Members of the University’s new ensemble-in-residence are keeping their ears to the ground in their search for rising young musical talent. The Delta Saxophone Quartet is keen to work with students to create and record compositions at Kingston’s Coombehurst Studio. The quartet, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, is planning to run a series of workshops and masterclasses as well as several concerts during its residency.
Founder member Chris Caldwell said he was looking to forward to increasing students’ awareness of the merits of British contemporary music. “The perception of classical musicians is that we are long in the tooth without any fresh ideas,” Mr Caldwell said. “We now have an opportunity to show tomorrow’s performers how we work and I’m hoping our enthusiasm will rub off on them.”
The quartet is inviting undergraduate music students and postgraduates completing Kingston’s MA in Composing for Film and Television course to write pieces for it to perform. It will also coach the University’s Big Band. “We will be encouraging the students to explore improvisation and to take their ideas to a new level,” Mr Caldwell said. “We will also be asking them to form their own groups and play in the local community, with dates at the Kingston Spring Arts Festival already planned.”
Head of the School of Music Professor Stephen Arnold said the appointment would help students fulfil their potential. “We are very excited about working closely with the quartet,” he said. “It is an adventurous
group which covers an enormous range of musical styles and genres. Its performances are electrifying and the members’ positive approach is bound to bring out the best in everyone at the School.”