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Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet to perform at SFA

March 13, 2019 - Robbie Goodrich
Yoko Kusaka, Maho Kuroda, Jack Thorpe, Kyle White

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet will perform a guest chamber recital at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

Formed in 2016 by world-renowned saxophonist and pedagogue Dr. Fredrick L. Hemke, Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Hemke's life work of music making and saxophone performance. Quartet members are Yoko Kusaka, Maho Kuroda, Jack Thorpe and Kyle White, who have all studied with Hemke at the Fredrick L. Hemke Saxophone Institute at Snow Pond Music Festival in Sidney, Maine.

Thorpe is a graduate student in the SFA School of Music.

The SFA performance is a continuation of the quartet's celebration of Hemke, former professor of saxophone at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and "his unmatched influence on American and Japanese saxophone performance and pedagogy," according to Thorpe.

"This recital theme reflects this mission," Thorpe writes. "All of the music on the program was written by American or Japanese composers or was inspired by American and Japanese culture. This recital is a part of the Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet's second tour, and the quartet hopes to continue strengthening the relationship between American and Japanese saxophonists."

In 2017, SPSQ performed throughout Japan alongside acclaimed saxophonist Masato Kumoi.

"Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet is excited to be presenting a recital at SFA," Thorpe said. "We will be performing works by Kechley, Kushida, Dvorák, Mihira and Mellits."

Antoni´n Dvorák's String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 is nicknamed his "American Quartet" because it was written while he was in the United States and is inspired by his time in America. The quartet was arranged by Hemke and has become a popular transcription in the saxophone quartet repertoire.

This recital includes the premiere of a new arrangement of Noriko Mihira's "Kariboshikiriuta Fantasy." Mihira arranged this new version for the Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet's American tour.

Marc Mellits is a popular American composer who has written a number of works for the saxophone. His "Ex Machina" was written in 2016 and utilizes Mellits' groove-based minimalistic style.

Recital tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.