Selling SAX for Education

The Queensland Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra may be an unlikely ensemble to succeed in the music industry but this group continues to defy the odds.

As the only large ensemble selected to perform at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St Andrew’s, Scotland in July this year, they will continue their European Tour to perform representing Australia at the International Society of Music Education Conference held in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Directed by saxophone lecturer Diana Tolmie, the group comprises of a lucky 13 classical saxophone students enrolled at Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Diana has had a long history with the saxophone and, amongst her busy schedule, is currently performing in the John Frost production of Annie the Musical as well as looking forward to performing in Songs For Nobodies featuring Bernadette Robinson. Diana’s enthusiasm for music is infectious, “It is fabulous to be able to share my working knowledge of the saxophone and the music industry with the students. We are very much looking forward to this tour! It will be an amazing opportunity for the students to learn about the saxophone and music education in such a concentrated environment that attracts the best performers and pedagogues from around the world.”

One can imagine a group of this size would require a fair amount of capital to tour to Europe, however the students are not afraid to sell their wares.

They earn their keep by travelling to schools performing interactive shows in addition to conducting music workshops and tutorials. “It is inspiring for the school students to see young live performers as well as be able to meet and work with them and not feel disengaged. It is also a wonderful way for the Conservatorium students to get performance and education experience.”

The students are also organising a fundraising event titled SAX TO THE MAX at the Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point, Thursday 24th May 6:30pm. Involving as many helpful professionals from Brisbane and interstate the group will be performing re-arranged big band charts of Maynard Ferguson, Michael Brecker, Gordon Goodwin, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington and many more. Never before has the Brisbane Jazz Club seen so many saxophones in the one place! For bookings please contact 3391 2006

Upon returning from their tour the group continues their exciting schedule performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as part of their education series on August the 1st.

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