Debut Album released!

I am very excited to announce the release of my first album:

Fancies: Early 20th Century Music for Saxophone and Piano (please visit the “Album” page on my site)

I would like to share a little bit about the genesis of this project.

Upon entering UC Davis during my undergraduate studies, my saxophone instructor at the time, Dr. Keith Bohm, performed A Tribute to Rudy Wiedoeft with our school’s wind ensemble. This was my first encounter with the music of Rudy Wiedoeft! Initially entering the program with my eye on music composition, this light-hearted music sparked an excitement for switching my focus to performance. I immediately began researching the name Rudy Wiedoeft, slowly learning of other pioneer saxophonists during the early 1900s. My interest in this era continues to this day, and I have been fortunate to collect an abundance of sheet music, method books, 78 rpm records, and even some cylinder recordings by various saxophonists of the time.

I had always hoped to have an opportunity to record an album of this early 20th century music. I had performed a few Rudy Wiedoeft pieces on various concerts throughout my academic studies, and included one on a program performed with James Lent at various concert series. In 2017, James and I performed a short recital solely comprised of saxophone and piano works from the 1920s, and we talked about recording in the studio. James is head of collaborative piano studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and, at the time, I was working as director of operations for the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center (part of the school of music) had recently been completed, which included a new recording studio. An opportunity came up in the Fall of 2017, with support from the department chair at the time, to record in the studio. James and I recorded the album over four sessions during that year, two in late July and two in early October.

The process from start to finish was an adventure and, with tips and advice from many friends and colleagues in navigating the process of releasing a cd, the album is now ready!

Fancies: Early 20th Century Music for Saxophone and Piano presents music composed by saxophonists of the time. With an abundance of music to choose from, I decided to present various styles from the period. Works selected include the rag and waltz styles of Rudy Wiedoeft, Clyde Doerr, Merle Johnston, and Charles Dornberger, to the romantic-inspired works of Jascha Gurewich.

It was a joy to work on this project, and I am excited to share the music that so greatly influenced my life.

Russell Veirs