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Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine, Winter 2021

Sax orchestras celebrated at RPS Awards

Scotland's Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and Leicestershire's Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra have both been recognised at this year's Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards. 

Aberdeenshire and Phoenix Saxophone Orchestras On Zoom Rehearsing

                                      The two groups were jointly

shortlisted for the Inspiration Award, newly introduced this

year 'for a non-professional ensemble, or an individual who

works with such groups, in recognition of the remarkable constellation of such music-makers nationwide, often

overlooked in awards such as these'. 

   The recognition follows a joint virtual performance by

the two saxophone orchestras of Julius Fučík's, Entry of the Gladiators, produced for Make Music Day on 21st Jun, as

well as other projects undertaken individually by the two

ensembles during the pandemic. 

   Unlike other RPS Award winners chosen by expert

panels, the Inspiration Award was decided by public vote,

attracting over 4,000 online responses. In the end, it

was Bristol Choral Society and its musical director Hilary

Campbell who took home the award, presented at a star-

studded awards ceremony at London's Wigmore Hall on 1st November. 

   However, as RPS Chief Executive James Murphy said:

'Our expert panel decided on this year's shortlist from

countless groups nationwide, and all six nominees - who

each received several hundred votes - are all winners in our

eyes. Phoenix and Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestras

should feel justly proud to have brought recognition to

their instrument, and indeed to wind bands and orchestras.

They are a remarkable force for good, and long may that

continue. 

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