Encinitas Guitar Orchestra

Peter Pupping: Composer

Genre: Classical, Jazz, World

Sound description: Classical, world, and jazz music.

RIYL: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra

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Influences: The Cambridge Guitar Orchestra, Gitarren Ensemble Graz, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Niibori Guitar Orchestra, the Munier Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra


“The idea of a guitar orchestra came to me after having played in one at San Diego State University,” says Peter Pupping, director of the Encinitas Guitar Orchestra. “I soon realized that the tradition of plucked instruments and their players getting together to form orchestras has a long history. Consider the mandolin orchestras of Vivaldi, Balalaika orchestras of Russia, and now guitar orchestras throughout the world.”

The Orchestra performs around town, with contributing players ranging in age and experience from high school to senior citizens. “A guitar orchestra includes sections divided up into four to eight parts with multiple players on each part,” says Pupping. “While exploring a wide variety of music — including classical, jazz, and world-music styles — a guitar orchestra can also include other instruments such as percussion, bass, strings, winds, specialty guitars, and more.”

“The sound (timbre) of 20 or more guitarists can be likened to a giant harp...in a live performance, you will capture a heightened sense of the beauty and camaraderie of musicians sharing music together as in days of old.”

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