Spirits In The Material World
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
2w ago
This is the fifth blog post in a projected series reviewing The Legacy of Elise Hall: Contemporary Perspectives on Gender and the Saxophone, edited by Kurt Bertels and Adrianne Honnold, published by Leuven University Press, 2024. This post focuses on the fourth chapter, or the second of two chapters in Part II labelled Critical Organology & Social Identity. This chapter, Instruments Telling History: Engaging Elise Hall through the Saxophone, is by Sarah McDonie. Resource consulted for this review: William H. Street’s 1983 Doctoral Dissertation, Elise Boyer Hall, America’s First Female Conc ..read more
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Word Crimes
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
1M ago
This is the fourth blog post in a projected series reviewing The Legacy of Elise Hall: Contemporary Perspectives on Gender and the Saxophone, edited by Kurt Bertels and Adrianne Honnold, published by Leuven University Press, 2024. This post focuses on the third chapter, or the first of two chapters in Part II labelled Critical Organology & Social Identity. This chapter, Exhuming Elise: Rehabilitating Reputations is by Adrianne Honnold. Several resources were consulted, directly and indirectly, for this review: William H. Street’s 1983 Doctoral Dissertation, Elise Boyer Hall, America’s Firs ..read more
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Enigma Variations
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
2M ago
This is the third blog post in a projected series reviewing The Legacy of Elise Hall: Contemporary Perspectives on Gender and the Saxophone, edited by Kurt Bertels and Adrianne Honnold, published by Leuven University Press, 2024. This post focuses on the second chapter by Kurt Bertels titled: Paying and Playing? Elise Hall and Patronage in the Early Twentieth Century. Two additional resources were consulted for this review: William H. Street’s 1983 Doctoral Dissertation, Elise Boyer Hall, America’s First Female Concert Saxophonist: Her Life as a Performing Artist, Pioneer of Concert Repertory ..read more
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It Ain’t Necessarily So
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
3M ago
This is the second blog post in a projected series reviewing The Legacy of Elise Hall: Contemporary Perspectives on Gender and the Saxophone, edited by Kurt Bertels and Adrianne Honnold, published by Leuven University Press, 2024. This post focuses on the first chapter by Andrew J. Allen titled: “Incomparable Virtuoso” A Reevaluation of the Performance Abilities of Elise Boyer Hall. William H. Street’s 1983 Doctoral Dissertation, Elise Boyer Hall, America’s First Female Concert Saxophonist: Her Life as a Performing Artist, Pioneer of Concert Repertory for Saxophone and Patroness of the Arts wi ..read more
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Simple Gifts
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
4M ago
“But Mrs Hall does not care and blows imperturbably into her copper pipe, like a man.” (page 42) Mrs Hall is Elise Hall, and it’s been 100 years since the death of this early twentieth century saxophonist. Her name is back in the Zeitgeist, and this, “…old bat who dresses like an umbrella.” (attributed to Claude Debussy on page 160) has gotten a well-deserved reassessment by a group of saxophonist-scholars. Edited by Kurt Bertels and Adrianne Honnold, The Legacy of Elise Hall: Contemporary Perspectives on Gender and the Saxophone has been published by Leuven University Press. The material in t ..read more
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Everybody Hurts
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
6M ago
Pain, pain, go away, DON’T come again another day. All of us just want to play! Moaning Student: “My back. My legs. My arms. My NECK, for Pete’s sake. It all hurts. It all aches. I just can’t do this. I just can’t go on—” “—râlâlâ!” Teacher Interjects. “Remember the Quote of the Month? ‘Complaints erase good fortune. Never complain!’” Student throws the Evil Eye. Teacher Relents: “Look, I get it. The more you play, the more you feel it. The strain of supporting your five pound sax-baby adds up.” Student Proposes: “Maybe I need the Vandoren Harness System.” Pensive Teacher: “Hmm, the one that r ..read more
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Old Souls
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
10M ago
YAPPA BABA: Those were the Ukrainian words, hand-drawn in large letters on the front of the card. Translation: OLD WOMAN. Me, an old lady? It was my birthday, you see, and I was turning the grand old age of…23. In the moment, I laughed. On further reflection I realized—it’s true! Old souls…wise beyond their years and a delight to teach. Old souls…drawn to the study of complex things to better understand their complex selves. Old souls…calm and serene, exhibiting a certain steadiness that allows for deep expression; an expression of timelessness. Diamonds in the Rough With students who are old ..read more
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Rhapsody in Blue
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
1y ago
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to tonight’s match. In one corner, weighing 120 pounds, meet the master of the light touch and melodies that whisper your name, please welcome Smoooooooth Jazz! And in the opposite corner, weighing 240 pounds, with the burden of tradition firmly clamped to his shoulders and the clout of legitimacy in his left hook, say hello to Every Other Type of Jazz! Who will win this impossible battle? Keep reading as I attempt to settle the match by reviewing Death by Saxophone (2022) a new murder-mystery by Debbie Burke. I remember it well. My eyes and ears ..read more
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Pump Up The Jam
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
1y ago
And now…drum roll please…some tips from my GREATEST STUDENTS! I’m talking la crème de la crème, a small pool of high achievers who consistently amazed me with their exceptional abilities. Their skills were so good, so consistently solid, I was left slightly in awe. Now, none of these students were practice maniacs. Far from it. They were all well-rounded and enthusiastic about life. They wanted to be good at playing the saxophone, but lots of other things as well. Sound like you? You’re in luck! Don’t say no and pass the buck— Extra curricular activities are underrated. Try something new and g ..read more
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Good Vibrations
Saxophone Technique Blog
by Sarah Anne Wolkowski
1y ago
Generally speaking, I agree with Leonardo da Vinci that, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” But sometimes a note just needs a little something-something, that je ne said quoi to highlight its function in the musical line. Love it or loathe it, vibrato is often the tool for the job. Interested Student: “What is vibrato?” Teacher Points Down: “A slight lowering of the pitch at even intervals.” Sharp Student: “Playing out-of-tune?” Teacher Lets Air Escape From Lips: “Weeeeel, yes. No. Yes. Gosh, you are both fast and smart.” Blushing and Secretly Pleased Student: “I try.” Teacher Makes ..read more
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