Convocation Features “Gender-Bending Strings”

La Guitara, a musical group comprised of Patty Larkin, a music sorceress and guitar-driven organizer, and guitarists Rory Block and Muriel Anderson, perform “Gender Bending Strings” during a Stephenson Memorial convocation in Phelps Stokes Auditorium on April 12 at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

La Guitara is a mini guitar festival of influential female guitarists. The brainchild of singer-songwriter Patty Larkin, La Guitara explores the contribution of women to the evolution of modern guitar by exploring the contributions of 14 guitarists from various genres.

“The goal of La Guitara is to better define the contribution of women to the history of modern guitar,” explains Larkin. ”I have been asked repeatedly, ‘Why are there no great female guitar players?’ The answer is, ‘There are.’ Demographics are changing as young girls and women take up the instrument with increasing dedication and commitment to technique and repertoire. It is my belief that women guitarists of the past played a part in the evolution of the instrument and that their story is largely untold. I also believe that there are women guitarists today who are actively changing our preconceptions about gender and guitar heroes. This project is dedicated to these artists, past and present, waiting to be discovered, needing to be heard.”

For more information about this event please contact Randall Roberts at 859-985-3359 or via email at

This performance is part of the Stephenson Memorial Concert Series. The Stephenson Memorial Concert Fund was established in 1987 by the late Louis B. Stephenson Jr. and Edna M. Stephenson in memory of their daughter, Nancy Anne, a pianist who died early in her life.

Following his death a few months after his retirement, the concerts were designated as also honoring their son, John B. Stephenson, president of Berea College, 1984-94.

In many ways, the multiple programs each year are chosen to reflect the interests of Nancy Anne, in the piano as a solo and ensemble instrument, and of John, in traditional world and ethnic music and dance that foster an understanding of diverse cultural traditions, in contemporary themes that expand an awareness of frontiers, in humor and storytelling, and in the exploration of a sense of place – whether in Appalachia or Scotland. Many thousands of students come to appreciate the fruits of this memorial series.

Categories: News, People
Tags: Concert, Convocation, guitar, La Guitara, music, Stephenson Memorial Concert

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.