20 February 2009

Concert Tonight

Tonight is SSO's performance of Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone! What do I do the day of a concert? It varies greatly and depends if it is a home game or away. Today we are in SOU's recital hall and I have the most control over my schedule. The day of the concert I try to relax. I study my scores and conduct through everything. If I'm playing rather than conducting I'll spend a lot of time trying reeds. I will try to get some exercises, today I went for a long excursion with our black lab Max. Energy is important. I will eat small meals throughout the day for an even energy supply. Maybe take a nap since the concert is in the evening and I'm more of a morning person. After I finish this blog I'll practice a little bit and conduct through the music for tonight's concert.

Do I get nervous? of course, all performers do. But I have confidence in the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra and we've had good preparation. We eliminate the ambiguous and delegate tasks so that we can all focus on performing. That is the best medicine for stage fright.

Jody is playing Mahler 4 with North State this weekend. Monday Larry Chamberlain from Yamaha will be visiting us. Next weekend CMC will be hosting the Leipzig String Quartet and I'll be playing Bizet with the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra.

If you can't be at tonight's concert you can watch the live webcast beginning at 7:30PM PST. The address is saxophone.sou.edu

10 February 2009

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra Presents Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone!

(Ashland, Ore.) –The acclaimed Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra will present Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone! on February 20th at 8:00 PM with pre-concert music by student saxophone quartets beginning at 7:30 PM in the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception following the concert.
Dr. Rhett Bender, Artistic Director, leads the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO) performing original music by Randall Snyder. Attack of the 50ft Saxophone takes a contemporary look at “music for Celluloid,” featuring bass saxophonist Tovi Olivolo. Heather Tomiyama, an SOU conducting student, will lead the SSO in an historical presentation of Chant Sacre by Berlioz—considered to be the first piece ever written for the newly invented saxophone in 1850. Antiphonal music by Gabrieli evokes the sounds of Venice’s St. Mark’s cathedral, while the famous Variations on America by Charles Ives will challenge listeners. Associate Dean Vicki Purslow stages her new arrangement of the swing classic Sing, Sing, Sing and the concert finishes with the comical favorite Devil’s Rag.
The eighteen members of the SSO and Artistic Director, Dr. Rhett Bender, showcase the artistry of the entire saxophone family. Last season the SSO traveled to China, where they thrilled crowds of curious 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, “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 updates and video with the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, please visit www.sou.edu/music/siskiyousaxophone and rhettbender.blogspot.com.
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 the Trillium new music ensemble. He teaches each May at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China.
Tickets for this performance are only $5 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 Department website at www.sou.edu/music.