as well.

“Last year, we also featured some high school students who studied with local guitar teachers. We also had other community members, people that played the guitar that look for places to perform and opportunities to present classical repertoire, to perform too,” Abdihodžic said. “It’s a good opportunity to get all the guitarists from the community together in one place to hear some music, and it really works out well for all the parties involved.”

The Guitar Studio Student Recital will be held on April 11 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is a free event. Seats are first come, first serve.