A Bicentennial Celebration of Sax

Buxton Festival Fringe Programme Cover

2014 Buxton Festival Fringe programme cover, designed by University of Derby student Helen McIvor

After a flurry of activity at the end of 2012 and the start of last year, the SSO went a bit quiet concert-wise, largely due to family and work commitments and other musical activities.  But we don’t go quiet for long, and we’re happy to say that normal service will be resumed this summer with our now traditional visit to the Buxton Festival Fringe in July.  On Saturday July 19th the octet will be returning to the Buxton Methodist Church, which we’ve enjoyed playing at in the past.  Full venue details can be found on on the Buxton Festival Fringe calendar. Tickets will be bookable in advance from early June via the Buxton Opera House online booking service, by phone from the Opera House Box Office on 0845 127 2190, or  at the door on the night.


2014 is a significant year for saxophonists and saxophone fans everywhere, as it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the instrument’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, so we’re planning to include some snippets of Sax-related gossip and history to enliven the proceedings, along with our usual eclectic mixture of music from many eras, arranged for eight saxophones.  We hope to see you in Buxton in July!

Sax Sculpture, Dinant, Belgium

Sax’s birthplace – Dinant, Belgium


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.