Ariel preps theater state for ‘Glorious Guitars’

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS —“Glorious Guitars: Tim Berens and Craig Wagner” will take the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The April 30 concert features not one, but two guitarists whose range includes Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue to the more recent music of Paul McCartney, Chick Corea and Duke Ellington.

Berens’ multi-faceted career gives testament to his lifelong quest to learn, perform and write music. So far, his venture has led him through the worlds of classical guitar, jazz guitar, orchestral guitar, arranging, orchestration and conducting.

During his years as the guitarist for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Berens played guitar, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki on concerts, recordings, television programs and tours. Beginning in the late 1990s, Tim began arranging for the CPO, eventually becoming the orchestra’s principal arranger. His arrangements caught the ears of others and he began receiving commissions from many leading conductors and major orchestras.

His arrangements are performed hundreds of times per year by orchestras throughout the United States and abroad, in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Hollywood Bowl. Berens’ arrangements receive praise from conductors, musicians, librarians, management, and listeners.

Wagner is recognized as one of the most versatile young guitarists on the scene today. He has been a featured performer at the Chet Atkin’s Society Guitar Festival in Nashville since 1995, a festival which has showcased such jazz luminaries as Martin Taylor, Fareed Haque, Jack Wilkins and Max Roach.

Wagner has also played at The Great American Guitar Show in New York, sharing the stage with guitarists such as Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Paul Bollenback, Ron Affif, Russell Malone, Gene Bertoncini and bassist Michael Moore.

As a member of the Java Men, Wagner has played at venues as large as Lollapolooza to as intimate as the Knitting Factory, and as sprawling as the New Orleans Jazz Festival where they shared the bill with acts such as Victor Wooten, the Charlie Hunter Trio, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He has been featured as a solo performer at the Kentucky Arts Council’s Master Musicians Festival and is a regular performer at the Nashville NAMM show.

Wagner’s work has been featured in publications such as Guitar Player, Guitar One, Acoustic Guitar, Just Jazz Guitar, 20th Century Guitar, Vintage Guitar, Keyboard Magazine, The Village Voice, Cadence, Spin, and many others.

The Ohio Valley Symphony will perform Leonard Bernstein’s “Valentine” to his adopted hometown of New York, “On The Town,” which tells the story of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave, intent on finding romance in the city and packing in as much sightseeing as possible. Their adventures lead them all over New York, where as the musical’s big tune boasts, “the Bronx is up, and the Battery’s down, and people ride in a hole in the ground!”

To get a perspective on making music, the public is welcome to attend OVS rehearsals for free between 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 29, and 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. Open rehearsals are a way for people to become more familiar with symphonic music, and they offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into preparing an orchestral performance.

Join Steven Huang, director of orchestras at Ohio University and OVS program annotator, for a pre concert chat to hear more about the music and the musicians. Held in the third-floor Ariel Chamber Theatre, the pre concert talks are free, interactive and informal and begin at 6:45 p.m. Join us for a post-concert reception to meet the musicians and have some treats.

Tickets for OVS’s April 30 concert are $24 for adults, $22 seniors and $12 for students. The price includes the pre-concert chat, the concert and the reception immediately following. Tickets are available on the website at or or at the box office at 428 Second Ave. Funding for The Ohio Valley Symphony is provided in part by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment.

Staff Report