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Musical Alphabet - March 2012

I was really excited to be part of this unique initiative for celebrating BBC’s Music Nation and the Cultural Olympiad in Southampton. All over the UK musical events were taking place, concerts with unique collaborations, celebrations of British music and performances of the Making Music Overture. However, Southampton had to be different. We planned an entire weekend with over 26 hours of music in venues all across the city. It was awesome. Saxophony started the publicity for the event by playing live on the Julian Clegg show on BBC Radio Solent on Friday 2nd March - a tough job for sax players to be in the studio at 7.15am!!! Then the weekend all started at 10am on Saturday 3rd March with A for African Drumming and the Alphabet Fanfare written by Greg Walker. I was involved with F for Flute Choir which bought the whole of Flautissimo into the middle of West Quay shopping centre for a very unique performance. It was an amazing sound in there and it was really exciting to see people standing on all three levels looking down at us. We were also filmed by Ash Starr and other students from Solent University. The next event I played in was H for Hip Hop where I joined a scratch orchestra playing arrangements of hip hop tracks such as ‘Killing Me Softly’ and works by Tommy Eye. The day ended with K for karaoke at the Solent Univeristy Students’ Union. There were also concerts of medieval music, workshops with players from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a sing through of Mozart’s Requiem taking place in churches, schools, West Quay, the Bargate and local pubs and hotels. On the Sunday we moved up to Turner Sims for the W and X concerts featuring the Equivox Trio with Saxophony and Supersonic. We had all participated in a two hour afternoon workshop with Rob Buckland (saxes) and Simone Rebello (percussion) to work on Rob’s commission ‘Capricorn’. It was great to have over fifty saxophone players together, if a little noisy! The evening concert was great, there was such a buzz from all the performers and Rob and Simone were joined by jazz pianist Jason Rebello and played an amazing set. I particularly liked Rob’s new composision, Altogenesis, for alto saxophone and electronics. The finale was when everyone came to play ‘Capricorn’ together, it worked really well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. You can watch it in the videos section. It was a great weekend, a brilliant idea that really bought music to life in Southampton.

Find out more about Southampton’s Musical Alphabet at">