Duo Guitiano set for 11th performance at JSCC

Now a standing tradition at Jackson State Community College, the musical duo of Dr. Amanda Virelles and Dr. Carlos Castilla are set to return for their eleventh performance at the college. They will perform at the main campus in Ayers Auditorium Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The International Education program of JSCC is hosting Virelles and Castilla. They are classically-trained musicians who have been performing together for many years. While their repertoire is very broad with many styles of music, their performance is typically tailored to consist primarily of Spanish and Latin music.

Duo Guitiano’s performance this year has added significance. The International Education program at JSCC is sponsoring a spring-break study-abroad opportunity to Cuba for the Cuban Literacies and Histories experience. Dr. Virelles is native to Cuba and will bring her personal perspective to students regarding this unique opportunity.

The term Duo Guitiano is used to describe the instrumental combination of guitar and piano. Dr. Virelles plays piano and Dr. Castilla plays classic Latin American guitar. Both Virelles and Castilla have studied music in world-renowned universities and have performed in numerous orchestras and music ensembles.

Amanda Virelles is known as a versatile musician, who has played for audiences around the world. Her performances have been described as sensible, profound and energetic. She has performed as a soloist as well as a collaborative artist throughout the United States, France, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Cuba. Currently, Dr. Virelles is an assistant professor of Piano at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

Colombian-American guitarist, Carlos Castilla, has been featured as a soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles, as well as in solo recitals in different cities of Latin America and the United States. He has worked as a collaborative artist with orchestras featuring stars such as Placido Domingo, James Galway, and Bernadette Peters. Carlos is the co-founder of Duo Guitiano, along with Cuban-American pianist Amanda Virelles, and is known for his innovative technique, clear sound, and soulful interpretations. Carlos currently teaches guitar courses at Coastal Carolina Community College, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina State and runs his private studio.

Virelles and Castilla have recently founded the Fayetteville School of Music. Responsibilities for this venture have been added to their teaching duties for Fayetteville State University.

Mary Wadley, the coordinator for this event, says, “This is an annual tradition and a gift to the community.” She continues, “This and other such events are hosted by the International Education committee at Jackson State. An emphasis on international education at the college is relatively new and this is a great way to communicate this to the community.”

Each year, Jackson State sponsors several students to study abroad through the program. As Wadley notes, “This is an opportunity most people do not associate with community colleges.”

For more information, please contact Mary Wadley, at mwadley@jscc.edu or by calling (731) 424-3520 ext. 50252.