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A Small Idea.....A Great Collaboration.

Saxophone Orchestra
ASO&PSO Together at last

It was hilarious watching the photographer’s face as an apparently infinite number of saxophonists with saxes of every possible size streamed out of the Acorn Centre for the photo call.

This was just before our concert on 3rd June and there were 38 of us with saxophone sizes ranging from the tiny sopranino to the giant contrabass


The previous day, Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra (PSO) had

made the long journey up from Market Harborough in

Leicestershire to join us in an innovative project.

Train and matching Colours
PSO heading to Scotland on their matching train!

Inspired by our 2021 joint shortlisting for a Royal Philharmonic Inspiration Award, we had the bright idea of getting together in person to play a concert.

Undaunted by a mere 480 mile separation we agreed a joint

programme and shared our rehearsals online.

So, on Saturday afternoon we had our first ever in-person rehearsal and in the evening, our first joint concert!

Trona Melville-Mason
Trona Melville-Mason

The first notes of the first joint piece, ‘Entry of the Gladiators’ by Julius Fučík, conducted by PSO’s Tony Rifugiato, stunned the room. This was the moment when our collaboration came into its own. The audience really came alive at the sound and sheer energy of massed saxophones.

Cat conducting the combined forces in Karen Street’s ‘Rain Dance’ didn’t

alter the beautiful weather and our finale and highlight of the joint

performance, conducted by Mike, was Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture,

better known as Fingal’s Cave. We had commissioned this arrangement for

saxophone orchestra from Scottish musician and arranger Catriona

Melville-Mason of ‘Blow&Blast’ who came up from Crieff specially to

hear the result. ( )

You can see she was happy with the result

Nothing quite like this collaboration has ever been seen in the North East of Scotland and ‘Music at Aden’, making the most of this, booked us to play at Aden Country Park on Sunday morning as part of their concert series. Such a sound must be rare anywhere! Cat and Mike also ran two saxophone playing technique workshops on Sunday afternoon which were enjoyed by members of both groups. So the sun shone on the successful culmination to what started as a small idea during Covid lockdowns. What are we going to think up next? Watch this space…….

Saxophonists Aden Country Park
All together in the sunshine at Aden Country Park

Musical Directors Aden Country Park
3 Happy Musical Directors

Crathes Tour Guide
PSO at Crathes with our Derek the tour guide

And playing to an enthusiastic audience at The Braemar Bothy

All images - Photo Credit - Nicola Bashforth

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