The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra (MSO) will give its inaugural concert at the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley on April 9 at 3pm.
MSO’s music director, Andrew Steinberg, is the saxophone instructor at Dana Hall and says the orchestra has formed over the past few months.
On top of exploring traditional repertoire for the saxophone orchestra, this concert will include the world premiere of a piece written expressly for the group by composer Alex Burtzos. In addition, the MSO will present the Boston premiere of British composer Edmund Jolliffe’s Breathe for ten saxophones and piano with pianist Chelsea Whitaker.
Asked about MSO’s aim “to reinvigorate the saxophone orchestra tradition,” as described on MSO’s Facebook page, Steinberg replied that: “In terms of the saxophone orchestra, there is quite the tradition, stretching back to the instrument’s invention and conception by Adolphe Sax. Adolphe Sax (1814-1894) created the saxophone as an instrumental family to be played in orchestral settings as well as in a choir of saxophones, much like brass instruments during his lifetime. In 1844, Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) created a special arrangement of his vocal work Chant Sacre for a consort of Sax’s instruments, including the saxophone, played by Sax himself. Since this inaugural performance of Sax’s choir, the saxophone orchestra has grown in reputation thanks to the work of musicians including Gustav Bumcke (1876-1963), Sigurd Rascher (1907-2001), and countless others since then, leading to the establishment of such groups in major universities across the globe, as well as in professional settings.”
The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra has received funding for this inaugural concert through a grant from New England Conservatory.
Max Hobart, WSO Conductor
1:30 Instrument petting zoo
2:15 Show’N’Tell with Leslie Holmes
Easy, free parking and reception after the concertConcerts are held at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, 2.5 miles from Rt 95.
Ticket Information: All seats are General Admission. Please present e-receipt for admission. MassBay students, faculty and staff are free with MassBay ID.
A partnership between Babson, Olin, and Wellesley Colleges last weekend brought the Maria Schneider Orchestra to Babson’s Sorenson Center for the Arts, where the 18-member collective of jazz geniuses brought the house down. I sat back and enjoyed the performance, not with an eye toward reviewing it, just with an ear for listening in the acoustically impressive theater. An appreciative audience braved the wind, snow, and ice to enjoy the emotional rhythms at the nearly sold out theater. Here’s hoping for more such collaboration between the three schools.
Schneider and her orchestra have received 12 Grammy nominations and 5 Grammy awards, and her album Concert in the Garden (2004) was the first recording to win a Grammy with Internet-only sales. Most recently they received a 2016 Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Grammy for their latest work, “The Thompson Fields.”
Upcoming event at Babson: Our American Hamlet, presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, March 23 – April 2
Upcoming event at Wellesley: Terra Nova, a play about the story of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole in the winter of 1911-12. April 5 – 9
Ongoing event a Olin: Art work on display featuring Mary Jameson’s Living Watercolors. Jameson’s Marine Botanicals are created using seaweed and organic materials sourced from North Atlantic coastal waters. On display in the Olin Art Gallery, Milas Hall, through May 15.