Program Book 2000-2001 page 34
Concert IV: Sax Appeal Program Notes

The saxophone is more than a musical instrument. It has become a symbol for what is hip, jazzy, American-so much so that you can often see the saxes' cache employed in television commercials selling products that have nothing to do with music. This same panache has long interested composers who have approached writing for a quartet of saxophones differently from the way they might have conceived works for more 'traditional' ensembles. All of tonight's compositions display an innovative mixing of styles, an artful focus of purpose, and a healthy dose of serious fun!

DANA WILS0N (b.1946) is a composer, jazz pianist, and conductor. His works have been commissioned and performed by such ensembles as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Buffalo Philharmonic, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Syracuse Symphony, and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and East Asia. His works have received several awards, including the 1998 International Trumpet Guild First Prize, the Sudler International Composition Prize, and the Ostwald Composition Prize and are published by Boosey and Hawkes, Ludwig Music Publishers, and Dorn Publications. His music can be heard on Klavier, Albany, Summit, Open Loop, Mark, Redwood, Musical Heritage Society, and Kosei Recordings.

Wilson holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently Charles A. Dana Professor of Music in the School of Music at Ithaca College. He is co-author of Contemporary Choral Arranging, published by Simon and Schuster, and has written articles on diverse musical subjects. He has been a Yaddo Fellow, a Wye Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Charles A. Dana Fellow, and a Fellow at the Society for Humanities, Cornell University.

"This piece was to be premiered by the Tower Saxophone Quartet in Georgia, so the first vision I had of this piece was that of a gospel quartet-the vital musical tradition endemic to the deep South. The second image that came to mind was that of a Southern preacher exhorting and inspiring the congregation. While these images mayor may not have much to do with reality in the "new" South, they were particularly strong for me because both of these traditions have profoundly influenced virtually all American Music, and certainly my own musical thought."

"The first movement of the piece, then, is a choreography between the callin' out of four dynamic preachers and elements of reflection by the choir. The second movement provides the opportunity for the gospel choir to call back." — Dana Wilson

American composer ROBERT CARL is chair of composition at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. He is co-director of the

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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book program notes