Meet the international saxophonist who hopes to inspire Harborough musicians

“It’s very important to support live music and local organisations - so I’m delighted to be involved with the orchestra,” he said

By Red Williams
Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 4:42 pm
Top international saxophonist Gerard McChrystal has become the new Patron of the Market Harborough-based Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra.
Top international saxophonist Gerard McChrystal has become the new Patron of the Market Harborough-based Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra.

Top international saxophonist Gerard McChrystal has become the new Patron of the Market Harborough-based Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra.

Gerard, who lives in Leicester, will act as a public figurehead for the town’s booming orchestra in a massive coup for the group.

The brilliantly-gifted musician will help out with the orchestra’s workshops and rehearsals - and even go along to perform with them at a joint concert or two.

“I am really honoured to be invited to be Patron of Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra.

“It’s very important to support live music and local organisations - so I’m delighted to be involved with the orchestra,” said Gerard.

“I look forward to helping the orchestra develop in the future."

The multi-award winning saxophonist is Professor of Saxophone at London’s renowned Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

He also teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, Gerard has played with leading musicians and orchestras in more than 35 countries worldwide and has recorded 15 CDs.

You can find out more about the superb saxophonist on his website at www.SaxSaxSax.com

Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra Chair, Stephen Bashforth, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Gerard as our new Patron.

“It’s a massive boost for our orchestra and members to have the support of this world-renowned musician.”

He added: “We very much share Gerard’s passion for the saxophone and we are doing our bit to bring the versatility of the instruments to a wider audience.

“This is the perfect partnership for us and we are looking forward to meeting Gerard in person when we can restart rehearsals.”

Phoenix Sax are going from strength to strength – even though they haven’t been able to meet up during the Covid-19 lockdown over the last few months.

The orchestra’s just finishing off their second lockdown recording and have welcomed two new ‘virtual members’, one of whom has taken part in the recording project.

“It just goes to show that, where there’s a will, there is a way,” said Stephen.

“And to answer Gerard’s question - are we Ready 2 Rock?

“You bet!”

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