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Classical Chamber Music

 

A delightful and sometimes moving journey through varied genres and eras of classical music from around the globe as played on the ever-versatile saxophone family, with informative historical commentary.  Selections for saxophone quartet are often transcribed and adapted from works originally written for other instruments, although there are many works composed specifically for the saxophone quartet. Saxophones are often called upon to blend and create the timbres of other instruments, at times sounding like strings, organ, accordian, human voices, and of course, sometimes even like...saxophones!  Many listeners are astonished that saxophones are so versatile and beautiful while pouring out classical music!  

 

Our Saxophone Ancestors 

Around the period of Prohibition, silent films and Speakeasies, a somewhat obscure instrument with a promiscuous reputation and uncertain future exploded in popularity. The saxophone, formerly relegated to military marches and dance bands, soon cemented itself in popular American culture as a sensitive, speaking instrument for small ensembles. Aided by Thomas Edison's search for content, saxophone groups were featured on wax cylinder recordings and became the newest craze. The centerpiece of this program will pay tribute to this forgotten history by combining vintage images of saxophone groups from the 20s accompanied by performances of their music. In addition, we'll turn the dial on our musical time machine to the past, present and future to showcase the varied sounds and emotional contours of saxophony in the past 100 years.

 

Swing, Swing, Swing

 

Puts the spotlight on the big-band saxophone section and great music from the swing era through the midcentury and into the sounds of West Coast jazz.  A rhythm section rounds out the sax quartet, augmenting it to form either a sextet or septet.  We will explore the music of swing era favorites such as Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington and Woody Herman, as well as jazz saxophonists and bandleaders Benny Carter, Dave Pell and others with such recognizable songs as In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Cottontail, Four Brothers, Opus in Pastels and many more hit songs from this period. 

Music of the Cinema

 

Music of the Cinema features music that has been heard in the movies, including themes written expressly for film as well as old classics, musical theater and vaudeville adapted for use on the silver screen.  Selections may include such classics as Henry Mancini’s “The Pink Panther”, Moonlight Serenade (From the “Glenn Miller Story”), a 1917 vaudeville saxophone quartet arrangement of the Hungarian Rhapsody #2 (Think Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry and other classic cartoons), Songs from the iconic movie-musical “West Side Story”, ragtime music from the 1973 film “The Sting” and many others. The performance will feature interesting, inclusive commentary and colorful stories that enlighten and entertain.