International Saxophone Symposium
George Mason University Center for the Arts
January 6-7, 2017
The International Saxophone Symposium, hosted by the United States Navy Band, is held each year in early January. The two-day event, first hosted by the Navy Band in 1978, features a mix of performances, masterclasses and lectures designed for musicians of all ages.
Highlighting the prominence of the saxophone in both classical and jazz literature are the two marquee concerts on Friday and Saturday nights. Both concerts feature guest artists as soloists. Traditionally, Friday night's concert features the Navy Concert Band with a mixture of band pieces and classically-oriented saxophone solos. In previous years, soloists with the Concert Band have included Donald Sinta, Claude Delangle, Frederick Hemke, Steven Mauk, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Chien Kwan-Lin and many others.
Saturday night's concert features the Commodores jazz ensemble and guest soloists in an evening of big band and jazz music. Soloists with the Commodores have included Eddie Daniels, Chris Potter, Grover Washington, Jr. and Branford Marsalis.
In 2003, the Navy Band established the symposium's College Quartet Series as a way to feature college and university performers. Throughout the symposium, university quartets are featured in their own recitals. The 2015 symposium featured quartets from 27 colleges and universities.
The U.S. Navy Band, based in Washington, is the Navy's premier musical organization. Staffed with some of the finest musicians in the nation and performing nearly 1,700 times each year, the band represents Sailors deployed around the world and around the clock.