Quartet to perform in WRH

Jeanette Fournier, Staff writer

On April 26, the Presque Isle Sax Quartet will give a recital at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall.
The quartet includes Allen Zurcher, D.A., instructor of jazz history, on soprano saxophone, and Bethany Dressler on alto saxophone.
Rebecca Wunch, part-time instructor of clarinet, class piano, theory/aural skills lab, orchestral/chamber music and woodwind ensemble, plays tenor saxophone.
Scott Meier, Ph.D., associate professor of Saxophone and Music Education, is on baritone saxophone.
The quartet has played together for almost five years.
The Presque Isle Saxophone Quartet existed about 15 years ago, with other players, and it was Zurcher’s idea to bring the group back again.
The quartet will offer four pieces on the recital. One of the pieces is Elliot A. del Borgo’s 1987 piece, “Quartet for Saxophones.”
“I really like this piece,” said Wunch. “It’s 20th century, but there are a lot of interesting, ear–catching things in it. The first movement is fast and driving, and the second movement has a lyrical section in the middle.”
Also on the program is “July,” a 1995 piece by the American composer Michael Torke. The work was composed by Torke for the Apollo Saxophone Quartet.
“It’s a very busy piece,” said Wunch. “And there’s a lot of rock rhythms embedded in the piece.”
The quartet will offer “Enchainment” by Robert W. Mols.
“This piece is the most challenging,” said Wunch. “It features mixed meter and asymmetrical meter. The piece also switches back and forth from straight eighths to swung eighths.”
Valerie Coleman’s “Afrocuban Concerto” will also be performed by the quartet.
The concerto was composed by Coleman in 2006 originally for woodwind quintet. Zurcher adapted the piece for saxophone quartet.
“This piece has a lot of ear–catching, dance–like, Afro–Cuban rhythms,” said Wunch. “The last movement begins an exciting accelerando that persists through the end of the piece.”
“These pieces really show off the technical prowess of the musicians, and the lyrical sections offer a chance for the musicians to feature musicality,” said Wunch.
“I think people will enjoy this recital because of the variety. Out of the four very different pieces we’re offering, there will be something for everyone.”