Kicking Off the New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope that everybody has enjoyed a fantastic holiday season and is crushing your new year’s goals, both musical and otherwise! We have been blessed that the past month has been incredibly busy and we are looking forward to a busy calendar year ahead!

International Saxophone Symposium (ISS)

Mirasol Quartet kicked off the new year by attending the annual International Saxophone Symposium sponsored by the United States Navy Band. This was our first time to attend the conference and we had an absolute blast! We presented a mini recital of Guillermo Lago’s Ciudades: Tokyo and J.S. Bach’s Chaconne in D minor as well as a presentation entitled Fostering the Self-Dependent Chamber Ensemble. It was great to catch up with old friends in the saxophone community, make many new ones, and hear stellar performances by the United States Navy Band, Dana Booher, Joe Lulloff, Masato Kumoi Saxophone Quartet, and many others! This will definitely not be our last time at ISS!

Our plan, initially, was to fly from ISS to the Dallas, TX area for a series of high school recitals and master classes; however, the winter weather had different plans and our flight was cancelled. We ended up staying in North Carolina with Ben Still's family for a couple of days before we could make it back to Texas.

Dallas High School Tour

Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the recitals missed due to the unpredictable weather – thank you band directors and teachers for being so flexible and understanding! We performed recitals at Marcus High School, Coppell High School, and Hebron High School (James’ alma mater) and had the privilege of having a quartet master class and private coaching sessions at Hebron. In the end, it was nearly a 22-hour day of traveling, performing, and teaching… but we wouldn’t have had it any other way!

East Texas Recital Tour

We returned to our respective parts of the state just in time to kick off the first week at school before quickly reconvening for a weekend of university performances last weekend. On Saturday, we enjoyed performances at University of Houston and Sam Houston State University and on Sunday, we performed at Stephen F. Austin State University. We also enjoyed phở, South American rotisserie chicken, and street tacos. What can we say? Music and food with friends are two of our favorite things! Thank you to Dan Gelok, Masahito Sugihara, and Nathan Nabb for having us out to perform!

Looking Ahead

We have many exciting things on the horizon, beginning with the release of our debut CD at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention next month! The album recording and production process has been an amazing experience and we are very happy with the final product and relieved that the many hours of work that has been put into this project has come to fruition. We will be appearing at TMEA on Friday, February 10, performing at the Conn-Selmer booth – if you will be there, stop by and say hello… and buy a CD! The next day, Saturday, February 11, we will perform a short recital on the main Music Showcase stage at 10:30 am. We hope to see many of our friends in San Antonio!

As always, stay tuned for upcoming updates and educational blogs. If you have found any of our posts helpful, please feel free to share them with your friends and students!

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© 2020 Mirasol Quartet.  All rights reserved. 
Photos by Brianne Butterworth/Sebastian Serrano Ayala.  Artwork by Pat Maines.
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