Training the Student Sax Section

The development of the saxophone family in the mid-19th century led to its initial use in a number of ensembles where sections of saxophones were employed—military bands, orchestras, saxophone ensembles and wind bands. In the 20th century, vaudeville orchestras, musical theater orchestras and jazz big bands continued to make use of saxophone sections and added to the instrument’s popularity. Today, the use of saxophone sections is most often heard in school and professional jazz big bands, saxophone ensembles as well as in musical theater orchestras.

My approach to building and developing the saxophone section level of performance is multifold. It involves a demonstration of the equipment (mouthpieces, reeds, horns, etc.) that can best serve the musical situation from classical to jazz to pop; audio and video presentations of legendary saxophone sections from different musical styles; a presentation of study materials that can improve any saxophone section’s performance; and performances of various saxophone ensemble works designed to increase the performer’s awareness of the saxophone’s capabilities and the saxophonist’s responsibilities within an ensemble.

I can provide musical materials for saxophone quartets, large saxophone ensembles, jazz band saxophone sections from 1920-present, and saxophone ensembles involving woodwind doubling. The levels of difficulty of these works range from high school through professional.


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