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Spencer-Miller opens with 'Sax Appeal'

January 27th, 2012 4:16 am by Staff Report

Spencer-Miller opens with 'Sax Appeal'

Contributed photoThe Red Clay Saxophone Quartet will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church as the opening act of the Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series' spring season.

The Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series will open its spring season this weekend in Abingdon, Va., with a performance by the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m., Sunday at the series’ new venue, Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, 136 E. Main St., Abingdon.

Tickets to the concerts are $10 for adults and $5 for students, and may only be purchased at the door. Admission is free for students, faculty and staff at Virginia Highlands Community College and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, as well as those students of the College for Older Adults who have purchased Arts Array passes.

The theme of this weekend’s concert is “Sax Appeal,” and the group, made up of Susan Fancher, Robert Faub, Steven Stusek and Mark Engebretson, professional musicians out of Greensboro, N.C., will perform upbeat and energetic music from jazz and show tunes to tango and pop music hits.

The program will feature music from a range of composers, such as George Gershwin, Chick Corea and Perry Goldstein. The highlight of the concert will be eight different selections from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.

Formed in 2003, the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet is a classical saxophone ensemble made up of seasoned professionals, all of whom have performed internationally and have prior associations with quartets such as Vienna, New Century, Amherst and Rollin’ Phones.

The group presents a varied repertoire, from classical to new music to tango, featuring music by composers such as Ben Johnston, György Ligeti, Francis Poulenc, Alejandro Rutty, Ben Boone, Steve Reich, Mark Engebretson , Martin Bresnick and Gavin Bryars.

The Red Clay Saxophone Quartet’s latest CD, created with soprano Andrea Rae, presents Burton Beerman’s “Tikvah,” a multi-media oratorio for soprano voice, saxophone quartet, video and dance, based on the memoirs of Torah scholar Philip Markowicz.

The former Spencer Memorial Concert Series has now become the Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series. The joint, new sponsorship honors the memories and legacies of Dr. Bill and Catherine Spencer and Dr. Sam and Mary Agnes Miller, all of whom enriched the Abingdon community with their love of music and their support of musical events in the community.

The Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series is part of the Arts Array community cultural outreach series of Virginia Highlands Community College.

For more information on the concert series, call Ben Jennings, Arts Array coordinator, at (276) 739-2447 or email him at bjen? .

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