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Songs for saxophones

The Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Martin Majkut, will present "Nimrod" from the "Enigma Variations" by composer Edgar Elgar. The orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The first half of the concert will feature flute-guitar duo Lisa Nichols and Wenjun Qi, as well as two saxophone quartets. The second half will feature the SSO.

Besides "Nimrod," the orchestra, under the direction of Rhett Bender, will perform Slavonic Dances by Antonín Dvorák, American spirituals by William Schmidt and a selection of American folk songs from "The Sacred Harp" songbook.

Last weekend, the Rogue Valley Symphony, now under the direction of Majkut, performed Elgar's "Enigma Variations." After seeing Elgar's work programmed, Bender says he decided to incorporate one of the variations into the SOU concert in order to see the same piece interpreted in a different way — with saxophones rather than stringed instruments.

The orchestra is a collaboration of SOU students, faculty and staff. This spring, the orchestra's student members will perform a chamber music concert at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China.

Tickets to Friday's performance are $5 and free for students. They are available at the recital hall box office.

Also happening this week at SOU:

  • Pianist Nikita Fitenko will present works by Russian composers Alexander Siloti and Sergei Rachmaninoff at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, in the Music Recital Hall.
  • The SOU Percussion Ensembles as well as the percussion quartet Compás, under the direction of Terry Longshore, will present "Sonic Diffusions" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Music Recital Hall.

For more information, call 541-552-6101.

The Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra is a collaboration of SOU students, faculty and staff. - Photo courtesy of the SOU Music