Evening of spectacular saxophony

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After a miscellaneous morning, set off for Nottingham mid afternoon on Day 313 for our Saxophone Spectacular concert. In preparation for the World Saxophone Congress next month Yorkshire Saxophone Choir had teamed up with Equinox saxophone ensemble and soloist Sarah Markham to try out our Congress programmes in a concert, which also featured the incredible talents of Alistair Parnell on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument).

Our mini Congress was a great success, and seemed to be enjoyed by audience and performers alike. A highlight, among many, for me was Chris Jolly’s recent composition TRIp played by Sarah Markham on alto with the composer on baritone and pianist Paul Turner. Equinox’ performance of Richard Ingham’s ‘Mrs Malcolm’, featuring an assortment of non saxophones at the start, was toe tapping entertainment, and Alistair on EWI was jaw droppingly amazing in Tony Davis’ Rhapsody. Towards the end of the concert we joined forces to perform Matthew McGuffie’s Phat Sax on Sundays with 18 players, making it even more phat and phunky than usual! Lovely to see so many of my saxophonic friends, and to share a special evening of spectacular saxophony.

Applying myself to applying

Started Day 191 by reading the documents for tomorrow’s YYM meeting and Awayday, including the new national music plan The Importance of Music, which was also useful for the rest of the day’s activities. Decided to bite the bullet and apply for a part time post three hours a week to complement the other areas of work that I’m already involved in. No idea whether I’ll get anywhere with it, but whatever the outcome it’s good experience to go through the process of making an application! Also ordered a few books to help with professional development, either for that job or in future.

Having bitten one bullet, I then decided to go for a double and ordered Sibelius from the USA, which at first appeared to be an amazing bargain but then, once I’d worked out import duty and VAT costs, turned out rather less of a bargain. Now not sure whether or not I’ve managed to cancel the order – if not, it’s still cheaper than anywhere in the UK, and if not then there’s time to think about it a bit more before plunging in!

Played the soprano for a short while – not what you could call practice but playing is always better than not playing! Played Tony Davis’ Lament Habanera, a musical multitask between tango and minimalism for saxophone and audio soundtrack that, interestingly, was first performed just down the road in Wakefield in the days before I had discovered the delights of the saxophone! To round off a wind themed day, listened to a CD of wind chamber music by Nielsen, fresh out of its wrapper, including the lovely Fantasy Pieces for oboe and piano.

Greetings from studio flamingo

Quite a quiet Day 8 and start to my second week in New Life, mainly catching up on things at the studio after the long weekend away. Spent some time making individual greeting cards using some of my Hipstamatic images – the ones above are for my former workmates in Old Life, which already seems such a long time ago. Which is probably a good thing! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

On the music front, I practised the soprano this afternoon, trying to kick the embouchure back into gear after a few weeks of not playing anything except baritone. Worked on pieces by Andy Scott, Tony Davis, Richard Ingham and Bach. Caught both the lunchtime and evening Proms on the wireless – great to hear them but it’s definitely not the same as being there! Been a bit spoiled over the last few days really.