Ouachita Baptist University’s Saxophone Quartet recently was invited to perform at the Region 4 North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Conference held at the University of Arkansas March 14-17. Additionally, senior Sierra Westberg was selected for a solo performance.
“I have been so very proud of this group of students and the way they have worked and performed together all year long,” said Dr. Caroline Taylor, professor of music at Ouachita. “This opportunity to perform at a professional saxophone conference was the ideal venue for them to showcase their hard work, network with other saxophonists and gain invaluable performing experience.”
NASA is an organization of individuals who share a common interest in the saxophone, including professional performers, university professors, public school teachers and students of all levels. The Alliance sponsors regional and national conferences each year to promote new music, shared ideas and performances of saxophone music.
Westberg, a senior instrumental music education major from Arkadelphia, Ark., was chosen by a juried program committee to perform Creston’s “Concerto for Alto Saxophone Movement 1” with pianist Michael Womack.
“I rehearsed with an accompanist I had never met for my ‘Concerto’ performance only 30 minutes the day before the performance,” Westberg said. “This was a great experience getting to prepare under pressure, in a more professional atmosphere. The quartet practiced for four hours a week starting in January.”
Ouachita’s quartet performed all four movements from Pierre Max Dubois’ “Quatuor Pour Saxophones” and Heiner Wiberny’s “Ulla in Africa: Afro-Funk.” Additional members of Ouachita’s Saxophone Quartet include: C.J. Slatton, a senior instrumental music education major from Paragould, Ark.; Katelyn Still, a freshman instrumental music education major from Benton, Ark.; and Morgan Taylor, a senior music industry major from Hot Springs, Ark.
“Three of the [quartet] members have played together in this group since freshman year,” Westberg added. “It was very satisfying to play with them a last time at such an important event.”
Additionally, the conference allowed students to perform and gain exposure in a professional setting.
“If I have a conference such as NASA on my resume, it could help in the job process,” Still said. “The important and impressive saxophonists watching the performance may remember the fact I performed, as well.”
Still added that she was appreciative of Ouachita and the opportunities it has allowed her to have, saying, “Ouachita has allowed me to flourish in my saxophone playing.”
For more information, contact Dr. Caroline Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5139.
By Phoebe Huff // Pictured are Ouachita’s Saxophone Quartet members (front row, from left) Sierra Westberg, Morgan Taylor, (back row) Katelyn Still and C.J. Slatton. Download full size image.
April 23, 2019