MSO takes advantage of visiting sax fest

Between “A Tribute to Henry Mancini” and “West Side Story: Selections for Orchestra,” director Scott Seaton is taking advantage of the Region 3 Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance, taking place at Minot State University, in programming the Minot Symphony Orchestra’s annual Pops Concert this Saturday.

“We’ve got three pieces that feature saxophones,” said Seaton, whose interest in music began with that instrument. The “Concerto for Alto Saxophone in E flat Major” features Connie Frigo. Then Clare Fischer’s “Piece for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra” follows with soloist Paul Haar. The “Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra” features the Oasis Quartet of Nathan Nabb, James Bunte, Dave Camwell and James Romain.

Playing with the MSO is the MSU Senior Honor first-place award winner, selected by the entire music faculty. This year’s winner is Tim Olson, a baritone student of Ken Bowles. He will be performing the work that he presented during the competition, “Quoniam tu solus sanctus” from Messe Solennelle by Rossini. The translation of the title is “For You are the only Holy One.” Olson will be singing his senior vocal recital two evenings later, on Monday at 7:30 p.m., also at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. That recital is free and open to the public, and will be accompanied by Dianna Anderson.

The Mancini tribute includes familiar themes such as “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Charade,” “Baby Elephant Walk” and “The Theme from ‘Peter Gunn.'” Music from the Bernstein and Sondheim classic includes “I Feel Pretty,” “Tonight” and “Maria.”

This final concert of the season, in keeping with MSO tradition, also has the patriotic “Armed Forces Salute” to open the program and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” to close.

Prior to the performance is the pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m. by first cellist Erik Anderson. He and select guest performers will discuss the music being played, with insights into composition and background that enhance the audience experience. Admission to the lecture is free.

Ticket prices vary by seat selection and age. Reservations may be made by calling 858-4228.