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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Saxophone Ensembles Celebrate Sax Bicentennial

By SSgt Rachel Ghadiali | United States Marine Band | November 17, 2014


November 6 marked the bicentennial of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax’s birth, so the Marine Band will honor him with an inter-service saxophone concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 23 at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall in Washington, D.C. The concert will be streamed live at www.marineband.marines.mil and will feature saxophone ensembles from the Marine Band, Army Band, Navy Band, Naval Academy Band, Air Force Band, and Army Field Band. 

Coordinated by Marine Band assistant principal saxophone Gunnery Sgt. Steven Temme, the program will begin with a Marine saxophone quartet on vintage instruments from the early 20th century performing one of the earliest works for sax quartet—written in 1929 for the French Republican Guard Saxophone Quartet. That group’s leader, Marcel Mule, was instrumental in the formation of the large body of saxophone repertoire that exists today.  

Concert-goers will enjoy spoken-word, historical imagery, and music accompanying the different eras of historic development of the saxophone. The concert will include a vocal score transcription, a saxophone duel, a march, ragtime, contemporary sounds, jazz and swing. “The music includes some of the first works to have been heard on the instrument, as well as important solos and chamber music,” said Temme. “The jazz era is covered by an impressive lineup of saxophonists from military jazz groups. All told, we’ll have more than 25 saxophonists from six Washington-area service bands.” 

The program will feature saxophone ensembles performing Modest Mussorgsky’s “The Old Castle” from Pictures at an Exhibition, John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” Rudy Wiedoeft’s Danse Hongroise, The Devil’s Rag by Jean Matitia, and Percy Grainger’s “The Lost Lady Found” from Lincolnshire Posy. It will also include works by Jacques Ibert, Darius Milhaud, Charlie Parker, Hector Berlioz, and Paul Hindemith. 

Prior to the performance, vintage saxophones will be on display in the lobby, and following the concert attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the musicians. The concert is free, no tickets are required, and it will take place at John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C. Free parking is available under the overpass on 7th Street across from the Annex.  

Complete program and notes

Directions and parking information

Read Gunnery Sgt. Temme’s blog post

Watch live



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