2008-07-26 / Top News

Folias Brings Latin Flair to Summer Series

By Caitlyn Kienitz

The Latin-infused music of Folias, a flute and guitar duo from Grand Rapids, will take center stage Sunday, July 27, at Ste. Anne's Church. The concert, which is part of the Mackinac Island Community Foundation's summer series, is free and begins at 2 p.m.

Founded in 2003, Folias specializes in original compositions and Latin American music. The group features Carmen Maret on flute and Andrew Bergeron on guitar, both of whom have composed and arranged tango and Latin dance music.

"The concert is going to be quite a collection of influences," said Tess Miller, one of the organizers of the concert series. "It's more in the Latin American realm than anything else, but while you can kind of hear some Latin flavor in their new composition, it's more of a concert art style. They draw on a lot of influences: jazz, Latin, and world music in general."

The concert will feature Ms. Maret and Mr. Bergeron performing their own compositions, as well the Folias Latin Dance Project, where they will be joined by Dr. Miller and Scott Harding on flute and percussion, respectively.

The musicians met while attending Michigan State University.

"We didn't perform together while we were in school, but we wanted to stay in touch," Dr. Miller said. "We're excited to perform this music."

In addition to their Mackinac Island performance, all four musicians have been invited to perform at the National Flute Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ms. Maret received her Bachelor of Music in flute performance from the University of Missouri - Kansas City and her Master of Music in flute performance from the Michigan State University School of Music. Additionally, she holds a second master's from Michigan State University in ethnomusicology with a focus on Argentine tango music and dance.

Ms. Maret is a co-founder of the Grand Rapids Tango Community, where she works as a tango musician and dance teacher, head of the Suzuki flute department for the Arts Outreach Program at Grand Rapids Community College, and a member of the West Michigan Flute Orchestra's chamber choir and adult flute choir. She is a co- music director and church musician at Grand Rapids's Bethlehem Church, where she is the founder the Musical Arts for Justice in the Community concert series, which provides donation-based concerts to raise money for social justics organizations throughout western Michigan. Mr. Bergeron received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music and philosophy from Grand Valley State University, with a focus on guitar performance, music composition, and Chinese philosophy. He re - ceived his Master of Music in composition at the Michigan State University School of Music, where he was a recipient of the Paul Harder Com - position Scholarship.

Additionally, Mr. Bergeron is on the staff at Grand Rapids Community College and at Aquinas College, where he is a private guitar instructor and teaches beginning guitar classes. In addition, he is the founder of the Suzuki guitar program at Grand Rapids Community Col - lege, where he has taught since 2002. Mr. Bergeron has also been on staff as a church musician, co-director, and composer at Bethlehem Church, and is a founding performer and composer with the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet, which performs his new works and arrangements throughout western Michigan.

Both Mr. Bergeron and Ms. Maret are involved in composing their own music. Several of the pieces they will perform Sunday were inspired by the areas of Lake Superior and Isle Royale.

"They travel around the country, doing a lot of hikes," said Dr. Miller. "They get a lot of inspiration from nature."

The pair arranges much of their own music as well.

"There isn't any kind of standard repertoire for the kind of group we have," Dr. Miller explained. "As a result, we have had to be very creative about what kind of arrangements we found for ourselves."

Sunday's performance, Fol - ias's third on Mackinac Island, will provide a different experience from the more traditional chamber ensembles the community foundation has hosted so far this summer, she added.

"It's definitely not going to be your standard classical repetoire," Dr. Miller said. "It's more of a popular sound in a concert art setting."

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