International Saxophone Symposium
Friday, January 10 to Saturday, January 11
George Mason University Fairfax, Va.
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.
The symposium highlights the prominence of the saxophone in both classical and jazz literature through the two marquee concerts on Friday and Saturday nights, which feature a number of guest artists. Traditionally, Friday night’s concert presents the U.S. Navy Concert Band with a mixture of band pieces and classically-oriented saxophone solos. In previous years, soloists with the Concert Band have included Vincent David, Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Timothy McAllister, Otis Murphy, Quatuor Habanera, Donald Sinta and many others.
Saturday night’s concert presents the Navy Band Commodores jazz ensemble and guest soloists in an evening of big band and jazz music. Past soloists with the Commodores have included Eddie Daniels, Branford Marsalis, Donny McCaslin, Chris Potter and Grover Washington Jr.
In 2003, the Navy Band established the symposium’s College Quartet Series as a way to feature college and university performers. Throughout the symposium, student quartets are featured in their own recitals. Additionally, the High School Honors Recital was established in 2015 to provide an opportunity for high school-aged saxophonists to perform at the event.
The U.S. Navy Band, based in Washington, D.C., is the Navy’s premier musical organization. Staffed with some of the finest musicians in the nation and performing 1,700 times each year, the band represents Sailors deployed around the world and around the clock.