High to Low and In-Between Too!

Dear Friends and members of the LA Winds Family,

The first of two “Sounds of Your LA Winds” December installments features high flying flutes, a rock solid bass line bassoon and perhaps the most versatile member of the LA Winds woodwind family—the saxophone.

We begin with LA Winds co-principal flutist Susan Winsberg and highlights from her 2019 world premiere concert performance of Ross Wright’s multi-faceted “Sue’s Night Out.”  You may recall that this concert also featured Sue’s truly authentic reading of Robert Burns’ classic “Tam O’Shanter” as a prelude to the Winds’ performance of Malcolm Arnold’s setting of this Wind Band staple.

Click here for highlights from “Sue’s Night Out”

An expert not only in the Scottish dialect, but Scottish and Irish instruments as well, Sue next demonstrates some authentic Celtic instruments that offer a fascinating look at the extended flute family.

Click here for Sue’s Celtic flute and whistle demonstration.

From the uppermost reaches of the Winds’ woodwind family we next turn to its very foundation—the bassoon. One of the oldest members of the woodwind family, dating back to the Renaissance, the bassoon’s unique qualities, construction, techniques and history are presented by the Winds’ very own first-rate bassoonist, Ruth Beaver.

Click here for Ruth’s bassoon demonstration.

Next, we turn to the most modern of woodwind instruments, the saxophone, whose family extends from low (Bass Sax) to high (Soprano Sax).  Our own Claudia Peterson shows us the anatomy of the “in–between“ saxophone – the Tenor Sax. This was the preferred instrument of such jazz legends as John Coltrane, Lester Young and Stan Getz

Click here for Claudia’s saxophone demonstration.

And speaking of jazz, we’ll close out this installment of “Sounds of Your LA Winds” with highlights from Mark Markus’ original big band composition, “Stafford Lane Jazzers” which features Mark’s dazzling tenor saxophone solo playing. Also, a valued member of the Winds’ clarinet section, you may recall his incredible solo work on the Winds’ performance of the main title to Henry Mancini’s “To Catch a Thief.”  A few minutes into this performance, I added excerpts from a saxophone collage video that our co-principal saxophonist Caryn Rasmussen originally put together for a performance of Ralph Martino’s “A Gershwin Fantasy.” I think you’ll enjoy it as a visual accompaniment to Mark’s piece.

Click here to hear excerpts from Mark’s “Stafford Lane Jazzers”

Our upcoming December 15 “Sounds of Your LA Winds” year-end finale will feature our annual Holiday Spectacular with the whole band performing our classic recordings of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Russian Christmas Music,” and “Hanukah Joy.”  And, as an added bonus, we’ll include newly recorded LA Winds holiday special “Zoom” performances of “Sleigh Ride,” “Song of Hanukkah,” and, quite appropriately, “We Need A Little Christmas.”  We’ll also have some exciting news of how you can help the Winds take full advantage of a very generous (and much needed) matching grant of $5,000 that we have recently received.  Finally, we’ll have a schedule of the opening events of our 2021 series of live-stream performance series, “The 4 Winds on Wednesdays,” a biweekly series taking place on alternate Wednesdays beginning January 6 at 4:00 pm.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support and, on behalf of all the members of the LA Winds family, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.  Stay safe!

All the best,

Artistic Director
Los Angeles Symphonic Winds