Christmas 2019 with the Bunbury Singers

We’re about to do our very first Christmas concert.  It’s a joint concert with the Bunbury Singers at the Tarporley Baptist and Methodist Chapel, on Saturday, 14th December.  The concert is raising money a very good cause – the Tarporley War Memorial Hospital – and there will be seasonal refreshments available.  We hope to see you there for a mince pie or two!


Buxton 2019

Time has been flying again, and we’re off to the Buxton Festival Fringe again very soon.  This year’s concert is on Friday 5th July, at our usual venue: the lovely Buxton Methodist Church.  It has a perfect acoustic for saxophones, and plenty of room for tea and biscuits.  Really, what more could we ask?

Just one thing, really – hope to see you there on Friday 5th!

Tickets will be available on the door, or you can buy them in advance from the Buxton Opera House website, at


Update: The programme for the evening was:-

  • Mrs. Malcolm, Her Reel ~ Richard Ingham
  • Funeral March of the Marionette ~ Gounod (arr. Stephen Hutchinson)
  • Tahiti Trot ~ Shostakovich (arr. Gordon Robson)
  • I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ ~ Gershwin (arr. Don Ashton)
  • The Pearls ~ Jelly Roll Morton (arr. David Webber)
  • L’il Darlin’ ~ Neal Hefti (arr. Gordon Robson)
  • Witch Hunt ~ Ulrich Schultheiss (arr. Nigel Wood)
  • Crucifixus ~ Antonio Lotti (arr. Chris Jolly)
  • Wachet Auf ~ J.S. Bach (arr. Adrian Budgen)
  • The Lone Arranger Goes Sax Mad! ~ Philip R Buttall (arr. Nigel Wood)
  • The Chug ~ Pauline Gordon
  • Por Una Cabeza ~ Carlos Gardel (arr. David Webber)
  • Caravan ~ Juan Tizol (arr. Jon Halton)
  • Engine No. 9 ~ Les Hooper (arr. Don Ashton)
  • African Waltz ~ Galt MacDermot (arr. Gordon Robson)

An Evening with the SSO – Buxton 2015

Sovereign Saxophone Octet

The Sovereign Saxophone Octet at the Buxton Festival Fringe, July 2015 (l-r: Helen Southall, Gordon Robson, David Webber, Karoline Brennan, John Bowyer, Mike Dale, Stephen Hutchinson, Dorothea Livesey)

Well this is becoming a very enjoyable habit – it’s July, so it must be Buxton!

This was the octet’s fourth visit to the Buxton Festival Fringe, so we made sure to add some new tunes to our repertoire for the event.  This did lead to some anxiety at pre-concert rehearsals: would we ever manage to fit all of those notes in (and more to the point, put them in the right places)?  Would we manage to play this piece fast enough – or that one slow enough? But, as ever, it all came together on the night, and a splendid time was had by all.  (There’s a review by the Festival’s roving reviewer Keith Savage here.)

The programme for the evening was:-

  • Tiger Rag (ODJB, arr. Webber)
  • The Chant (Stitzel, arr. Dale)
  • Black Coffee (Webster & Burke, arr. Dale)
  • Tomcat (Chattaway, arr. Ashton)
  • Chatterbox (Gordon)
  • The Zonk Zone (Halton)
  • Dream and Reality (Ashton)
  • Canzona – La Padovana (de Viadana)
  • Concerto for Two Saxophones* – 1st Movement (Vivaldi, arr. Walton)
  • Flower Duet from Lakmé (Delibes, arr. Wood)
  • Chug (Gordon)
  • Mrs. Malcolm, Her Reel (Funky Freuchie) (Ingham)
  • The Sheik of Araby (Snyder, arr. Webber)
  • Caravan (Tizol, arr. Halton)

We finished with a repeat performance of Tiger Rag, this time with community singing of ‘Hold that tiger!’, with the audience ably rehearsed by Dave Webber.

Thanks are due once again to the volunteers who organise the Buxton Fringe events so efficiently, to the members of Buxton Methodist Church for the use of this excellent venue (and help with everything from the microphone to the tea facilities), and to the octet members’ friends and partners who helped out with tickets and refreshments.

*Vivaldi was a very forward-thinking composer, but saxophones were hard to come by in the early 1700s, so this was originally known as the Concerto for Two Trumpets.  (It didn’t do to let on about owning a time machine in those days.)

Joint Concert with the North Wales Saxophone Choir – More Details

NWSC / SSO Joint Concert

NWSC / SSO Joint Concert
Anglesey – 13th April 2013

We now have more details about our next concert, where we’ll be the guests of the North Wales Saxophone Choir  at a joint concert on the Island of Anglesey, just across the Menai Straits from Snowdonia.  The NCSO and SSO will play both separately and together.  Should be a night to remember for saxophiles!

The venue will be St Mary’s Church, Mona Road, Menai Bridge, Gwynedd LL59 5EA

The date of the concert is Saturday 13th April 2013, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets will cost £6.00 each, which includes the cost of light refreshments.

If you’d like more information about the NWSC and the concert,  please contact Bob Daimond:-

  • e-mail: nwsaxchoir AT
  • tel. no. 07799 715042

More Pieces for Eight – Buxton 2012

SSO at Buxton Festival Fringe, 2012

The SSO returned to the Buxton Festival Fringe last Thursday evening, and once again a splendid time was had by all!  (As well as lots of smiling faces and applause on the night, we received a very complimentary review from the Fringe’s reviewer Andrew J Hodkinson.)

Big thanks are due to the hard-working and highly efficient people who organise the Fringe, and to the clergy and congregation at Buxton Methodist Church which is such a lovely venue to play in.  It helps so much to have venues and publicity organised so well!  If it’s possible, even bigger thanks go to all the friends and relatives who helped out at the concert with things like ticket and cd sales, and serving refreshments.   Thanks everyone!

The weather was pretty horrible on Thursday, so we were quite relieved to see a steady stream of audience members appearing from the rain-sodden street outside at concert time.   We had a great time time playing tunes old and new to friends old and new.  Looking forward to next year already – by which time we do intend to have a new cd available, hopefully including the Gabrielli double quartets which several audience members asked for.

More Pieces for Eight: Programme

African Waltz
 Galt MacDermot arr. Gordon Robson
Medley from ‘The Sound of Music’  Richard Rodgers arr. Don Ashton
Flower Duet
 Leo Delibes arr. Nigel Wood
 Billy Mayerl arr. Gordon Robson
The Pearls
 Jelly Roll Morton arr. David Webber
Cushion Foot Stomp Clarence Williams arr. David Webber
Carnival Karen Street

*** Interval ***

Canzon Primi Toni Giovanni Gabrieli arr. Mike Frankton
Canzon Septimi Toni Giovanni Gabrieli arr. Mike Frankton
 Antonio Lotti arr. Chris Jolly
Danse Bohemienne Claude Debussy arr. James Crockford
Tahiti Trot Dmitri Shostakovich arr. Gordon Robson
Swingmatism Jay McShann arr. Mike Dale
The Zonk Zone Jon Halton
Witch Hunt
 Ulrich Schultheiss arr. Nigel Wood
The Sheik of Araby Ted Snyder arr. David Webber

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!