11 November 2008

Nick performs Bilik Concertino

Senior performance major Nick Waroff won the Rogue Wind Ensemble annual concerto competition last spring. In addition to the prize money Nick was the featured soloist on their fall concert performing Jared Bilik's Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Band. Nick will have second performance with the Rogue Wind Ensemble on December 4th at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

Rogue Wind Ensemble conductor Bill Norfleet

06 November 2008

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra November Concert. Happy Birthday Adolphe Sax!

For further information contact:
Rhett Bender

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra Saxophone Colors

(Ashland, Ore.) –The acclaimed Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra will present the Saxophone Colors on November 14th at 8:00 PM in the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception will following the concert.
The eighteen members of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO) and Artistic Director, Dr. Rhett Bender, showcase the artistry of the entire saxophone family. Original music by Arthur Frackenpohl and Walter Hartley will be performed alongside arrangements of the Egmont Overture by Beethoven, Mars by Holst, and Bethena by Joplin. Featured soloist is Rhett Bender performing the Concerto in Eb by Russian composer Alexander Glazounov. Associate Dean Vicki Purslow and SOU Alum, Erin Luce, will be guest conducting.
Last season the SSO traveled to China, where they performed to crowds of admiring music fans. As the guests of Mercury Saxophones, the SSO performed at the China Music Trade Show in Shanghai and at the northern seaside resort city of Yantai. The Siskiyou newspaper quotes audience members from a recent concert: “It was wonderful. I really enjoyed myself.” “They were great. It's amazing that saxophones can have such power. I didn't want it to end.” “It was another great event offered by the music department.” For more information about the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, please visit www.sou.edu/music/siskiyousaxophone.
Rhett Bender is a Professor of Music at Southern Oregon University and is sought out internationally as a saxophone artist. He has presented master-classes throughout the United States, Europe, China and Mexico. Bender is a founding member and soprano saxophonist with the Globe Saxophone Quartet and teaches each May at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China.

Tickets for this performance are $10 for general admission and free for students. Tickets and season passes may be purchased by calling 541-552-6101 or at the Music Box Office prior to the performance. For more information, please visit Southern Oregon University’s Music Department website at http://www.sou.edu/music


01 November 2008

Szymanowski Convocation

Yesterday's Convocation was a teaser concert by the exciting Szymanowski String Quartet. They performed a few movements from each of their two concerts to be presented on campus. In addition to performing the quartet spent thirty minutes speaking with the students and answering questions. Students at SOU are very fortunate to have concerts such as Szymanowski on a regular basis. Thank you to Chamber Music Concerts Board and to donors such as Jim Collier for making this possible.

Convocation People's Quartet Returns

It has been almost two months since my last post. This hasn't been for a lack of activity. Jody and I spent nearly a month in Italy–more on this in another post–and on September 29th Fall classes at SOU began.

Each Friday the Department of Music presents Convocation. The October 24th Convocation featured a piece by composition student Federico Behnke and the return of the People's Quartet. The photo below show Associate Professor Terry Longshore performing Federico's piece.

The People's Quartet has been on and off for three years with core members Nick Waroff, Tang Di and Keith Smelcer trying out a third member. In the past it has always been the tenor saxophone chair with a new person. This year I decided to try something different. Sean Goff has enthusiastically joined the quartet and rather than plugging him on tenor I asked him to play baritone and moved Keith to tenor. The formula seems to be working as the People's Quartet has become a first-rate ensemble. At convocation they performed Suite Hellénique–watch for the youtube video. They are also working on Grave et Presto by Rivier and the Gotkovsky Saxophone Quartet.

During the recital tenor saxophonist, Keith Smelcer, discovered the recital hall's magic stand. This is the new music stand that has a loose top. Each Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra rehearsal has one member finding they are using the magic stand. Typically one pulls the top off the stand to adjust to an appropriate height when the entire top comes off and throws music all over the stage. It is particurly affective during a recital as Keith shows in the photo. With the orchestra it has become a type of "musical chairs." We have a pool to guess the date in which the magic stand will be fixed.