Making Music in Southern Oregon

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 and
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


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