Patricia Wood Dickerson is a patron and volunteer with Austin Classical Guitar. She contributed the following account of a magical evening at the Paramount Theatre in Austin on March 5th. Click the links for photographs taken that evening by Arlen Nydam.

The grand Paramount Theatre offered delectations for all senses that night, beginning with an array of tapas presented by Chef Fer Candil of Paella, Tapas and More. The warm gold light of the hall subsided, and the stage became illumined by the Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra. Composer Joseph Williams II conducted the ensemble in an elegant, professional debut of the Hinsleyian Overture, his homage to Matt Hinsley’s “powerful will and determination to create.” The overture was introduced by Kendal Gladish, President of the ACG Board of Directors, which had commissioned the work.


The pulse of the theater then quickened to the flying fingers of Tomatito and to the flying feet of Paloma Fantova. Guitarists José del Tomate and El Cristi, joined by percussionist Moises Santiago, heightened the flight. Time, too, flew to the rhythms of rondeña, tango, rumba, solea, buleria and the voices of Kiki Cortiñas and Simón Román. The performance was dedicated to flamenco guitar maestro Paco de Lucίa, who had passed away just ten days before Tomatito’s appearance here. Tomatito stated that “A giant has gone…”  This electrifying night of music and dance was a tribute worthy of a giant.


Arlen Nydam’s photographs convey the quality of light and motion of a fine performance, while the sounds of strings, heels, staccato handclaps and voices echo down the colonnaded corridors of the memory.


Patricia Wood Dickerson, April 2014