On Nov. 4, the Sax-Chamber Orchestra (SCO) will perform a concert celebrating the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, in Marsh Auditorium.
Sax, who was born on Nov. 6, 1814 in Dinant, Belgium, created the saxophone for symphony orchestra, blending the tonal colors of brass, woodwind and string instruments, according to a Southern Miss press release.
“It is our plan to show how Adolphe Sax’s wish came true with an orchestra that he actually invented,” said Lawrence Gwozdz, professor of saxophone and director of SCO, in a Southern Miss press release. The ensemble consists of students from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, many of whom came to USM because of SCO.
“I think SCO gives saxophonists a great opportunity to perform wonderful classical (music) literature, and I am glad that I am a part of it,” said Sara Littleton, a sophomore jazz studies and entertainment industry management double major and SCO member. “It’s pretty awesome being able to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the greatest instrument ever made.”
Chris Hansen, a senior music education major in SCO, said the SCO concert will be a great opportunity to celebrate how far the saxophone has come since Adolphe Sax’s birth.
The program will feature music of Handel and Mendelssohn, and the first two pieces that ever used the saxophone, Hector Berlioz’s “Hymne” and Georges Kastne’s “Sextuor,” according to the press release. “The Mountains Call,” a composition for the event dedicated to SCO by Post Falls, Idaho resident Michael Young, will also be included.
“I really enjoy this semester’s music. It’s not quite as complicated as it usually is, but it’s beautiful nonetheless,” Littleton said.
“The music that we have chosen to play as an ensemble will showcase what the saxophone was intended for and give the listeners an opportunity to appreciate (the saxophone) from a historical perspective,” Hansen said.
Stacy Reichmann Fletcher, interim director of the School of Music, bought into the idea of celebrating Sax, and she suggested a true celebration, with not only a concert but also a party.
After the concert, there will be a reception in the Intermezzo in the Fine Arts Building. A jazz saxophone group and refreshments will be available. Also, SCO CDs – “America Remembers” and “Parabolically Bach” – will be on sale.