For many years, the saxophone studio at Northern Arizona University has been the shining example of saxophone studies in the southwest and has established itself as one of the most flourishing saxophone performing environments in this country.
Recently, the NAU Saxophone Studio hosted the North American Saxophone Alliance Region II Conference and, in addition, NAU saxophone students have won major music competitions such as Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, National First Prize at the MTNA Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, national finalists in the MTNA Collegiate Artist solo competition, and performed in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and in international concert venues with the Impression Ensemble.
Several of Dr. Bergeron’s students are currently performing in world-renowned saxophone quartets such as Tetraphonics Saxophone Quartet, Mana Quartet, and Project Fusion.
The NAU Saxophone Studio is comprised of seventeen music majors (Master of Music Performance, Bachelor of Music Performance, Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Arts in Music). NAU undergraduate saxophonists also have the option to audition into a dual degree program (both Music Performance and Music Education degrees). Those who are accepted into the saxophone studio are expected to develop an outstanding command of the instrument and maintain a rigorous daily routine performing technical studies, etudes, and saxophone repertoire. Each saxophone student will have weekly hour lessons as well as weekly saxophone studio master classes with Dr. Bergeron. In addition, saxophone students will have opportunities to perform in saxophone quartets, chamber music ensembles, and the highly visible NAU Saxophone Orchestra.
The saxophone program at Northern Arizona University is designed to provide the student with a well-rounded musical education. Applied saxophone study will address the fundamental skills that are essential for all styles of music. The focus of study will be from a "classical" standpoint and emphasis will be placed on the development of authoratative musicianship within the many styles of Western European art music.
Objectives: To develop intelligent and sensitive musicianship and to prepare performance and education majors to be leaders in their occupational fields. Specifically, this includes the develpment of proficient playing skills, the acquisition of useable knowlede of the saxophone repertoire and related study materials, the understanding of various musical styles and an ability to perform convincingly in these styles.
Those who are accepted will have the opportunity to study with Dr. Bergeron an hour each week in private instruction. The curriculum will also include chamber music (duets, trios, quartets, saxophone orchestra, etc.) and weekly master classes.
Chamber music study places an emphasis on effective rehearsal techniques, independent and collective musical judgement, and intonation cosiderations. Weekly master classes are used to discuss historical and pedagogical topics related to the saxophone in addition to giving students an opportunity to perform for each other in a relaxed environment.
The Saxophone Studio at NAU has been represented by saxophonists from Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, London, Ontario Canada, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
The NAU Saxophone Quartets rehearse a minimum of two hours each week and perform a variety of literature. Each quartet prepares a program of music for performance in studio classes, chamber music recitals, and in concerts off campus.
NAU Saxophone Orchestra
The NAU Saxophone Orchestra was established in 1995 and presents numerous concerts throughout the southwest region of the United States. The ensemble mainly performs literature originally written for large saxophone ensemble, although transcriptions from various stylistic periods frequently appear on concert programs.
The instrumentation for the NAU Saxophone Orchestra consists of the following:
Soprano Saxophone (2)
Alto Saxophone (7)
Tenor Saxophone (3)
Baritone Saxophone (3)
Bass Saxophone (1)