This past weekend at ACG was spectacular! We had our 2022-2023 Season Opening Night with flamenco prodigy, Grisha Goryachev. The concert was absolutely stunning and exhilarating! We were swept away by Grisha’s impressive speed and beautiful musicianship. It was so wonderful to be back in the gorgeous AISD Performing Arts Center with close to 1,000 friends! 

Not only did we have a magical evening on Saturday, we had an entire week with Grisha filled with amazing moments! Not everyone knows that our guest artists also spend several days in our community teaching and visiting schools! 

“All the middle school students were amazed and came back the next day telling me they wanted to get better,” Hector Aguilar, reported about his students in the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center. “They are so excited they could jam with Grisha and perform for him. It was already a good group of young men, but after the visit they’re even more patient and attentive.”

Grisha also played for a high school unit at Gardner Betts. Hector shared:

“The high school group is two students with a third one that is not in the class but is in their unit – which is where the classes are held. Usually, the third student goes into his dorm because he does not want to be in the room with the rest of the class, but when Grisha visited he came out and sat down to join the performance and even asked questions. It was great because he doesn’t communicate much normally when I am there. The newest member of this group also had a profound experience. Prior to Grisha’s visit he did not want to participate in the Hispanic Heritage Month Event we have coming up. We’d agreed that as long as he performed for Grisha’s visit he would not have to participate in it. After his performance, and Grisha’s beautiful playing, the student was so inspired that he now wants to perform for the Hispanic Heritage Month presentation.”

Students from Manor Middle School, with their teacher Victor Longoria, posing with Grisha after his Saturday evening performance at the AISD Performing Arts Center

Tony Mariano, ACG’s Director of Community Education, took Grisha to several high schools, and shared this reflection as well.

“There was a particular moment that happened at Bowie that I thought was worth sharing. It was a little reminder for me about why we do the things we do at ACG.

Grisha had just finished an amazing 45 minute set for the students at Bowie High School, who had crowded into the front and center section of the school’s theatre to hear him play. Some students there had started playing guitar only a month or so ago. For them, this was their first ever artist they had seen up close and personal. Others in there had been playing for a long time and had been waiting with anticipation to see and meet Grisha for weeks.

After Grisha’s last rasgueado and golpe, after the students quieted from their excited applause, there was time for questions. At first, there were the usual questions you’d expect: how many hours do you practice, what age did you start? But then there was a question that seemingly came out of nowhere, one that made Grisha pause. A student asked Grisha, “why do you do this?” Grisha paused and asked, “what do you mean?” The student clarified their question with “what motivates you to do this, what inspires you?”

Grisha looked right at him and told him that music is what gives him purpose. It’s what gives him meaning to his life. It’s what makes him feel whole. Music is what gives his deepest feelings a voice. For Grisha, music is the language that allowed him to express himself in a way that speech never could. And that expression can connect with others, and bring them closer to him. 

On our way back to the car I looked at Grisha and told him how beautiful of a moment I thought that was. And without skipping a beat he said to me,  “this is how I can help make the world a little better. This is how we all can help make this world a little better, in our own small ways.” That moment was so special. When you put people like Grisha in a room with young minds, really special and beautiful things happen. Everyone looks inward to find the things that really matter to them. The things that give us purpose.”

We are so grateful for the time we’ve spent with Grisha and all the inspiring moments we’ve got to share. 


Read a beautiful story about our Music & Healing program here

Learn more about ACG Education services here.