First Big Band Concert and the Georg Friedrich Händel Konservatorium

I started learning to play the sax a year and a half ago. I didn’t really know what got into me. I’ve never been a jazz fan. Not even going out to the “Jazz goes to Campus” events for fun. Always had been more of the piano classical type of person. However, being in Halle surrounded by Handel, Bach, and all the other well known composers, made me want to get back into playing music 🎶. Not to mention the opportunity of being taught by professional music teachers, who are also music artists from the Georg Friedrich Händel Konservatorium

 To subscribe for a course in the conservatorium, one must fill in a form and submit via email. In this form, you can choose the instrument that you would like to learn as well as the time length. For students, you will get a support from the municipality of about 20%, meaning for a 30 minutes session you would only need to pay 10€ and 45 minutes session 15€. You could mention the type of music you would like to learn, e.g. classic/jazz. I don’t think you can get a better offer anywhere else! It can take a few weeks until you are being contacted by a teacher since it depends whether there are free slots available. Luckily in my case, it was relatively quick. 

The first time I visited the class, I had no instrument. I was not even sure whether I was comfortable with playing the instrument.  The nice thing is that the conservatorium offer rental services of instruments. As I remembered I had only to pay 24€/month for an alto saxophone. I rented for only 3 months and ended up buying very first Yamaha YAS480 intermediate saxophone which was a lot better to play with. 

Anyway, at the beginning of this year, I started to join the Big Band group which consists of students from the conservatorium. I wasn’t expecting to perform but I realized that I needed to gain confidence in performing in front of an audience. Moreover, I think playing with others can definitely help improve my skills. Although most players were teenagers, there were also some older than me. There were not only sax’es but also trumpets, drum, cello, piano, guitar, and tuba. We practice only once a week for about an hour. 

Two weeks ago after 3 weeks of no rehearsal, I took part playing in the Ulrichskirche. It was my first time playing an actual concert hall in front of visitors who actually bought tickets to hear us. We played 3 songs: Caravan, Cantaloupe Island, and The Final Coundown. Besides us, there were other groups (strings, classical ensamble) who played so in the end the whole concert was approximately 1-1.5 hours. 

The week after, we had another concert. This time it was an open concert and that we did not have to dress up formally. It took place at the Peißnitzhaus which is situated right behind our institute. This concert was mainly for charity; to help gain funds to rebuild the tower of the Peißnitzschloss, since it was once burnt down.

I didn't expected to play a lot of songs but in the end we played more than 10 songs which lasted for 1.5 hours! What was even surprising, I've never played a lot of the songs since I was quite new to the band. Therefore, I had to share some of the partiture with my neighbor. I hope it was not too boring for the audience. I was glad that a number of my friends came to enjoy a nice afternoon meal and music that we played. Here is a short video of one of the songs that we played: Caravan.

As for now, I will try to improve my saxophone playing skills so that I could be more capable in playing tunes impromptuly and one day be of use for the Lord.


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