Where it all began

‘La Maison de Monsieur Sax’ on thé Rue Adolphe Sax, Dinant

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Dinant in Belgium.  Dinant is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the whole saxophone family (among many other musical things), and has a street, a square, a museum and lots of sculpture dedicated to the great man, so I packed my bags and off I went.  Dinant is a lovely town and I highly recommend it as a place to visit whether you are a saxophile or not.  (I’m told that the town bridge isn’t always haunted by mysterious English women playing the  chalumeau!)  Apparently it’s the two-hundredth anniversary of M. Sax’s birth in 2014.  I suspect there will be a bit of a party, with much discussion of reeds and mouthpieces, and possibly the consumption of a litre or two of the splendid local beverages….

Talking of parties, here’s a last shameless plug for our octet concert in Buxton on July 19th.  Advance tickets are now available via the Buxton Opera House web-site.


The Hills are Alive…

with the sound of Camels….?

One of our camels on its way home from choir practice

Our Buxton Festival Fringe concert is approaching fast, and the programme is starting to take shape.  Currently that shape is at least twice as long as it needs to be, so we spent much of the last rehearsal running through some of the possibilities and awarding marks out of 10.  There’s still a bit of sifting and sorting to be done, but a few things are already more or less certain to be on the programme on July 19th.  Our in-house arrangers have been busy again, so there are likely to be at least a couple of new arrangements from them.  We have some new classical (if not Classical) arrangements, including music by Debussy and Delibes. And of course the camels in ‘The Sheik of Araby‘ proved very popular last year, so they’ll be back again, this year joined by a new arrangement of songs from ‘The Sound of Music’ by renowned saxophone arranger, teacher, repairman and all-round single-reed expert Don Ashton.  As usual it will be an eclectic mix!

Tickets (£7/£5) will be available on the door, or on the Buxton Opera House ticket site.  (They can’t spell saxophone, but we’ll let them off for letting us use their box office!)

The truth about saxophones…

I was looking up alternative fingerings for top G on the soprano this evening, as you do, and stumbled across this rather wonderful introduction to the world of curly brass tubes with holes in.  It’s all true.  Especially the bit about needing ear-defenders for the pets…


Back to Buxton…

… or ‘How to win an award without really trying!’

Back in July last year we played a concert as part of the Buxton Festival Fringe in Derbyshire.  The festival organisers were friendly and efficient, the venue was a splendid Methodist church with wonderful acoustics, lots of people turned up to listen, we all had a thoroughly good time and went home happy; definitely a success.  Then we got a very nice write-up from Andrew Hodkinson, one of the festival’s roving reviewers, which we were very chuffed about. Shortly after that, we heard that we had won an award for producing the ‘Most Enjoyable‘ musical event of the festival.

We do aim to put on concerts which are as enjoyable for the audience members as they are for us, and we do really enjoy ourselves, so maybe this shouldn’t have been such a surprise.  We were pleased as Punch even so, and will be putting on another concert at Buxton on Thursday, 19th July 2012.  Hope to see you there!

Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to the Sovereign Saxophone Octet’s new blog!

All the usual kind of stuff will find it’s way on here, especially as July (and Buxton) approach – but more of that later.  We hope you enjoy our blog.  If it inspires anyone to come to our concerts, or investigate the wonderful world of saxophonic meanderings further, even better!

🙂 hs