University of Southampton Masterclass: Part 2

We were invited by Dr Angela Space to give a recital and masterclass for her saxophone students at the University of Southampton which took place on Sunday 15th May. Every year Angela gathers together students, past and present, and invites a guest artist to give a class. Angela contacted our Baritone player, Stephen, himself a former student, to ask if the Laefer Quartet would be available to give the class and we were delighted to say yes!

After driving down from London we arrived at the Turner Sims Concert Hall where the event was being held and had a warm up and a spot of lunch. We began by giving a short recital where we performed the first two movements of Ravels' String Quartet in F Major and Theirry Escaich's Tango Virtuoso to showcase the variety of repertoire we play, as well as our love of transcriptions.

We then took it in turns to work with some of the students on pieces they have been preparing for their upcoming end of year recitals. Rusne worked with 3rd year Student, Wayne, on Barry Cockroft's Kuku going into depth on the technical aspects of the piece, including the tricky multiphonic section towards the end. Amy worked with another 3rd year student, Emily, on the third movement of the Dubois Concerto and emphasised the importance of a solid, consistent air-stream as the basis for all playing. Philip continued this theme whilst working on the Villos-Lobos Fantasia with 2nd year, Ali, demonstrating how a good air-stream, good articulation, and good finger faculty can all be practised with scale practice. 3rd year student Lawrence performed the Tansman Sonatine and Stephen discussed some of the challenges faced when playing transcriptions, and shared some thoughts on vibrato.

We were then treated to all four students playing as the Momentum Quartet, with an impressive performance of the fifth movement of Maslanka's Recitation Book, a fantastic piece with two opposing characters, one choral like and one fast and scalic, which all members of the Laefer Quartet suggested improvements for.

Afterwards we relaxed in the foyer of the Tuner Sims Concert Hall, ate pizza, and talked all things saxophone! We would like to thank Angela for inviting us, Karen for accompanying, and all the students for playing so well!