Zoë Belbin - alto
Rob Downing - baritone
Ellie Steemson - soprano
Ryan Searle - tenor
Gershwin, Ravel, Conti & Street
Sponsored by A.J Bennewith & Co.
Rhapsody in Blue
The last concert of this season at lunchtime on 17 July saw a return of the ever popular Sax Collective.
This highly talented ensemble of four saxophonists played a selection of well known numbers from their repertoire of light and classical music, a number of which were specially arranged for this combination by one of their members who played the baritone sax.
The delightful blend of sounds brought rhythmic life and excitement to their rendering of Ravel`s "Bolero", "The Pink Panther", Rossini`s "Largo al Factotum", "Rhapsody in Blue" and a James Bond medley to name but a few.
Thus passed a happy and exuberant hour before the large audience, swelled by the presence of associates of our highly valued sponsor A.J.Bennewith & Co., returned, refreshed to their homes and offices.
Zoë Belbin (alto) attained a postgraduate diploma of saxophone performance at Trinity College of Music under the direction of Melanie Henry after attaining a BMus(Hons) degree from Surrey University. She performs an eclectic mix of music throughout the Surrey area, including a professional wind band, Pit work, function bands and BEWITCHED Saxophone and Piano Duo. Zoë also teaches flute, clarinet and saxophone and has made several appearances on television, radio and the West End.
Rob Downing (baritone) attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama and attained a BMus(Hons) degree under the direction of Christian Forshaw and John Harle. He is the quartets resident multi instrumentalist, doubling on flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon. He plays with numerous soul and function bands, leads his own jazz band and is the saxophonist for the Essex Sinfonia. He also teaches African drumming and salsa for the London Borough of Havering.
Ellie Steemson (soprano) is a versatile saxophonist and performer. With a background in jazz as well as classical music, she is involved in a variety of projects which aim to cross traditional boundaries between musical genres. She recently completed the Guildhall Artists Masters’ programme, where she studied with John Harle and Christian Forshaw.
Ellie is particularly keen to promote new music and has worked alongside emerging composers on a number of projects. In 2008 she formed Workers Union Ensemble, a group which works in collaboration with composers to create new works, and performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Shorts series in 2009.
Ellie also performs regularly as a part of a duo with pianist Edward Pick, and with percussionist Caz Wolfson in their ensemble Joiette, which made its debut performance at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 2008. She has also performed solo, chamber and large ensemble works in venues including the Barbican, LSO St Luke’s and the Wigmore Hall. In November of 2007 she gave the UK premiere of Mike Mower’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra with the Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Ryan Searle (tenor) is currently studying for a performance masters at the Royal Northern College of Music under the direction of Rob Buckland and Andy Scott. His undergraduate studies took place at Surrey University on the prestigious Tonmeister Course where he attained a BMus(Hons) degree. He works with a number of function and jazz bands, and performs in pit bands, which have included the West End and the UK tour of Blood Brothers. He also teaches clarinet and saxophone in the Manchester.