High Desert Saxophone Quartet Performs Friday

The next Sage Concert Series presentation is Friday with the High Desert Saxophone Quartet (and friends) performing at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. 
The group includes:
David Dennison – Tenor Sax
Dennison retired from 37 year engineering career Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, EG&G Energy Measurements and General Electric Nuclear Energy Division. Started the clarinet at 8 years old and later added the alto saxophone. He continued playing through high school where he was active in symphonic, jazz, Dixieland and marching bands. In 1996, after a 25-year hiatus from playing any music at all, Dennison started back up. He plays clarinet, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone with several community volunteer musical groups.
Cesario Quintana – Soprano Sax
Recently retired from his position as director for the New Mexico Property Tax Division. Quintana started playing saxophone in elementary school and continued through high school. He attended New Mexico State University on a music scholarship, where he performed in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the NMSU Pride Marching Band and one of the Lab Bands. He also studied saxophone under Dr. Charles West while at New Mexico State. Quintana has stayed active performing with several pop bands and concert bands. He is performing with the High Desert Saxophone Quartet, the High Desert Winds wind ensemble, The Santa Fe Saxophone Quartet, The Great Big Jazz Band and the Swing Shift Jazz Band.
Louis Sinoff – Baritone Sax
Sinoff still has a day job as a telecommuting Computer Programmer.  He started playing the clarinet at age 11 and at age 15 switched to saxophones. After completing a music degree on oboe he retired from music for 10 years. Picking up his clarinet and adding bass clarinet, he performed in a number of community orchestras and even performed on saxophone when the opportunity allowed. In 1999 he founded the 35 piece Charles River Wind Ensemble (www.crwe.org) and is founder of the High Desert Saxophone Quartet.
Ruth Stiles – Alto Sax
Stiles was a reference librarian at the Dallas Public library, and various community colleges and academic libraries in the Houston area. Her formal training in music began in band in fifth grade when she learned to play the alto saxophone while also singing in her church choir. In college, although not a music major, Stiles received a four year applied music scholarship to West Texas State, which allowed her to take saxophone and voice lessons. Dropping the saxophone after her sophomore year, Stiles took it up again in 2011.

Keri Brinegar – Violin
The daughter of music educators, Brinegar has played music her entire life; starting on piano, switching to french horn and then violin. She has played many different styles of music including symphonic orchestral works, chamber music and mariachi. She plays with a local string orchestra, a piano trio (violin, cello and piano), and duets with her cellist husband Michael Brinegar.

Peggy Abbott – Piano 
Abbott is a long time pianist and teacher in Santa Fe. She received a BA in piano performance and has performed chamber music in the United States and abroad. She premiered works by Mila Murry and Edith Hathaway. In the 80s and 90s, Abbott performed at St. John’s Collage most of the duo-piano and piano duet literature with Patrice Williams. She is premiering and reprising two newly commissioned works for piano and saxophone quartet
Dr. Sy Brandon – Composer
Brandon holds the rank of professor emeritus of music from Millersville University, Millersville, PA. First prize awards for his compositions include WITF-FM’s 25th Anniversary Composition Contest, the Hillcrest Wind Ensemble Composition Contest, and the New England String Ensemble Composition Competition. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Bulgarica, and the Kiev Philharmonic have recorded his music. Featured performances of his music include the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force Band, and NPR’s Performance Today. Brandon was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Thor Johnson Memorial Commission sponsored by the Delta Omicron Foundation.

Jackie Ehlers – Coach
Ehlers has a degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Michigan. She has been a band, orchestra and choral director. She conducted both The Lusaka Chamber Orchestra and The Lusaka Musical Society Chorus, Lusaka, Zambia. Ehlers played French horn in the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, as well as many other orchestras and chamber groups. She wrote and narrated a series of weekly radio music education programs for the Zambia National Broadcasting Network, which were aired nationally.
Jordan Grigg – Composer
Grigg is a Canadian composer, conductor, violinist, violist, pianist, performer and teacher of all styles of music. He began his musical studies at the age of 2 on the violin and from there started composing and conducting. His music catalogue contains more than 1,200 works including 32 symphonies and 32 string quartets. Grigg’s works have been recorded on CD, aired on the CBC, commissioned and performed all over the world.

Many of the pieces on the program this Friday were commissioned especially for the High Desert Saxophone Quartet. As usual, admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted. There will be light refreshments following the concert.

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