Review: Nottingham Sax Day

(March 04, 2007)
 Sax Day Logo
Sunday 4th March 2007
Djanogly Arts Centre
University of Nottingham
More than 50 saxophone players descended on Nottingham's Djanogly Arts Centre for a packed day of playing and learning about the saxophone.
This year's tutors Alistair Parnell, Richard Ingham and Sarah Markham each ran a performance masterclass session, supported by the fine accompaniment skills of Anthony Clare on piano.  A number of brave individuals played extracts from pieces they were working on for comments and advice from the tutors.
Meanwhile, in the many rehearsal rooms, small groups of sax players were coached on ensemble playing, making use of the extensive library of music courtesy of Richard Ingham.
Windblowers of Nottingham sponsored the event, and were present not only in the form of a large trade stand with instruments and accessories, but also provided lunches and much-needed refreshements throughout the day.
After a packed programme of playing there was time for a brief rest, then an evening concert in which a number of the participants played pieces they had prepared, in some cases only an hour or so previously.  The tutors each played, showing their great range of collective skills and styles.  Sarah Markham's mesmerising performance of 'Cronos' by Raymond Alessandrini (for solo alto sax) demonstrated her superb control and sensitive interpretation skills.  Alistair Parnell introduced the audience to the EWI (electronic wind instrument), with a show-stopping demonstration of how the EWI can play interactively with itself (!) and a stunning of Michael Brecker's 'In a Sentimental Mood'.  Richard Ingham on soprano sax then played the beautifully atmospheric piece 'Three Scenes from a Mountain' by Neil Munro, accompanied by Anthony Clare.  The concert closed with the tutors joining Equinox and other guests for a rousing rendition of Richard's Mrs Malcolm, followed by everyone joining together to play 'Fast to Victoria' by James Rae.
An exhausting, but exhilarating day.
Nicola Pennill
To be added to the mailing list for next year contact Alistair Parnell via

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