Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seeing What's Out There

I've been checking out various websites/blogs pertaining the classical saxophone, in an attempt to see if there is a consensus or not, regarding the future of the classical saxophone.
And I would have to say that there really doesn't seem to be any direction at all.
Of course there are many fine efforts by individuals, many teachers who would like to improve certain playing techniques and as always, the "answer" to the perfect mouthpiece. There are also a number of fine recordings, both solo efforts and quartets.
However, except for 2 and I mean 2 individuals that I read, no one seemed to be writing/talking about the reality of the classical saxophone in today's world of music. Oh, those 2 that had something to say, one person complained that the youtube orchestra had no saxophones in it, (good point), and the other comment worth noting was the fact that being a classical sax player is tough. You know that too.

So as the year ends and the new year begins, I would like to hear some noise!

It would be great to hear all the hard working college students out there who play their etudes and solos with musicality and confidence, ask some tough questions about their future. The questions I'm reading have more to do with the kind of reed and mouthpiece to play or this brand of saxophone is better than that one. That won't really help you get noticed or heard or get you a job.

Here's a place to start as the new year begins: make a point of asking your friends or colleagues, "have you ever heard a classical saxophone quartet?" Then ask, "did you know that the saxophone plays classical music?" Sounds easy enough.

Now, if you are a student try this question for your saxophone teacher, "if other instrumentalists become good players and eventually perform in orchestras and chamber groups, what can a saxophone player hope to do?" You know the answer. Or do you?

Try this suggestion on your teacher..."make the saxophone quartet a priority in the teaching process, not just an extra part of the pedagogy."
And you might add that, "being a member of quartet might just be my(our) future."

Keep thinking Critical Mass. That's what we need in the world of serious saxophone quartets.

Your thoughts and comments...

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