The Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet
Last year the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet's performances received an overwhelmingly positive response from the audiences at their sold out performances. This season the Quartet will again present a program of transcriptions of masterworks as well as music originally written for Guitar Quartet. The Quartet is comprised of four active performing and teaching guitarists who currently make their homes in the West Michigan area. The GRGQ will again be featured on the 2007-08 GRCC International Guitar Series on Thursday, October 18, 2007, at St. Cecilia's Royce Auditorium, 24 Ransom Avenue. NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Admission: $5 Students and $10 General. Advanced tickets available for this concert by calling the GRCC Music Department Office at 234-3940. This is sure to be a wonderful program. Don't miss it!
The Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet
From left to right: Brian Morris, Michael Stockdale, Andrew Bergeron, Jason Werkema
Brian Morris' programs of classical guitar, jazz, blues, original and folk songs have received enthusiastic approval from music scholars and elementary school children alike. He has performed with the West Shore Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony; and at the College Music Society's Regional Conference in Madison, WI, the Kennedy Center and has twice been featured as a presenter of Latin American Music at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies on the campus of Notre Dame University. Brian has been a member of the music faculty at Grand Rapids Community College since 1992, where he teaches guitar and other music courses.
Earning music degrees from both Florida State University and Montana State University, Brian's past teachers include Christopher Parkening and Bruce Holzman. He has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco and David Russell, and has recorded three CD's, Are We All the Same Age?, a CD of original songs for Shakti Recordings, Ballet Burlesque, a CD of music for two guitars for Liscio Recordings, and a solo guitar CD called Suite Music for the Classical Guitar available at cdbaby.com and brianmorrisguitar.com.
English-born guitarist, Michael Stockdale is a graduate of London's prestigious Royal College of Music where he studied with Charles Ramirez and Patrick Bashford. Mr. Stockdale has given numerous performances as a soloist and chamber musician and has been featured on both English and American radio and television. In 1993, Mr. Stockdale received the Chamber Music America/ASCAP award for adventurous programming. Aside from his many accomplishments as a classical musician, Michael has been active in Christian Music for over 20 years. In 2003, he performed with Michael English in a special concert to benefit Prison Fellowship Ministries. Since moving to Grand Rapids in 2003, he has become a part of the Worship and Creative Arts Department at Resurrection Life Church, ministering with several groups. Before moving to the Grand Rapids area, Mr. Stockdale was the Chair of Music and Director of Detroit's Institute of Music and Dance (1991-96) and was on the adjunct faculty of Wayne State University. He currently divides his teaching time between Grand Rapids Community College and Cornerstone University.
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Andrew Bergeron splits his creative efforts between composition and performance. During his Master's degree in composition at Michigan State University, Andrew Bergeron composed music for a variety of ensembles including, solo guitar, guitar and flute, electro-acoustic music and chamber music. He received his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Philosophy from Grand Valley State University, and has performed solo guitar recitals throughout mid-Michigan before co-founding the flute and guitar duo Folias. Andrew Bergeron teaches classical and Suzuki guitar at Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College.
Jason Werkema is Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Division at Grace Bible College, Grand Rapids, MI. With expertise in both classical and jazz guitar, he is distinguished in Michigan as a leading guitar pedagogue. An accomplished musician, he has performed concerts in churches, recital halls, and schools throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including a series of performances at the 1992 World's Fair in Sevilla, Spain. He has participated in guitar master classes and/or private study with renowned guitarists including David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Alice Artzt, Clare Callahan, Nicholas Goluses, Chris Buzzelli, Randy Johnston, Fareed Haque, John Holmquist, Joshua Breakstone, Mark Elf, Paul Vondiziano, and Brian Morris. Previous to his current administrative/faculty position, he finished a Bachelors of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI and a Masters of Music degree in Jazz and Classical Guitar at Bowling Green State University, OH. He is currently nearing the completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Leadership through Western Michigan University. In addition to his full-time responsibilities at Grace Bible College, he serves on the music faculty at Cornerstone University and at Grand Rapids Community College. Furthermore, Mr. Werkema is a founding member of the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet (GRGQ). Apart from music, he enjoys fly-fishing, golf, running, biking, camping, and especially family time. He and his wife, Darcie, have three children, Adam, Holly, and Melissa.