The Saxotopia Quartet was formed at California Lutheran College by the then head of the music department, Herr Doktor Dan Geeting.
Recognizing a deep need for saxophone quartet music in the surrounding community, and having nothing else to do, Dan canvassed the area for world-class professional sax players. When he couldn't find those, he settled for our current membership: guys who could stumble through the door carrying a sax case.
“Cultural enlightenment and entertainment is our goal,” says Dr Geeting, and the audiences appreciate the expertise with which the members of The Saxotopia Quartet perform anything from old classics to modern jazz. “From the dawn saxophones and impressionism to tin pan alley, silent movies, ragtime and modern jazz, we play it all.”
The group has been together since 2015 and is currently hosted by St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Thousand Oaks, California (with many thanks to Dr. Erik Kinsely). “All of us are from the surrounding community,” says Richard Bunter, the lead soprano player, “and we like to stay close to home. Thus far, we've resisted the clamor of our many fans to ‘take it on the road’ (and they really want us to go).”
I laughed. I cried. I farted.
The quartet prefers the more intimate performance venues (“Booking Carnegie Hall is such a bother,” says Dan) and so the crowds tend to be fairly small. “On the upside,” notes Patrick Ingram, the baritone sax player, “parking is never a problem.” Adds Don Nardone, the alto player, “And there“s never a line at the concessionaire.”
The reviews for The Saxotopia Quartet have been overwhelming. Their fans turn out to be an enthusiastic crowd; especially towards the end of the show.
It was almost worth missing Matlock!