By Jennifer Lugo – Collegiate Staff
Brian Morris, Director of the International Guitar Series, will be performing at Grand Rapids Community College, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1. Morris’s reputation proceeds him as a well known guitarist, who has put out four CD’s, including music for solo guitar, guitar ensembles, and original songs,
Affordable entertainment can be hard to come by as a college student. GRCC is hosting a cheap, entertaining night of solo pieces at the Music Center for this event. Morris will be performing a variety of pieces from one of Latin America’s well known composers, Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Morris has been featured as a presenter of Latin American Music at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies on the campus of Notre Dame University.
Since 1992, Morris has been a concert organizer for GRCC. He is an associate for the Michigan Arts and Humanities Touring Program and has always loved music. Morris has played a variety of instruments, showing his extensive musical background. According to GRCC’s website, “Brian is the director of the GRCC International Guitar Series, and has been a concert organizer for over 20 years.”
Morris has a profound passion for music.
At the early age of 8, Morris felt compelled to play the organ. This became his new hobby. A couple years later, he wanted to expand his knowledge of instruments, so he started playing the coronet.
Even with two instruments under his belt, it wasn’t enough. He was 13 when he was influenced to pick up yet another one.
“My brother had a guitar and he was taking lessons,” Morris said. “He took them for a while, and eventually, I just picked it up and started playing it.”
The first song he learned on the guitar was “Steppin’ Stone,” by the Monkees.
“I have learned a lot on my own, but I have to say I have been fortunate enough to have studied with some of the greatest guitar performers and teachers in the world,” Morris said.
After graduating from Rockford High School, in 1974, Morris continued down his musical path. He attended GRCC, majoring in music from 1974-1977.
Moore went on to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music,traveling around the world and connecting him with other renown musicians.
Since 1992, Morris has been an enormous part of GRCC’s music program. Kevin Dobreff, the Director of Music for GRCC, works with Morris.
“Brian Morris is the consummate performer/educator,” Kevin Dobreff said. “His artistic performances are truly inspiring and serve to enlighten his students in both the classroom and in private lessons. GRCC is graced to have Brian Morris as a member of our music faculty.”
Brazilian music is one of Morris’ favorite genres to play. He will be putting on a solo concert next month.
“I am playing a repertoire that I like and that I think a lot of people will like as well,” Morris said. “There are seven Brazilian pieces from Villa Lobos.”
The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Recital Hall (RM 200) of the GRCC Music Center, on the corner of Lyon Street and Ransom Avenue. Admission is $5, and guest parking is available in the GRCC Bostwick Parking Ramp with the purchase of a parking voucher sold at the door for $3.50.
“It’s my first solo performance at GRCC in almost 10 years,” Morris said. “Performing on the classical guitar is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life.”
A preview of the concert can be seen at http://www.grcc.edu/music/internationalguitarseries/brianmorris.