The annual RNCM Saxophone Day directed by Rob Buckland and Andy Scott has grown over the years to be the largest event of its kind in the UK, and this year proved to be the biggest and most successful to date.
About 200 keen saxophonists of all ages and abilities from all over the UK attended the day on 9 November, which started with a massed saxophones session featuring works by Andy Scott, Rob Buckland and an arrangement by Carl Raven. This year’s special guests were Philippe Geiss, Professor of Saxophone at Strasbourg Conservatoire and Director of the World Saxophone Congress 2015, and Mark Lockheart’s Big Idea.
RNCM graduate Anthony Brown gave the spotlight concert, in which he was joined by duo partner Leo Nicholson for the premiere of two movements of Andy Scott’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano. The piece, adapted from the flute sonata, will receive its world premiere as a complete work in London next year.
RNCM saxophonists Rob Buckland, Andy Scott, Carl Raven, Mike Hall and Junior RNCM tutor Ruth Bourne led a wide variety of workshops throughout the afternoon. Andy Scott led two workshops using his compositions for his large jazz saxophone ensemble SaxAssault, attracting record numbers in the first, and was joined by Supertramp saxophonist John Helliwell as soloist in the beautiful ballad Lord Stackhouse, which Andy had composed for him.
The RNCM Saxophone Orchestra also featured prominently in the day, sharing the stage with Philippe Geiss, performing their own tribute to Adolphe Sax as a prelude to the evening concert, and launching their Road to Strasbourg campaign, which aims to raise the necessary funds for the ensemble to attend the World Saxophone Congress next year.
As well as a record number of participants and workshops, there seemed to be a record number of trade stands, with all kinds of saxophones, equipment and sheet music for sale. This is a highlight of the saxophone calendar and an event not to be missed! So if you didn’t make it to Manchester this year, make a note in your diary and save the date for next year! Hope to see you there.
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