Review of SaxDay 2008(March 10, 2008)
Fifty saxophonists descended on Nottingham's Djanogly Arts Centre in March for a packed day of playing and learning about the saxophone. Tutors Alistair Parnell, Richard Ingham, Sarah Markham and Nicola Pennill were on hand throughout the day to run masterclasses and ensemble sessions. Windblowers Music Shop supported the day and provided a stand with instruments, accessories and music in the foyer, and supplied refreshments throughout the day.
The structure of the day enabled everyone to sit in on at least one of the masterclass sessions in the recital hall, to observe an 'open' lesson and for question and answer sessions. Richard Ingham brought material from his extensive library, which was put to enthusiastic use by everyone in the ensemble sessions. Groups of three to twenty plus players were put together and coached through a range of repertoire. Everyone then had a chance to play together in a mass blow to end the afternoon. There was also a steady stream of activity at the Windblowers stand as people tried out instruments and accessories. Rico and Vandoren representatives were also on hand to provide some insights into the mysteries of reed choice.
After a full day of playing, the evening concert provided a great culmination to the day's events. Participants played pieces prepared during the day, and family and friends came along to enjoy the occasion. There were also performances from the Equinox Saxophone Ensemble, a solo from Richard Ingham with Alistair Parnell on piano, and the tutors performed as a quartet. The concert ended with a rousing performance by the massed saxes.
This event has become firmly established on the Nottingham calendar, and this year was booked up well in advance of the day. It also attracts increasing numbers of people from outside the area, many of whom commenting that there's nothing like it where they live!