The University of Massachusetts Amherst

New England Saxophone Competition

Sponsored by Gerry's Music Shop

First Round Deadline: (extended to) Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Jazz Final Round Deadline: Monday, March 29th, 2021

Online Registration

Classical Competition | Jazz Competition | College Showcase | Community Saxophone Ensemble  | Jazz Transcription Project

   

Information

Application: Free for 2021

Prizes

First prizes will include: $300 gift certificate to Gerry’s Music Shop, gift certificates from Rovner, and ligatures courtesy of Silverstein. Winners' video will be featured at the start of the guest artist concerts. Finalists must be available to stay for the duration of the festival.    

*We will share the videos of the finalists for the classical and jazz compeitions on social media, and we will play the winners' videos as part of the evening concerts. By registering for the competition, you agree to have your videos shared.*

Classical Competition Information

One Round Only - Submit an unedited video recording of an unedited performance of two contrasting movements or pieces totaling 8 minutes or more. We will not accept etudes, but we welcome a single longer work with both lyrical and technical demands such as the Glazunov Concerto. You may perform with or without piano. Here are backing tracks for the following classical standards as recorded by pianist Nadine Shank:

Eugene Bozza - Aria

Karel Husa - Elegie et rondeau

Alexander Glazunov - Concerto in Eb

Bernard Heiden - Sonata

Jacques Ibert - Aria & Concertino de Camera

Jeanine Rueff - Concertino

Lawson Lunde - Sonata

Paul Creston - Sonata

Paule Maurice - Tableaux de Provence

Robert Schumann (arr. Hemke) - Three Romances

Upload your tracks and full scores to our Box Foler. Contact Zach Robarge at nesaxfest@gmail.com with any questions or issues. 

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Jazz Competition Information

All performances should be from memory.

Preliminary Round – Please record an audio or video recording of an unedited performance of two contrasting jazz standards. They can be with piano, rhythm section or a pre-recorded play-a-long. You should play the melody and improvise over the changes for at least two choruses, then play the melody out. Each piece may be on a separate track. Cuts are not permitted. You may upload your track to YouTube, or Vimeo, or via Dropbox or Google Drive.

Final Round – Submit one additional jazz standard, also with live piano, rhythm section, or pre-recorded play-a-long.

All participants of both the classical and jazz compeition will be notified if they have advanced to the final round or not. Finalists will recieve written feedback from the panel.

Happy practicing, and good luck!

* Finalists and semi-finalists in either competition may be invited for a complimentary lesson or to participate in a master class with Professor Hulting-Cohen and/or Dr. Salles.

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Jazz Transcription Project

The jazz transcription project is an introduction to the practice of transcriptiong as a way to learn jazz style, vocabulary and phrasing.

We are going to learn how to play Miles Davis' improvised solo on "So What" from the iconic album "Kind of Blue" (1959), which starts at about 1:30 here.

Steps:

1. Listen to the solo repeatedly, until you can sing along with it, perfectly. You can do this in two ways: play phrase by phrase, sing it back, then sing along with the recording until you feel comfortable to learn the next one, OR you can try to sing along from beginning to end every time, until you get it all.

2. Now it is time to it on the horn. DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. Sing every phrase again after listening. Find the notes on the horn, play it until it is comfortable, then play as many times as needed with the recording until it matches it perfectly in time, phrasing, and articulation. Then, move to the next phrase.

3. THINGS TO REMEMBER: this process takes time and patience and should be done consistently, a bit every day. Always go back to what you learned previously, and make sure it is still there before going forward to learn more. One phrase or two a day is fine. This is a trumpet solo, so soprano players will play in range, tenor players will play down an octave, alto and baritone players will play wherever they feel more comfortable (jumping from same range to down an octave, down one or two octaves, etc.).

4. After you can play the entire solo with the recording by memory well, using headphones so the original recording doesn't get in the video, record a video of yourself playing along with it (horizontal framing) and send it to us. Make sure the sound quality is good, not too soft, not distorted in any way. Make sure the original track is not bleeding into the video. Phone videos are fine!

5. We will put together a video of all the submissions to premiere at the festival!

Opportunities for College Students

Master Class Registration

Registration for master classes is by application due to limited space. Please submit an unedited Soundcloud or YouTube link (or similar) of the piece you plan to play or something comparable via the registration portal. In the notes to the Soundcloud or YouTube file, please include complete program information as you would like it printed, including piece title, composer and piece dates, movements as applicable, etc. 

College Showcase

*Due to Covid-19 and format of new online festival, the college showcase will not take place in 2021*

College and graduate-level saxophone students (jazz and classical) are invited to apply to perform at the New England Saxophone Festival's two college showcase concerts. We encourage diverse styles of music. There are several 10-minute performance slots. We have piano, bass, drums, and some basic electronics available to you; for additional needs, you will need to bring your own equipment that you can set up quickly. If you require electronics, please let us know your needs and we will determine if we can accommodate them.

Please submit an unedited Soundcloud or YouTube link (or similar) of the piece you plan to play or something comparable via the registration portal. In the notes to the Soundcloud or YouTube file, please include complete program information as you would like it printed, including piece title, composer and piece dates, movements as applicable, etc. Only one application fee is needed for all members of an ensemble.

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Opportunities for Community Members

Community Saxophone Ensemble

We are pleased to invite all students and community members to participate in the Community Saxophone Ensemble. This year's festival will feature an online recording project that we will sync and perform as a video during the festival. The piece is our own Felipe Salles' Choro Fugue. Please register via the online registration form and select your instrument, so we may send you the music in advance.

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