West Liberty University musicians were invited to present at the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium recently. Dr. Christopher Barrick traveled to George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. to deliver his presentation entitled, “Can You Dig? Jazz Articulation and Style.”

“I’m excited to travel to Fairfax for the International Saxophone Symposium. It’s a great opportunity for our students. They will have a chance to network with other musicians and add to their education in a very special way,” said Barrick, as he prepared for his presentation. Barrick is assistant professor of music at West Liberty University, where he teaches applied clarinet and saxophone and directs the Jazz Ensemble.

Saxophone Quintet Sextet

From left to right, Dr. Christopher Barrick, Sam Farabee, Kaitlyn Neff, Anthony Panebianco, Tailor Glendenning, Eythan West and Marlena Sell.

Six WLU students were also selected to perform at the conference, which took place January 4-5.

The West Liberty University Quintet/Sextet, which performs classical, jazz and popular selections, include six music majors: Sam Farabee, soprano saxophone; Kaitlyn Neff, alto saxophone; Marlena Sell, alto/tenor/baritone saxophones; Anthony Panebianco, tenor saxophone; Tailor Glendenning, tenor saxophone; and Eythan West, baritone saxophone.

Every year, the United States Navy Band hosts the International Saxophone Symposium, which is the premier saxophone conference in North America and routinely draws the top performers and students from around the world. This two-day event features large ensemble saxophone concerto concerts, small recitals and everything in-between, including quartet recitals, masterclasses, clinics, exhibits and much more. Over the years, the International Saxophone Symposium has established itself as an important destination for students, performers and audiences alike.

First held in 1978, the Symposium was the brainchild of former Navy Band leader, Cdr. Ned Muffley and the legendary Master Chief Musician Dale Underwood. The inspiration for the symposium came from Muffley and Underwood’s attendance at the 1977 World Saxophone Congress in Brussels. The realization that the Navy Band could host its own North American event that might even surpass the World Saxophone Congress prompted Underwood to work tirelessly to organize the first symposium in 1978.

More information about the conference can be found on its website.

The Division of Music at West Liberty University offers undergraduate degrees in music education, music performance and music technology. Ensembles include: University Chorus, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and the Hilltopper Marching Band. For more information on WLU music programs, please contact Dr. Matthew Harder, interim chairman, Department of Music and Theater via email at: [email protected]
or by phone, 304-336-8296.