Saxophone virtuoso and band to premiere concerto

The Northwestern College Symphonic Band and a guest saxophone soloist will present the world premiere of a concerto during their concert on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The public is invited to attend; there is no admission charge.

The concert will feature guest performer Kenneth Tse, professor of saxophone at the University of Iowa. Tse has been called “a young virtuoso” by the New York Times and “a brilliant saxophonist … worthy of any stage in the world” by saxophone expert Eugene Rousseau. Tse and the Symphonic Band will give the world-premiere performance of Leonard Mark Lewis’ Concerto for Alto Saxophone. The group will perform the first and third movements of the concerto.

Tse has won the New York Artists International Competition and has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He is frequently a guest soloist, adjudicator and clinician across Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States. He recorded his first album at age 23 and has since released eight critically acclaimed solo and chamber albums.

“I’m looking forward to working with Kenneth Tse. It will be an honor to play with this world-class saxophonist,” says Dr. Tim McGarvey, director of the Symphonic Band and professor of music at Northwestern.

The ensemble will be performing five works, including Redline Tango by John Mackey. The composition mimics the process of redlining, or pushing an engine to its limit, with constant 16th notes and gradual increases in intensity. The piece then moves into the tango section and ends with a bang. The band will also perform October by Eric Whitacre, which expresses the emotion of autumn through simple, pastoral melodies and harmonies.