Saxophonist serenades campus with different forms of classical music

Sounds of saxophone could be heard vibrating through the high ceilings of Lincoln Hall on Jan. 26. Carl Spaeth, an instructor of saxophone and jazz in the music department, performed a faculty recital.

The concert was free and open to the public. Audience members had the opportunity to hear different styles of music featuring the saxophone and pieces with piano and flute accompaniment.

“I’ve always had a love for the saxophone,” Spaeth said. Spaeth started playing the saxophone in sixth grade and has continued in his education of music. He recently completed his doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Spaeth played five different arrangements. The pieces included: Prelude, Cadence et Finale, Incantation and Ritual, Epitaphe de Jean Harlow, September in the Refrain and Sonata.

“We have a wide span… within the contemporary saxophone literature,” Spaeth said.

The oldest piece he played was written in 1937 and the newest piece, September in Refrain,  which Spaeth wrote over winter break. The arrangement is a mix of saxophone and live electronics featuring a variety of different instruments.

There was a mix of community members and students in attendance.

Dick and Beth Berreth, two Brookings community members, came to the performance because they receive updates on the performances happening on campus and they enjoy music.

“The faculty is extremely talented,” Dick Berreth said. “It’s always extremely well-performed.”

Mika Hrdlicka, a senior music education major, attended because she has had class with Spaeth and she heard about the performance from other individuals that were attending.

Hrdlicka said that she enjoyed the piece Spaeth wrote because it had so many layers electronically.

“It felt like you were in the rain,” Hrdlicka said.

The audience was exposed to a variety of different musical techniques and genres.

“I hope that they leave pleased,” Spaeth said. “I hope that they leave thinking about a particular piece that jumped out at them.”

People that attended the performance were encouraged to fill out a sheet that rated the performance and the performer.

“Overall, I just thought it was an excellent recital,” said Evy Johnson, a sophomore music education major.

Johnson said that music majors have to attend multiple recitals and performances throughout the semester. She was also interested in seeing how the performer was rated and how that process took place.

Spaeth wanted those that attended his concert to look at contemporary saxophone music a little differently.

“I hope that [the audience] realizes that classical music isn’t dead,” Spaeth said. “It’s alive and thriving.”