Making Music in Southern Oregon

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra

Happy New Year!


Rhett and Jody
Happy New Year everyone. I wasn’t able to update this blog frequently this fall so here are the highlights. Last month my book, An Annotated Bibliography of Saxophone Quartets by American Composers–originally my dissertation, was published by Lambert Academic publishers.
An Annotated Bibliography of Saxophone Quartets by American Composers: An Annotated Bibliography of Saxophone Quartets (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone) Published by American Composers
Although the Globe Saxophone Quartet didn’t have any engagements this fall, I premiered Dan Maske’s Far Corner for soprano saxophone and wind ensemble with the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band conducted by Dr. Frederick Schmidt. A new Southern Oregon resident from sunny Green Bay, Wisconsin; Dr. Schmidt asked if I would perform this work on his premier concert as their new conductor. This 15 year old work was originally written for saxophone and piano for John and Linda Bleuel but the wind ensemble version of Far Corner had never been performed. Followers of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra will remember Dan Maske’s piece Wind and Weaponry SSO performed in the spring of 2009.
The next Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra performance will be February 18th at the SOU Music Recital Hall. We are collaborating with the Oregon chapter of the National Association of Composers USA to premier several new works. I’ll leave you with video from our fall performance.


Nimrod "Freely Adapted" By R.Jensen from Enigma Variations


November 12 Concert


Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra performs concert with guest conductor Martin Majkut

(Ashland, Ore.) –The Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra and SOU chamber ensembles, under the direction of Dr. Rhett Bender, will perform a concert with guest conductor Martin Majkut on Friday, November 12th at 7:30 PM at the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception following the concert.

The concert will feature music by the Lisa Nichols and Wenjun Qi flute-guitar duo, SOU saxophone quartets and the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra. Newly appointed Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra Conductor, Martin Majkut, will guest conduct Nimrod from the ‘Enigma Variations’ by Edgar Elgar.

The Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO) is a collaboration of students, faculty, and staff at Southern Oregon University. Under the direction of Rhett Bender, Professor of Music at SOU, the SSO arranges, composes and commissions music of all styles and musical periods. This spring student members of the SSO will travel to China to perform a chamber music concert at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music.

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 http://www.sou.edu/music.

-SOU-


Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra


SSO plays the Hannon Library


Pictures at an Exhibition May 14, 2010

NEWS RELEASE

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra performs Pictures at an Exhibition

(Ashland, Ore.) –Ashland locals and internationally renowned Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Rhett Bender, performs the famous Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky on Friday, May 14th at 8:00 PM at the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception following the concert.

Mussorgsky wrote Pictures at an Exhibition after the sudden death of his friend, artist Viktor Hartmann. The music depicts an imaginary tour of Hartmann’s art. Originally it was a showpiece for piano but it was made famous by its many orchestrations. Most notably are the orchestral arrangement by Ravel and the progressive rock version by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. William Schmidt’s version for saxophone is perfectly suited to the musicians of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra. Also featured on the concert is chamber music from the New People’s Quartet and the SOU Woodwind Trio.

The Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO) is comprised of students, both music majors and non-music majors, and faculty, staff and administrators from Southern Oregon University. Under the direction of Rhett Bender, Professor of Music at SOU, the SSO arranges, composes and commissions music of all styles and musical periods. Featuring the rare sopranino and bass saxophones, its performances showcase styles from classical music, opera highlights, American big band hits, world music, and original pieces written for the SSO. In October 2007, the SSO traveled to China where they performed to mobs of admiring 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 SSO have performed live on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Greenshow and KTVL Channel 10 Morning News. They were recently honored by being selected for a performance at the XVth World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.

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 http://www.sou.edu/music.

-SOU-

Running Tune Robert Baksa (b.1938)

Lullaby

March

Badinage Paul Koepke (1918-2000)

SOU Woodwind Trio

Kaleigh Hull, flute

Malin Judah, oboe

Connie Gardner, clarinet

Misterioso and Final from Quatour de Saxophones Ida Gotkovksy (b.1933)

New People’s Quartet

Holly Kruggel, soprano

Tang Di, alto

Jamie Krull, tenor

Rhett Bender, baritone

INTERMISSION

Pictures at an Exhibition Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

Promenade arranged by William Schmidt

1. The Gnome

Promenade

2. The Old Castle

Promenade

3. Tulleries

4. Bydlo

Promenade

5. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

6. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle

Promenade

7. The Market Place at Limoges

8. Catacombs

Lingua Mortua

9. The Hut of Baba Yaba

10. The Great Gate of Kiev

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra

Tang Di, soprano

Jamie Krull, alto

Holly Kruggel, alto

David Whipp, alto

Kirsten Campbell, tenor

Andrew Krug, tenor

Connie Gardner, tenor

Steve Davidson, baritone

Kylee Rohrbacker, baritone

Tovi Olivolo, bass

Rhett Bender, artistic director


Villa-Lobos on Sax’s birthday

The next week features many saxophone events. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 6, 7 and 8; I will be a featured soloist with the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra. I will be playing Heitor Villa-Lobos Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone, Strings and Three Horns with guest conductor Martin Majkut. Fitting that Friday is Adolphe Sax’s birthday. I’ll be sporting my new hair cut and playing the new Yamaha YSS-EXHG G.Next Friday, November 13th is the fall concert of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra featuring music of Carmen, Water Music and Dr. Purslow’s new arrangement of The Liberty Bell March in honor of the Monty Python 40th Anniversary.


Green Show Performance at Oregon Shakespeare

Photos from the Green Show by Scott Cole.


Wind and Weaponry Concert





Listen to Wind and Weaponry here


Concert Tonight


Click here to watch our concert webcast live beginning at 7:30PM PST.


Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra May Concerts



Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra Presents Wind and Weaponry with percussionist Terry Longshore

(Ashland, Ore.) –The acclaimed Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra with special guest percussionist Terry Longshore will perform Wind and Weaponry on Friday, February 20th at 8:00 PM with pre-concert music by Trigon Clarinet Trio and Equal Opportunity Saxophones beginning at 7:30 PM in the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception following the concert.
The powerful drumming of SOU Associate Professor, Terry Longshore, colors Wind and Weaponry, a unique fusion of saxophone and progressive rock drumset. Composer Dan Maske of Milwaukee created Winds and Weaponry as part of a commission by SSO and the SOU Department of Music. It was made possible by an SOU President’s grant. Also on the program are two works by Oregon Shakespeare Director of Music, Todd Barton. Hackysax and Meditation for the Sichuan Earthquake, Gesangla explore sound in space, blending theatrical body movements and an electronic soundscape. The program includes movements from Holst’s The Planets and SOU Associate Dean Vicki Purslow’s new arrangement of the swing classic American Patrol
The eighteen saxophonists of the SSO and Artistic Director, Dr. Rhett Bender, showcase the artistry of the entire saxophone family. They have toured both in China and Mexico. This season they have been select to perform on the XVth World Saxophone Congress in Thailand and in June they’ll perform The Planets as part of the OSF Greenshow. 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.” For updates, music and video with the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, please visit http://www.rhettbender.com
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 http://www.sou.edu/music.


Images from the Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone






Concert Tonight

Tonight is SSO’s performance of Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone! What do I do the day of a concert? It varies greatly and depends if it is a home game or away. Today we are in SOU’s recital hall and I have the most control over my schedule. The day of the concert I try to relax. I study my scores and conduct through everything. If I’m playing rather than conducting I’ll spend a lot of time trying reeds. I will try to get some exercises, today I went for a long excursion with our black lab Max. Energy is important. I will eat small meals throughout the day for an even energy supply. Maybe take a nap since the concert is in the evening and I’m more of a morning person. After I finish this blog I’ll practice a little bit and conduct through the music for tonight’s concert.

Do I get nervous? of course, all performers do. But I have confidence in the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra and we’ve had good preparation. We eliminate the ambiguous and delegate tasks so that we can all focus on performing. That is the best medicine for stage fright.

Jody is playing Mahler 4 with North State this weekend. Monday Larry Chamberlain from Yamaha will be visiting us. Next weekend CMC will be hosting the Leipzig String Quartet and I’ll be playing Bizet with the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra.

If you can’t be at tonight’s concert you can watch the live webcast beginning at 7:30PM PST. The address is saxophone.sou.edu


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 http://www.sou.edu/music/siskiyousaxophone and rhettbender.blogspot.com.
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 http://www.sou.edu/music.

-SOU-


Program for Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra
Rhett Bender, Artistic Director
Presents
Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone!
Pre-concert music presented by Equal Opportunity Quartet and Standard Issue Saxophone Quartet

Program

Canzona XV Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1555-1612)
arranged by Jean-Marie Londeix

Chant Sacré Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
reconstitution Jean-Marie Londeix
Heather Tomiyama, conductor

Celluloid Randall Snyder (b.)
Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone
Dorothy’s Sarong
The Rondo That Never Sleeps

Variations on “America” Charles Ives (1874-1954)
arranged by Paul Cohen

Sing Sing Sing Louis Prima (1910–1978)
arranged by Vicki T. Purslow
Dr. Vicki T. Purslow, conductor

Devil’s Rag Jean Matitia (b.1952)


Attack of the 50 ft. Saxophone Redux

This is what Andrew created with photoshop using our original photo with a picture of the sopranino gone evil. I think we’ll have to have two posters for this concert. How can SSO top this?
You can see the original photos in the previous post


Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone!

We are three weeks into the winter term and four weeks away from the next concert. Time to start getting the publicity together. One of the featured pieces Celluloid by Randall Snyder, has a movement titled Attack of the 50ft. Saxophone. Can’t beat that for a concert theme and a catch-phrase to rally the publicity around.

Jody suggested the superb poster idea of a giant saxophone attacking the SSO. We took 15 minutes at the end of the rehearsal for some “we’re being attacked by a giant saxophone” photos. My original idea was to then photoshop a huge bass saxophone or better yet, a giant Tovi with a bass saxophone attacking the group. For good measure I took a few shots of the sopranino against a white background thinking it would look mightier with all of its tiny key work enlarged to the requisite 5oft.

But as I was proofing the photos on a digital light table I noticed that in some of the pictures of Tovi, there were a few saxophonists 20ft behind him in the background—tiny. I got one of those “duh, why didn’t you just do it that way moments.” Next rehearsal I called the troops back in for a quick shot of a foreground Tovi and a background SSO. Stopped down the Nikon for a large depth a field and turned out a pretty decent photo of a larger than life Tovi with a 50ft saxophone. With a single photo and thirty minutes on the Mac we had our poster.

I sent Andrew the original photos. Maybe he’ll get inspired and great the original poster idea in photoshop. I got the virus that is publicity by creating the event on facebook. The next step is to write the press release and create the program. You have to keep feeding the publicity machine.



Images from the Saxophone Colors Concert






Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra November Concert. Happy Birthday Adolphe Sax!


NEWS RELEASE
For further information contact:
Rhett Bender
bender@sou.edu
541.552.6534

Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra Saxophone Colors

(Ashland, Ore.) –The acclaimed Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra will present the Saxophone Colors on November 14th at 8:00 PM in the SOU Music Recital Hall. Audience members are invited to a cake reception will following the concert.
The eighteen members of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO) and Artistic Director, Dr. Rhett Bender, showcase the artistry of the entire saxophone family. Original music by Arthur Frackenpohl and Walter Hartley will be performed alongside arrangements of the Egmont Overture by Beethoven, Mars by Holst, and Bethena by Joplin. Featured soloist is Rhett Bender performing the Concerto in Eb by Russian composer Alexander Glazounov. Associate Dean Vicki Purslow and SOU Alum, Erin Luce, will be guest conducting.
Last season the SSO traveled to China, where they performed to crowds of admiring 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 from a recent concert: “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 more information about the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, please visit http://www.sou.edu/music/siskiyousaxophone.
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 teaches each May at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China.

Tickets for this performance are $10 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 Music Department website at http://www.sou.edu/music

-SOU-


2008-2009 Season

Rehearsals for the new season of the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra begin on September 30th. Concerts at the SOU Music Recital Hall will be November 14th, February 20th and May 15th.

Music for this season will include Devil’s Rag by Jean Matitia, a Gabrieli Canzona, and Celluloid by Randall Snyder featuring our new Selmer Bass Saxophone–yet to arrive. In the spring will be the world premiere of an Elegy for the victims of the Sichuan Earthquake commissioned by the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra composed by Todd Barton. July is the XVth World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok Thailand. Will we be going?

November’s concert will feature Rhett Bender performing the Glazounov Concerto for alto saxophone arranged for saxophone ensemble and conducted by Vicki Purslow. Also featured is Purslow’s arrangement of Joplin’s Bethena and guest conductor, SOU graduate Erin Luce leading the ensemble in an arrangement of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Music for 12 Saxophones by Walter Hartley and Intrada by Arthur Frackenpohl will demonstrate east coast, American-style compositions for saxophone orchestra.

Orchestra members, music is now available. See Dr. Bender for your part and begin practicing.