Calling all saxophonists for 'Saxophone Summit' on Great Wall

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., USA/ -- One thousand
saxophonists will converge on the Great Wall of China,
June 23, 2003, International Olympic Day.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Gunther Schuller is master
conductor; five-time Emmy Award-winner Mark Watters is
music director. The event, featuring the internationally
recognized Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra, will be
broadcast live throughout Asia by China Central Television
and worldwide via the Internet.

Saxophone players throughout the U.S. and abroad are
invited to join Schuller, Watters and 500 Chinese
saxophone players for this unique performance. The Great
Wall concert is the capstone event of almost two weeks
of activities, including educational workshops, master
classes, rehearsals and special tours.

The concert will take place at Juyong Pass, one of the
most historically and militarily significant sections
of the Wall, located north of Beijing.

The brainchild of Don Stevens of the Nuclear Whales, the
event was inspired by the group's two-week tour in China
in 2000. A self-described "whimsically serious" sextet of
world-class musicians, the Nuclear Whales is known for its
one-of-a-kind performances.

"The goal of the concert is to show the Great Wall
as a symbol of peace that can bring people of all
nations together through music," says Stevens, artistic
director of the event.

"It's an unusual opportunity and momentous occasion
- underscored by the stature of our master conductor
and music director. It's difficult to think of another
contemporary musician who has achieved as much as
Mr. Schuller has, in both classical and jazz music.
And it's only fitting that Mark Watters is music
director for this International Olympic Day event
he was also music director for the 1996 and 2002
Olympic Games."

What do a thousand saxophones play on the Great Wall?

"Ideas abound," said Watters. "The program taking shape
will feature western works, ranging from Bach and Copland
to Ellington, Gershwin and Joplin, as well as showcase
Chinese music -- including original compositions and
arrangements created specifically for this historic

The concert is arranged in partnership with the
Poly Culture & Art Company, China's premier arts and
media company and a sponsor of the renowned Beijing
Music Festival.

The application deadline for saxophone players wishing to
participate is March 1, 2003.

For more information, interested saxophone players may
visit or call 800-993-7621.

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About the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra
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The Nuclear Whales, a Santa Cruz, California-based
sextet, are a whimsically serious and critically
acclaimed group featuring the world's largest saxophone,
the leviathan 6'8" tall contrabass. The all-sax sextet
of world-class musicians play -- and playfully -- a
flabbergastingly diverse repertoire of classical, jazz,
swing and original works, including their tribute to
the ocean's whales that inspired the orchestra's name.
They blend sophisticated musicianship with inventive
choreography, ingenious special effects and madcap
comedy to delight everyone from saxophone aficionados to
the most dedicated saxophobes.

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Downloadable poster at

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Don Stevens
Artistic Director
1,000 Saxophones on the Great Wall of China Concert
Tel 831-425-4721
Don Stevens

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Unknown
  • Event Date: 6/1/2003
  • Subtitle: Gunther Schuller to conduct 1,000-saxophone concert atop Great Wall
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