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Sgt. Kevin Arbogast

The 19th Century Saxophone

An historical overview of the saxophone's earliest years and demonstrate the performance capabilities and peculiarities of these early designs. With the assistance of Elizabeth Ames on piano, I will perform some of the earliest pieces written for the instrument using my Buffet Crampon alto saxophone dating from the late 1880's (almost identical to the original Adophe Sax design). Pieces will include the first known solo piece with orchestra written for the saxophone, Caryl Florio's Introduction, Theme, and Variations, written for the first solo saxophonist with John Phillip Sousa's band, Edward Lefebre. Topics will include the history of Adophe Sax and his patents, keywork advancements after Adolphe Sax, mouthpiece design, the earliest repertoire, the first solo pioneers, tonal and technical comparisons with modern instruments, and extended technique capabilities.


Sergeant Kevin Arbogast serves as clarinetist and saxophonist with the United States Army Europe Band and Chorus in Sembach, Germany. As a single reed specialist, Arbogast performs in a wide variety of musical situations from concert saxophone soloist to Dixieland clarinetist. Prior to joining the Army in 2011, he was the saxophone fellow for the Aspen Music Festival and School for three seasons and performed with regional orchestras across the Midwest. A native of Kentucky, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Louisville and master's degree at Indiana University. Arbogast is an avid saxophone historian and collector. His most unique honor was a performance in collaboration with the U.S. Library of Congress in which he was featured performing on Gerry Mulligan's baritone saxophone.