Modesto Symphony concert features saxophonist Heim
MODESTO — Music Director David Lockington leads the Modesto Symphony Orchestra in a baroque program featuring saxophonist Amanda Heim performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Oboe in A minor and Bach’s Air on G String on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. at the Gallo Center, 1000 I St., for the Arts.
Tickets start at $19 and are available through the Gallo Center for the Arts Ticket Office at (209) 338-2100. Tickets also available on-line at www.modestosymphony.org
MSO Associate Concertmaster, Ilana Blumberg-Thomas will also be featured performing Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major. The program will open with Dorman’s Concerto Grosso and conclude with Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music.
Heim is a saxophonist, educator, and arranger, writing for saxophone quartet, wind ensemble, and jazz ensembles. Her 2015 arrangement of Avner Dorman’s Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! for percussion duo and wind ensemble received its premiere in Luxembourg, and has since been performed in both Asia and the United States. She has a deep interest in pedagogy, and has published materials investigating the use of post-tonal analysis to improve saxophone quartet intonation and performance. Amanda earned a degree in music education from Messiah College before attending UNC-Greensboro, where she earned an M.M. and D.M.A. in saxophone performance, along with a post-master’s certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy, studying saxophone with Chad Eby and Steven Stusek. She is an active adjudicator and clinician for marching bands, wind ensembles, and jazz ensembles.
Amanda’s recent concert appearances include performances as a soloist at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., with the Grand Rapids Symphony, at the National University of Singapore, Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, Beijing Wuzi University, and Shanghai Maritime University. She has also appeared as a featured soloist with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Symphonic Band, and has performed with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the Roanoke Pops. Amanda has played on stage with musicians including Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, Tim Warfield, Eugene Rousseau, Glen Campbell, The Four Tops, Boz Scaggs, John Ellis, Peter Bernstein, and Lee Konitz.
Amanda is currently the baritone saxophonist for the Junction Saxophone Quartet, a professional ensemble that performs regularly in the mid- Atlantic region and the Midwest. Junction Quartet premiered Amanda’s arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Bassoon, R.V. 499, for saxophone quartet at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Convention in 2016. Amanda currently serves as Lecturer of Music at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College, where she instructs private saxophone, saxophone quartet, and courses in music theory and aural skills.
Blumberg- Thomas has performed numerous solo and chamber music engagements throughout the United States and Europe. She is assistant concertmaster of the Modesto Symphony. Highlights include solo appearances with the San Francisco Symphony and the Albany, New York Symphony, as well as appearances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Ms. Thomas served as the associate concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra for 7 seasons, including one as acting concertmaster. She has performed as a member of the NYC based chamber orchestra Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Springfield MA Symphony, the Modesto Symphony, and the California Symphony. Ms. Thomas’ diverse appearances have included Broadway productions in NYC, including Aida and the Producers.
TOP PHOTO: Illana Blumberg-Thomas will perform Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major. BOTTOM PHOTO: Saxophonist Amanda Heim is part of the March 9-10 concerts