ASU Journalism Students Continue to Dominate Media Arts Festival

March 16, 2015

The saxophone is best known for its role in jazz music. With the projection of a brass and the agility of a woodwind, as well as a reputation for evocative improvisation, he is associated in the popular imagination with talents such as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Despite the stereotypes, however, the saxophone can and does shine in performances of other styles of music, including classical and contemporary.

Nowhere was this more evident than during the h2 Saxophone Quartet’s performance at Katzin Concert Hall, ASU’s Tempe Campus, on November 9, 2014. This dynamic and innovative chamber group is constantly seeking to change the audience expectations of the saxophone by playing convincing pieces and pieces in styles ranging from traditional to minimalist.

Mosaic members are, from left, Samuel Detweiler, Tyler Flowers, Ryan Lemoine and Carolyn Braus. Photo by Jillian Kaplan
Download Full Image

The concert, featuring a wide range of contemporary pieces, was an opportunity for ASU School of Music students to be exposed to world-class playing that constantly pushes the boundaries. The quartet’s standout performance featured long, sustained chords punctuated by unexpected, fast-paced melodies, and a medley of sound effects created by impressive technique. Commissioning exciting new works from many different composers, h2 cuts across styles to create compelling new sounds that showcase the full range of the saxophone.

The School of Music has its own set of graduate saxophonists who focus their energies on performing an assortment of music other than jazz. Known as the Mosaic Quartet, this group consists of Samuel Detweiler (soprano saxophone), Master of Music in Saxophone Performance student, Tyler Flowers (alto saxophone), Master of Music in Saxophone Performance student, Carolyn Braus. (tenor saxophone) and Ryan Lemoine, Doctor of Musical Arts student in saxophone performance (baritone saxophone).

“Surprisingly, the vast majority of our attention is devoted to classical music – kind of like a string quartet,” says Flowers. Mosaic’s long-term goals focus primarily on commissioning, recording and performing, and introducing audiences “to the notion that musical creation, when performed at a high level , transcends any instrument you have in your hands,” explains Flowers.

Mosaic’s skills and musicality will be put to the test when they compete against finalists from across the country at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) national conference in Las Vegas, March 21-25.

The ensemble recently won the 2014-2015 Southwest Division MTNA Chamber Music Competition; Flowers placed second for her individual performance in the Southwest Division Young Artists Competition. Mosaic worked hard to perfect their repertoire for the chance to win $3,000 and perform at the winner’s concert. The music they chose for the contest runs the gamut, from fast and technical in Gregory Wanamaker’s “Speed ​​Metal Organum Blues,” to soft and lyrical in David Maslanka’s “Recitation Book,” and is steeped in style. contemporary and classic. Lemoine says, “We’ve been working on our pieces since last October and it’s been a challenge to take it to the next level, while maintaining our enthusiasm and keeping it fresh. To play each track the best we can, we constantly ask ourselves, ‘How can we go beyond that and really make it shine?’

The quartet chose the name Mosaic in part because the four members hail from across the United States, reflecting how their different backgrounds, like the varied tiles of a mosaic, come together to create a unified whole.

Mosaic is made up of students of Christopher Creviston, assistant saxophone teacher, and has been playing together since the fall of 2013. Creviston is proud of the band and all of their accomplishments. “They exemplify what we’re trying to do on the classical side of saxophone here at ASU,” he says. “They are professional-level musicians, in addition to being exceptional handlers of their instruments.”

“Being part of a saxophone quartet is our best avenue for chamber music, and it’s especially important to us since we don’t play in an orchestra like other instruments,” says Flowers. “It’s like our family and how we define ourselves.”

See (and hear) performances by ASU’s Mosaic Quartet here and here.

Public contact person:
Heather Beman
Communication Manager
Music school
[email protected]

Previous A look inside the Digital Media Arts Center at Chapman - Orange County Register
Next The Arizona Republic