By Tia Lynn Ivey
The City of Angels Sax Quartet gave a special concert at Empire Mills last week, performing for nearly 100 listeners. The group, originally from Los Angeles, tours the country hoping to “promote and introduce the beautiful sonority of the saxophone quartet ensemble to new audiences.” The group is comprised of Bill Wilson, soprano, Sean Stackpoole, alto, Cynthia Swanson, tenor, and Matt Germaine, Baritone Saxophone.
The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) was thrilled to bring City of Angels to Madison.
“With a passion for both the classical tradition and the unique heritage of the saxophone, the group performs a vast mixed repertoire of classical, swing era, and emerging contemporary pieces,” said a statement from MMCC.
According to the groups biography, “The City of Angels Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1990 at Cal State Northridge University. They are the past recipients of the prestigious Coleman and Monterey Bay Chamber Music Awards. In both cases they were the first saxophone quartet in the competitions’ history to win such an award. In 1991 the group toured the former Soviet Union just prior to its breakup. More recently the group has performed community concerts in the Southern California area and was chosen to perform at the annual North American Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim. The group also received a recommendation from the Southern California Consortium of Chamber Music Presenters. Over the past 23 years, the group has remained dedicated to honoring and expanding the existing repertoire for saxophone quartet and sharing their combined 120 years of experience in music with audiences. Their music is a combination of jazz and classical works, some of which are the group’s own arrangements and some original works for saxophone quartet. The most common audience feedback is that they’ve never heard a saxophone quartet before and have had no idea that it could produce such beautiful music.”