Live Music events, Public Event

Mark Akin opens Classical Guitar Concert Series at The Varsity

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Date(s) - 09/22/2018
7:30 pm

The Varsity Center


W. Mark Akin was a rock guitarist who is now primarily a classical guitarist. He will open the new Classical Guitar Concert Series at The Varsity on Sept. 22.

CARBONDALE – The Varsity Center’s Classical Guitar Concert Series opens with a performance by W. Mark Akin on Sept. 22. The series is sponsored by First Southern Bank. The name ‘classical guitar’ refers not to the music being played – which can be any music from Bach to Rock and Roll and beyond – but to the type of guitar being played.

Akin lives in St. Louis, where he performs regularly and teaches privately and in the St. Louis Guitar Public School Guitar Initiative program. He began as a rock guitarist idolizing Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson and discovered the classical guitar in high school. A graduate in guitar performance from Belmont University in Nashville, and a Master’s degree from the University of Arizona, he has had additional instruction from some of the World’s leading touring concert guitarists. Akin has won numerous competitions, and this past year was selected the winner of the Artist Presentation Society of St. Louis Competition (all instruments).

Akin’s program includes several composers and time frames from the mid-19th century, with three pieces by Johann Kaspar Mertz, to the more modern Koyunbaba Suite by Carlo Domeniconi. He also will perform three pieces he transcribed: Cordoba by Isaac Albeniz (Spain), Romance Op. 24 no. 9 by Jean Sibelius (Finland), and the Watchmen’s Song by Edvard Grieg (Norway). Other works on the program include Caterete by Sergio Assad, Sonata Op. 47 by Alberto Ginastera, and Carnival of Venice by Francisco Tarrega.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $12 in advance at or $14 at the door on the night of the performance. Student tickets are $8; children 10 and younger are admitted free. Doors and The Varsity Bar open at 7 p.m. The bar features wine, beer, select cocktails, other beverages and snacks. The Varsity is downtown Carbondale at 418 S. Illinois Ave. To keep up with events at the venue, go to