It was another exceptional gathering of saxophonists from all over the world this past weekend at George Mason University. The United States Navy Band hosted their annual saxophone gathering with performers, educators and students from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
In 178 amazing sessions, participants heard individual performances, saxophone quartets, big band concerts and masterclasses from some of the finest educators in the world.
Highlighted soloists included Chief Musician Jonathan Yanik from the United States Navy Band, classical saxophonist Valentine Michaud, Kenneth Tse from the University of Iowa, Lucas Pino and rising star, James Griffith. Featured masterclass clinicians included Taimur Sullivan and Adam Hutcheson.
Also on site were a number of sax vendors offering instrument and mouthpiece trials, repair services and gear. This area of the symposium was always busy with participants and performers alike stopping by for a look at the latest and greatest sax gear.
Friday night ended with a concert from the United States Navy Concert Band, featuring Chief Musician Jonathan Yanik and Valentine Michaud as soloists. Saturday night capped the symposium with an always energetic performance by the United States Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble, with featured soloist Lucas Pino.
The International Saxophone Symposium began in the late 1970s after Chief Musician Dale Underwood and US Navy Band leader, Commander Ned Muffley, returned from a similar event in Belgium. This year marked the 44th year of the event, continuing an must-see event for saxophonists.