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Orchestras Work Together in Unique Musical Lockdown Legacy

By Morag Kuc

Published 19th May 2023, 08:46 BST

Two saxophone orchestras have renewed a collaboration which started during lockdown, and will be performing in the north-east next month.

While the country was deep in lockdown, Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra, based in Leicestershire, got together online and produced a video recording of a well-known piece of classical music, ‘Entry of the Gladiators’ by Julius Fucik.

The project was shortlisted for the prestigious ‘Inspiration’ award by the Royal Philharmonic Society - and now, in a new and exciting venture, the two groups are meeting live for the very first time to play two concerts in Aberdeenshire this June.

Each group will play a selection of music from their own repertoires, and then they will perform three pieces together. The repertoires cover a lovely mix of musical styles which include classical, jazz, folk, choral and rock, performed on seven different types of saxophone ranging in size from the tiny sopranino to the giant contrabass.

Full House - Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra

Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra will join their Leicestershire contemporaries for shows in June.

The first concert will be held on Saturday, June 3, at The Acorn Centre in Inverurie at 7pm.

Tickets are available via trybooking.com/uk/SJAW.

The following day, the orchestras will be performing at The Mansion House in Aden Country Park, Mintlaw, at 10am, with tickets available on the door on the day.

The grand finale at both concerts will be Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture better known as ‘Fingal’s Cave’. The arrangement for saxophone orchestra of this beautiful piece has been specially commissioned by the groups from Scottish musician and arranger Catriona Melville-Mason.

Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra provides an opportunity for saxophone players of grade two standard and above to play in an orchestra under the direction of world class music director Richard Ingham.

ASO has a special focus on providing this opportunity to the youngest players possible.

For those so inclined, the orchestra also offers the chance to experience conducting, arranging and composing. This is particularly valuable for those wanting to pursue a career in music.

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