Originally started as a solo effort project, the Singapore Saxophone Symposium series has grown over the years into a bigger platform this year.
This year’s symposium is organized by a team of passionate music graduates, and artistic director Dr Zechariah Goh.
“Since my first ever lesson at the University of Kansas on the saxophone, I realised that we do not have good training for saxophonists in Singapore,” Dr Goh said.
“I saw the urgent need to create a saxophone-centred event to educate our students about saxophone pedagogy, repertoire and performance techniques, and so it was how I started the first saxophone symposium.”
As this year’s symposium revolves around the theme “saxophone quartet”, the 3 day program consists of recitals and gala concert performances by various invited ensembles and from around the world.
Such groups include the Keuris saxophone quartet from the Netherlands, TNUA saxophone quartet from Taiwan, Salaya saxophone ensemble from Thailand, and our very own NAFA saxophone quartet and Xin saxophone quartet.
The program will also see solo and duo recitals by artists such as Kyle Horch (UK), Lin Chien-Kwan (USA), Calvin Wong (Hong Kong), Joseph Lallo (Australia) and Michellina Chan (Singapore).
Participants will get to hear a ‘Saxophone Play-off’; a non competitive concert designed for young and upcoming saxophonists to show their skills and artistry. The play-off will have a representative from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan playing virtuosic and challenging pieces.
“We will be having composers from Taiwan and Korea to conduct a workshop where they will spend two days with Keuris saxophone quartet to listen to their own compositions, and receive valuable critiques from professor Chih-Chun Li (Taiwan/USA) and Michael Sydney Timpson (USA). There will also be a saxophone masterclass by 4 saxophone professors,” Dr Goh added.
Through the generous support of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), where Dr Goh is Head of Composition Studies and Senior Lecturer, the Saxophone symposium turns 8 this year.
“My goal at the very start was to organize a total of ten Saxophone symposiums. I aim to complete the series in 2020 before we think of what’s next.”
With two more milestones to go, it has been evident that the annual event has generated a growing interest in the Saxophone from school students, as there is presently a total of 8 full time saxophone students studying in the Diploma of Music programme.
“The best reward for me as a teacher is when these music students graduate and become independent to learn on their own, and perform as a professional musician in the international world.”
“I am very happy to know that 3 NAFA music graduates are now studying in Finland, Amsterdam and USA to pursue their Bachelor and Master degree in saxophone performance!”
Singapore Saxophone Symposium 2018
Friday to Sunday, 10 to 12 August
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Tickets available from https://sgsax2018.peatix.com
A contributing editor at TBP.