One Great City made their debut almost exactly a year ago. They are a rather unique duo, both of whom are guitarists; and, at the time of their first performance, they were both in the Master of Music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The two performers are Timothy Sherren, who also prepares most of the arrangements, and Alexandra Iranfar, who sings as well as playing guitar. The concert was presented by the Delphi Trio Emerging Artists Program.
At that time Delphi had just begun to be sponsored by the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church through a new Artist in Residency Program. It therefore seems appropriate that, at the end of this month, One Great City will be giving their first Old First Concerts recital. As Delphi had done, One Great City will also be bringing a world premiere to the program they have prepared. “Águas da Montanha (Passou o Verão),” an evocation of “mountain waters,” was recently completed by the Chinese American composer Christopher Tin, an alumnus of Stanford University currently living in Santa Monica. Tin has many achievements in film, video games, and commercials; but he has never lost interest in the concert stage. “Águas da Montanha” provided him with a unique opportunity to explore the blending of voice and guitars provided by One Great City.
In addition, as I recently observed on my national site, October 23 will be the date of composer Ned Rorem’s 90th birthday. One Great City performed a selection of Rorem’s songs at their debut. For their Old First recital they will revisit four of those songs, Rorem’s arrangement of Stephen Foster’s “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” “Love,” “I Am Rose,” and “Alleluia.” They will also give reprise performances of their arrangements of three Cole Porter songs, “You’re the Top,” “You Do Something to Me,” and “Anything Goes.”
Instrumental selections will include Sherren’s arrangement of three of the four movements from Samuel Barber’s Opus 20 “Excursions:” the opening Un poco Allegro boogie-woogie, the slow blues, and the final Allegro molto square dance. There will also be a performance of the “Sonatina Canonica,” Opus 196 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Finally, the program will open with selections by Federico Moreno Tórroba in arrangements by Sérgio Assad, as well as both Sherren and Iranfar.
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Friday, October 25, at 8 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for seniors and a $5 charge for full-time students. Tickets may be purchased through the Performances page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.