The North American Saxophone Alliance is holding a regional conference on the University of Mississippi campus Friday March, 22 to Sunday March 24th. The weekend includes a competition for high school and college saxophonists, master classes and performances by the region’s best players, and some featured concerts that are also open to the public.
Adam Estes is the regional director of the conference, assistant professor of woodwinds at UM, and also a member of the Assembly Quartet. His group will be performing during the conference.
Estes told Mississippi Public Broadcast the university is honored to host the region 6 event this year on the campus. It takes a lot of resources and they are not sure when they will be able to host the event again.
He said he enjoys this event and does not find it as stressful because he wants his students to take from what he does and learn.
The public is invited to attend the events but in particular two concerts on Friday night that feature the top performing student ensembles UM Wind Ensemble with Dave Camwell and The Oxford High School Wind Ensemble with Geoffrey Deibel, Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Florida State University. OHS will be performing their works they will take to competition soon.
Saturday at 7 PM in the Ford Center, the LOU Symphony Orchestra will be performing with the appearance of Assembly Quartet. Estes is apart of the Assembly Quartet and told MPB they are very excited for the community to be able to come out and hear this work.
The Mississippian Jazz Ensemble will be performing with a multitude of guest with different professors from the region.
Lynn Wilkins, professor in the department of music at the university, said that having artist who are big in their field coming is significant to have them coming to our campus.
Nikita Zimin and Chad Lefkowitz-Brown are two of the main saxophonist headlining the weekend with performances.
Nikita Zimin is a representative of the Russian classical school of saxophone. He is a graduate of the Russian Gnesin’s Academy of Music. Nikita Zimin is winner of more than 20 national and international competitions.
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown has toured globally as a soloist, and with numerous jazz artists and pop icons including Taylor Swift. Chad is also a member of the multi-Grammy award winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. He is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory as a visiting artist.
Many exhibitors, such as Yamaha and Daddario, will have different equipment set up so that visitors can test out and see what is new.
There will be a number of master classes held by the guest artist. Students will also be able to perform for guest artist who are coming in and teaching. This will give them performance practice and pedagogy.
Estes told MPB that being in undergraduate school and going to events like this opened his eyes to his peers doing things he did not think were possible. He said he likes to give his students the opportunity to see that the people they listen to and study are real people and that they can learn from them.
According to the UM Department of Music’s website the North American Saxophone Alliance mission statement is as follows: “The North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) is a Non-profit organization comprised of performers, teachers, students, scholars, and enthusiasts of the saxophone. The mission of the Alliance is to provide resources for saxophonists at all levels of skill, of all ages and backgrounds, and of varied musical styles by disseminating information about saxophone performance and pedagogy, by providing opportunities for music making, by fostering and facilitating the creation of new repertoire, by providing a communication network, and by promoting the musical activities of its members.”
The events will be held all throughout the weekend and the full itinerary can be found on the UM Department of Music website.