Making Music with a Master

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The Rocky Point High School guitar ensemble represented Suffolk County during the first evening of the Five Towns College 9th Annual Fall Festival of Guitar. During the event, which featured professional jazz and classical guitarists, the group opened for legendary jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini.
“The students were very excited to perform,” said ensemble director David Ventura. “They deserve this honor because they are such a dedicated group of musicians. Most of the students have been a part of the group since the sixth grade, and have been willing to dedicate their time and energy to perform during Rocky Point's Jazz Night each year, as well as accompany the chorus at the FJC Spring Chorus Concert.”

At the festival, the students attended a workshop with Bertoncini, who reviewed guitar theory, scales, intervals and chord voicings. They then performed three songs – “Europa” by Carlos Santana and Tom Coster, “Swing It” by Barry Greene and “Evil Ways” by Sonny Henry – that were in line with the program’s theme of Brazilian-influenced music.

The ensemble was comprised of nine students: high schoolers Christian Cabrera, Lisa LaFountaine, Nicholas LoCastro, DeAnna Pitcher, James Schell, Matthew Setaro and Rosa Valente, middle schooler Aidan Vu and alumnus Stephen Valente.