Gallery at Penn College to Host Classical Guitar Concert

Published 10.04.2010


Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus Alfonse Ciaccio will return to The Gallery at Penn College on Oct. 10 to present "Music of the Modern Masters."

Ciaccio, a 1993 graduate, will perform at 1:30 p.m. as part of the gallery's "In Perfect Harmony" concert series. The gallery will fill with beautiful classical guitar music by such modern composers as Villa Lobos, Carlevaro, Chobanian and others, as well as three new compositions by Ciaccio.

The Ciaccio-written set is called "Suite No. 1," and each song attempts to capture an emotion with which the audience can identify.

"I am really into "˜vibes,'" Ciaccio said. "For instance, while driving down South, I feel the insatiable urge to photograph some of the abandoned farmhouses surrounded by weeds. I can almost sense what it may have been like when that house was in its heyday. The same concept applies to all of my music, whether arranged, composed or improvised. To me, it is the feel that is important, what can be said between the lines, so to speak."

Ciaccio wrote the first piece of the suite, "Cancion de Conchesta" (Harvest Song) in the style of Manuel Ponce.

"I hope to capture the joy and big-heartedness of the Mexican people, several of whom I've had the privilege to share a meal with," Ciaccio said.

The second song, "Remembering Olivia," is an elegy for his parents, who died in 2005.

"I hope to help people in the audience remember ones that they have loved who have passed on," he said. "Memory is a gift of God, given to us to remember what it was like when those we loved were still here, so that we might always keep a connection."

The third song in the set is titled "The Rains of Atalaya." Atalaya is a middle 19th-century castle on the South Carolina coast.

"I hope to bring the audience into the feel of a rainstorm as experienced at this wonderful place on the ocean, complete with thunder," Ciaccio said.

Ciaccio has studied classical guitar with Mary Anthony, famed protégé of the Spanish master Narciso Yepes; with Matthew Slotkin, of Mansfield University and the Eastman School of Music; with Gene Bertoncini, of New York City; and Steve Brown, of Ithaca College.

He is working on two new CDs to be completed within the next year: a jazz CD with his "Alfonse Ciaccio Trio," and a classical guitar CD highlighting his own compositions.

Ciaccio's main emphasis is solo jazz guitar arranging and performing, but he recently began playing with a country band, as well, called Heart and Soul.

"This is not your "˜mom and pop' country, but has elements of jazz, blues, rock in short, very musical," Ciaccio said. "I play with some very talented, wonderful people who have become a second family to me."

Admission to the concert which is accompanied by a dessert reception and all gallery exhibits is free. The exhibit "I Am," by Antonio Puri, will be on display during Ciaccio's performance and through Nov. 7. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Oct. 15-17 in conjunction with the college's Fall Break.

For more about The Gallery at Penn College, visit online or call 570-320-2445.

For general information about the college, visit on the Web or call toll-free 800-367-9222.