A few summers ago we were coaching a high school saxophone quartet in preparation for their upcoming UIL performance. They sounded really good, but it was clear to us that they hadn't spent enough time listening to the piece they were working on (an essential part of any rehearsal preparation). So, we did what any instructor might do and attempted to find a good recording of the piece for these students...and to our surprise there really weren't any.
Some of the recordings we found were of other high school groups, but the recording quality was less than desirable, and while as admirable as it was to listen to the efforts of those students, we thought it was also important that they were exposed to a great quality recording.
And so begins this project. We're calling it the PML Project, and it's our attempt to help fill the void between no recordings whatsoever and the video taken in the band hall from Mom's phone (as great as Mom is...that just doesn't always cut it).
We decided to start recording some standard pieces for saxophone quartet from the Texas Prescribed Music List (PML for short...hence the project name), and record them with great quality audio and video in a great sounding space. But we're not stopping with just the recording. There are some schools that receive regular instruction on their chamber music in their schools, whether it be from a band director or private instructor, and if that's you, awesome!
But we also wanted to provide a means for students who may not have access to that instruction, so in addition to the recordings that we upload here and on our YouTube page, we decided to jot down some of our thoughts on individual preparation, insight into some tricky technical passages, and overall rehearsal techniques as they pertain to each piece.
Our hope is that this eventually becomes a valuable resource for any saxophone quartet attempting to perform at UIL, whether it be middle school or high school. We think chamber music is important and recognize that it can be really hard to find the time and space to receive formal instruction. So, we've created these videos and one-sheets (literally a single downloadable sheet) in the hope that students will find this beneficial in some way. We'll be adding to this page as we develop our content so stay tuned and check back regularly!