Navy Band 39th Annual International Saxophone Symposium 2017:

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Jacob A. Longoria, Staff Writer

The United States Navy Band held its 39th Annual International Saxophone Symposium at George Mason University this past weekend, and for those who were able to attend, it was quite the treat. The International Saxophone Symposium is a two-day event that provides potential music scholars, performers, and general music/saxophone lovers with an incredible learning experience and has continued to do so for the past thirty-nine years. This year’s symposium held a variety of events including (but not limited to) masterclasses, college performances and critiques, the official college quartet series, and professional performances, all of which feature (you guessed it) the saxophone! Some of the notable performers included the United States Navy Concert Band (featuring saxophone soloists Joseph Lulloff and Musician 1st Class Dana Booher), the United States Army Concert Band’s saxophone section, the Masato Kumoi Saxophone quartet, the Interservice Saxophone Ensemble, and several saxophone professors from around the nation. As previously mentioned, professional performances were not the only showing available at the International Saxophone Symposium. The Navy Band’s College Quartet Series allows for several music programs from colleges around the nation to give their Saxophone students a chance to perform in public for the learning experience or as well as a bit of fun. North Point Alumni (Class of 2016) and West Virginia University Freshman Benjamin Busch had the chance to perform with his quartet in the event. Busch describes his experience as “a valuable musical and personal experience” from a performer’s perspective. The experience has provided Ben with insight regarding performance preparation as well, stating that “We had to learn our program in a month… So I basically learned the skill of improving under high pressure. And improving skills can take a long time! For instance, many argue that it takes years to learn calculus. I argue that you can learn much more in a day than you think. You just have to focus and try it.” While saxophone performers and enthusiasts alike were able to enjoy the Symposium, all music lovers were able to take away from the event. North Point Junior Sarah Kersey was able to attend the event, and while she is a percussionist in North Point’s Symphonic Band, she “Found the event to be incredibly enlightening. It was nothing less than an enjoyable experience.”  The Navy Band hosted a stellar Symposium this year. The 40th International Saxophone Symposium is sure to be even better!