The Mana Quartet Master Class Presented at Sandalwood High School
February 18, 2016
Friday Musicale presented a master class by The Mana Saxophone Quartet to high school band students at Sandalwood High School. This was the second educational outreach presentation of the 2015-2016 school year. Band Director Mr. Steve Panoff welcomed the students and introduced the program.
The Mana Quartet began the master class by introducing themselves and their background and performed a few pieces for the students. Next they
listened to different saxophone students each performing their band concert pieces. Each of the quartet members took turns working with and teaching the individual students performing. With instruction ranging from posture, music stand placement, introduction of a piece to the audience, level to hold saxophone to stage presence, breathing and performance techniques, the students were very receptive to
the artists direction and were very courageous in getting up in front of 90 of their peers to perform and be critiqued by professional musicians.
Ending the master class, The Mana Quartet performed another piece or two for the students and did a Q&A session. On Friday, February 19, Mr. Panoff brought the band students to Friday Musicale on a field trip to hear the 11am Mana Quartet concert. Friday Musicale provided snacks and drinks for the students outside prior to their return to Sandalwood.
Friday Musicale is appreciative of Mr. Steve Panoff, Band Director, and the administration at Sandalwood High School for their support of Friday Musicale and cooperation for presenting this master class and bringing the students on a field trip to the concert.
Below is a letter from Mr. Steve Panoff:
This past February, the Sandalwood Band had the opportunity to partner with the Mana Quartet through the generosity of Friday Musicale.
I had inquired about bringing my entire band program to hear the group, but in addition, was offered the chance to host a master class at the school with the group.
My entire band attended the master class and was treated to a wonderful set of pieces by the group. The history of the pieces and their instruments really was interesting for my students. In addition, members of my group worked with several of my saxophone players individually.
The next day we travelled to the concert hall to attend the full concert. It was a great time for my kids. They were inspired, they were motivated, and realizing that these great players all started in high school band at some point really charged my kids up. They are practicing more and working harder.
In particular, one of my students is saving his money to attend the Mana Summer Sax Camp. This will cost over $1,000. This young man works a job as he does not have 2 nickels to rub together. He has started taking private lessons, which he cannot afford either, but works extra to pay for those. He lives with his grandmother who is able to provide the basics.
The event with the Mana Quartet sponsored by Friday Musicale really gave this young man a goal. Despite long odds, this kid is doing everything he can every day to improve. He even showed up this week with a rented soprano sax so he could learn that instrument, one of the instruments used by the Mana Quartet.
I can say Friday Musicale had a tremendous impact on my students and in particular, this young man (name removed for privacy).