Duo Guitiano’s 12th performance at JSCC is set as virtual experience

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 twelfth performance at the college. Due to coronavirus restrictions, this year’s performance will be conducted in a virtual environment. The YouTube premiere event will go live on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. A link to the event will be available on the college’s home page at www.jscc.edu and on the college’s Facebook page. This free event is 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 committee made the decision to bring all of the activities for Global Learning Month into a virtual format. Duo Guitiano’s performance has been a part of the event’s activities for the past 11 years. The virtual performance will be a first, though.

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, coordinator for this event, says, “we are so happy that the coronavirus didn’t derail this wonderful annual tradition at Jackson State.” She continues, “both Amanda and Carlos have been so gracious to work with us during this unusual time to develop performance that will be unique for the Jackson State audience.”

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