Bolton School Senior Boys

Quartet Performs in International Sax 200 Concert

During the summer holidays, Miss Berry and the ‘NAMAHAZO’ Quartet of Bolton School saxophonists travelled to the World Saxophone Congress in France for the semi-final round of the Strasbourg International Quartet Competition. Although they were unsuccessful in reaching the final, they were selected along with Miss Berry to participate in the Sax 200 concert.

This large, multimedia concert was arranged as part of the World Streaming Show for World Sax Day, and was streamed live online to a worldwide audience. The Quartet joined the ‘SaxOpen’ saxophone orchestra, which included members from around the world and was conducted by Masahiro Maeda of the Mi-Bémol Saxophone Ensemble. Due to the multilingual nature of the orchestra, they were instructed in English, French and Japanese during rehearsal!

Zoe Stirzaker from Year 11, Year 13 students Harriet Gribbin and Matthew Hotham, and Old Girl Natasha Lomas were all given different parts to play, while Miss Berry took a seat on the front row in her role as lead Alto.

The concert repertoire included the Sax 200 piece composed especially for the event by Alain Crepin, ‘Mars’ and ‘Jupiter’ from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’, ‘Bolero’ by Maurice Ravel, and a contemporary piece called ‘Cluster’. ‘Mars’ posed a particular challenge: the timings had to be precise as it was being streamed live online as part of the World Streaming Show.

This was part of the World Sax Day event, with other live performances from saxophonists across the globe throughout the evening. This meant friends and family back home managed to spot the Quartet and Miss Berry amongst the SaxOpen Orchestra – and watch the performance, too.

A member of the Quartet said, “The sound of the orchestra was truly amazing, with the different saxophones covering all parts of the traditional orchestra from the high strings to the low brass sounds. We all gained valuable experience from the performance and felt proud to have been able to take part with such talented and professional musicians.”


Click here to watch the whole of the World Streaming Show, or press the play button below to watch a selection of the SaxOpen Orchestra’s pieces, featuring Harriet, Matthew, Natasha, Zoe and Miss Berry:


The SaxOpen orchestra

The ‘SaxOpen’ orchestra: Harriet can be seen on the left, Miss Berry on the left of the front row, Zoe and Natasha on the right of the back row, and Matthew on the right