April 14, 2014
Even a back-to-back state champion found himself in awe of his guest instructors when the Italian Saxophone Quartet visited the Blinn College band Friday to provide personal instruction.
For Nigel Yarbrough, the first back-to-back winner of the Texas Community College Band Directors Association’s (TCCBDA) concerto competition, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The experience and command they have of their instruments is amazing,” said Yarbrough, who has played saxophone for more than eight years. “They told me to make your saxophone sound like other instruments when you’re playing. It was incredible listening as they emulated those sounds.”
Blinn saxophonists such as Yarbrough performed pieces for the quartet and received one-on-one instruction.
“It sheds a different light on the music for the students and gives them a different perspective,” Blinn Instructor Brian Klekar said.
Friends of Chamber Music brought the Quartet to the Brazos Valley and scheduled an additional stop at Blinn College. The Quartet was founded in 1982 and has performed throughout the world, including more than 500 concerts throughout Italy. They have toured the United States annually since 1982.
Following the lessons, the quartet played a private performance for the Blinn band and showcased the wide range of skills that has made it one of the most recognized saxophone quartets in the world.
“It was an amazing experience and I hope to play like that soon,” Yarbrough said.
Blinn College Department of Music consistently places more of its students in the Texas Community College All-State Band than any other community college. Many students also participate in the Texas Community College All-State Choir and Jazz Ensembles. For more information on the Department of Music, visit: www.blinn.edu/finearts/music.html.
Photo: ItalianSaxophoneQuartet: The Italian Saxophone Quartet is on its annual U.S. tour and performed for members of the Blinn College band Friday afternoon.