Saxophone Symposium turns 40 by Musician 1st Class David Babich
he U.S. Navy Band’s International Saxophone SymDelangle is one of the most respected performers and posium may be 40 years old, but it definitely isn’t pedagogues in the history of the saxophone. Another slowing down. The 40th Saxophone Symposium will soloist performing that evening is Grammy awardbe held Jan. 12-13, 2018, at George Mason University in winning saxophonist Timothy McAllister. McAllister is Fairfax, Virginia, and preparations are underway to make professor of saxophone at the University of Michigan, this one of the most exciting symposiums to date. and won a Grammy as featured saxophonist with the Attending the Saxophone Symposium is like walking St. Louis Symphony on the album “City Noir.” McAllister into a major metropolitan train station, except people has been busy touring and performing with worldare carrying saxophone cases instead of suitcases. You renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, enter the main lobby on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and there Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. are musicians everywhere. Excitement is in the air. The last featured performer with the Concert Band is Many people are crisscrossing the floor heading to the the U.S. Navy Band Saxophone Quartet. Respected opening recitals and lectures, others are in search of a composer David DeBoor Canfield is creating a brand warm-up space to prepare for their performances, and new concerto specifically for the quartet which will be some people are standing around chatting, catching up premiered at that evening’s performance. with friends and colleagues while waiting for an event Attending the symposium on Saturday will be similar to begin. in many ways to the experience Friday except there will When you walk up to the welcome desk in the main be twice as much going on. There are more than 80 lobby you’ll be greeted by a member of the Navy Band. events in six simultaneous venues from 9 a.m. until They’ll hand you a program and as you take your first glance at it you’ll be amazed at what you see: there are more than 120 events during the two-day symposium. Flipping further into the program you will see each event in detail, and you can begin to decide which music and lecture topics interest you the most. Events run from 2-6 p.m. on Friday, with up to six halls containing separate, simultaneous events the entire time. Best of all, the event, from start to finish, is free and open to the public. At 3 p.m., one venue may have a lecture covering breathing techniques, another has a college saxophone quartet recital, another a saxophone professor performing new pieces, another a jazz combo performance, and yet another hall features a saxophone ensemble performing orchestral works! There is also a vendor room, open all day, full of instruments, mouthpieces and other saxophone gear to try. After attending hours of performances and lectures on Friday, it’s dinner time, followed by the main event of the evening: the Navy Concert Band, with guest soloists, at 8 p.m. The soloists you’ll hear are worldrenowned saxophonists that frequently perform, tour and teach around the globe. Legendary former principal saxophonist of the Navy Band and founder of the Saxophone Symposium, retired Master Chief Musician Dale Underwood, is one of this year’s soloists. Another is Claude Delangle, the distinguished FAIRFAX, VA (January 6, 2017) Musician 1st Class Dana B. Booher solos on saxophone during an evening concert at the U.S. Navy Band’s 39th Saxophone saxophone teacher at the Paris Conservatory. He The symposium is the U.S. Navy Band’s largest outreach event held follows a line of saxophone performers and teachers at Symposium. annually in January at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and serves the Paris Conservatory including Adolphe Sax (inventor hundreds of saxophone students and professionals. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior of the saxophone), Marcel Mule and Daniel Deffayet. Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)
The fall issue of the new bi-annual format of the Navy Band's Fanfare magazine.