So, You're A Saxophonist?
There are over 100 students, staff and community members in our Large Instrumental Music Ensembles at any given time. Each month we will be introducing a new section of our ensembles to you.
UNSW Wind Symphony has a team of stereotype debunking saxophonists, who play all varieties of saxophone, from soprano to baritone, across the full spectrum of genres, from baroque to jazz.
Emma Korell is in the 5th year of a combined Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Science at UNSW. This is her fifth year in the UNSW Wind Symphony, with a special appearance in UNSW Orchestra to play Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite in 2021.
Grace Ayton is in the 3rd year of a combined Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Science majoring in Renewable Energy Engineering and Geography. This is her third year in UNSW Wind Symphony.
Which saxophone(s) do you play, and do you play any other instruments?
Emma I mainly play alto and soprano saxophone but occasionally play others. I also sing, play bass guitar, and ukulele.
Grace I play the alto saxophone for Wind Symphony, and also play the piano.
"I thought it was the coolest instrument"
Why did you choose the saxophone?
Emma I originally chose the saxophone because it was a good fit for my tiny, nine year old hands and kept playing because I really enjoyed it and just never stopped. I always found more interesting things to do and explore. In part that's probably due to the wide variety of styles you get to play off the bat as a saxophonist, and it meant I had a lot of options to choose from early on, and always felt like there was more to discover.
Grace I chose to learn the saxophone when I was 11 because I thought it was the coolest instrument. I had already started learning the piano and it was the one wind instrument I had heard in pop music.
"I always felt like there was more to discover"
What kind of music do you like playing on the saxophone?
Emma I play contemporary classical and new music. My favourite piece is typically whatever I'm working towards performing and I love pieces which are a little more out there in terms of aesthetic and performance medium. At the moment I'm working towards a piece for Saxophone, Piano and Digital recordings of sampled Billie Holiday Interviews.
Grace I mainly like playing classical music on the saxophone, which some people find unexpected. As I learnt the piano before the saxophone, I had become more comfortable with classical music so preferred it when I started learning saxophone.
If you had to choose between playing Careless Whisper and Baker Street for the rest of your lives, which would you choose and why?
Emma Ideally neither, but I feel like there could be some more room to play with Careless Whisper so I'd likely get less bored.
Registrations to audition for UNSW Orchestra or to join UNSW Wind Symphony open in O Week of each term. Check out our UNSW Orchestra page to see which instruments we are currently accepting applications for. Anyone is welcome to join UNSW Wind Symphony.