Joseph Connor, LU'16
Project: Saxophone Performance Study at the 2014 American Saxophone Academy, Rochester, New York
Pictured below: Joseph Connor, soprano saxophonist (far right), performing at the American Saxophone Academy
Joe's reflection on his experience at the American Saxophone Academy:
With the support of the Jordheim Fund, I was able to travel to Rochester, New York in June to participate in the 2nd American Saxophone Academy held at the Eastman School of Music. I was one of thirty-six saxophone students from a number of undergraduate and graduate programs throughout the United States and Canada who participated in the program. During the week-long course, I had the opportunity to interact with six prominent saxophonists and pedagogues in group lessons, individual lessons, coachings, and lectures. Upon arriving at Eastman, participants were placed in saxophone quartets based on brief auditions, and these quartets met daily for a student-led rehearsal followed by a faculty coaching. In addition, the students participating in the Academy were divided into two large saxophone ensembles that rehearsed every night with two of the Eastman teaching assistants. These rehearsals culminated in a chamber music concert on the final day of the Academy featuring all nine quartets, two ensembles, and a performance of Phillip Glass’ "Runaway Horses" featuring all of the participants. The week-long experience fostered a lot of conversation with the other students as well as the faculty, and this was the most beneficial part of the Academy for me. I came home with so many more ideas about musicality, technique, repertoire, rehearsal methods, and new goals for my own development as a musician and saxophonist. It was a truly unique opportunity to get to meet and work so closely with six different teachers over the course of a week and to witness their varied teaching styles and attend their performances. Ultimately, my time at the American Saxophone Academy was a wonderful and transformative week filled with music, new ideas, and inspiring interactions.