It’s called Sweet 16, and that’s what today’s MidDay at Grace’s monthly musical is celebrating — concert No. 16. To highlight this special day in Grace Church’s recent history will be a virtual musical presentation by guest performer, Culver City classical guitarist Alex Park.
Today, listeners can enjoy two of his solos recorded at the Guitar Salon International showroom in Santa Monica.
“Alex’s program will feature a collection of contemporary solos for guitar along with his performance of a portion of the beloved Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo,” Mary Lou Basaraba, director of music ministry at Grace Church, said.
As a teen, Park was introduced to Grace Church by MidDay Concert co-founder, Grace Elliott. Since then, he has performed regularly at the church with several concerts.
“(Alex) has captivated audiences with his colorful musicianship and stunning technique playing concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Germany and Austria,” Basaraba, who founded the Grace MidDay Concerts, said in her email message.
Park describes himself as an artist, international guitarist and an educator, on his website. He captivates audiences with “distinct artistry through his polished technique and brings out the instrument’s intrinsic tone.”
He grew up in Culver City and graduated from Culver City High School. Park went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, where he studied under Christopher Parkening. From there, he earned his masters from CSU Fullerton, studying with Andrew York, and just received his doctorate in Music from USC, under Scott Tennant.
Park has also worked on film and media projects as a session guitarist and film composer, according to his website. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and also has a private studio of dedicated guitar and piano students.
Here is David Russell’s arrangement of an Irish Folk Song, Spatter the Dew, on a Kenny Hill ‘Signature’ spruce and Indian rosewood guitar.
And Sunburst by Andrew York, Alex’s mentor at Cal State Fullerton.
Alex is playing on a beautiful 1993 Paul Fischer ‘Virtuoso’ classical guitar in spruce and CSA rosewood.
For more information about his performances, visit www.alexparkguitar.com.
“I am continuing with the MidDAY At Grace concerts and committed to proceeding through the summer,” Basaraba said. “Last year, we took a hiatus in July and August, but we have had a great response to these online programs and have been asked to just keep going.”
Concert organizers are reaching out to the community for donations to the Grace Diner which is now serving about 1,200 meals a week in partnership with Feed Culver: https://gracediner.org/
“This is an extraordinary ministry that has served more than 30,000 sit-down meals to the homeless and needy for the past 10 years under the direction of Lisa Skelley and a dedicated team of volunteers,” Basaraba said.