World-renowned saxophonist is full of praise for Harborough orchestra as he shares his wisdom with them

“I just love the positive spirit of this group!" said the Leicester-based musician and Patron Gerard McChrystal

Monday, 15th March 2021, 11:58 am
Members of Market Harborough’s Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra have enjoyed a masterly online workshop session from their brilliantly-gifted Patron Gerard McChrystal.

Members of Market Harborough’s Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra have enjoyed a masterly online workshop session from their brilliantly-gifted Patron Gerard McChrystal.

The world-renowned saxophonist’s session covered everything from practice techniques to the use of relaxed curved fingers and a relaxed mindset for ease of playing as his ‘students’ listened and watched entranced.

Gerard also spoke about how the brain plays such a big part in what you think you can and can’t achieve as well as dishing out top tips on arranging music for a saxophone orchestra.

“I just love the positive spirit of this group!" said the Leicester-based musician.

“We need music more than ever right now - and it was great to catch up with them.

“Music has a power to unite us, in such a unique and profound way.

“I’m so pleased to be working with Phoenix to help keep that love of music, and the saxophone in particular, going strong.”

Jane Smith, who plays alto sax with the group, said: “This is the second session Gerard has run for us since he became our Patron in August last year.

“These sessions are a real inspiration for us, especially while we are still unable to meet and learn together in person.

“Gerard has given us a lot to think about - and the learnings from the session will certainly help hone our playing.”

She added: “He even showed us how to circular breathe, although it may be a while before we can all master that one!”

Phoenix Sax are currently keeping to their regular rehearsal schedule, meeting up every other Sunday to learn new music by Zoom.

They are planning to get back to physical rehearsals as soon as the rules allow.

You can find out more about the Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra on their website www.phoenixsax.org.uk