October 10, 2012
Michael Hernandez Brings ‘Made in America’ to VSU
VALDOSTA — Playing a 1927 Buescher saxophone, Michael Hernandez will premier three works dedicated to or adapted specifically for him by the composer in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Valdosta State University. The performance is free and open to the public and will be held in Whitehead Auditorium.
“We are excited to have Michael on campus because of his great musicianship and performance experience,” said Dr. Joren Cain, associate professor of music in VSU’s Department of Music and noted saxophonist. “The students have much to gain from a guest performer of his caliber, and the audience will enjoy the eclectic program of American music.”
Hernandez’s “Made in America” program features George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” Greg Bartholomew’s “Summer Suite,” Alan Theisen’s “Meditazione,” Kevin O. Ames’ “Tristia,” John Leszczynski’s “Almost Out of the Sky,” Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer’s “Slender Man,” and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s “Episodes.” Liz Ames, collaborative pianist who specializes in saxophone repertoire, will accompany him.
“Praised repeatedly by conductors and composers alike for his elegant playing and singing tone quality, Michael’s audiences are continuously impressed with the wide array of colors that emerge from his vintage soprano saxophone, ranging from the soft whisper of a flute to the spinning sound of the oboe and encompassing the remarkable upper register of a soaring violin,” according to his online biography.
A resident of Phoenix, Ariz., Hernandez has performed all over the world, in concert halls throughout Germany, Switzerland, Poland, France, Holland, Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. He has also been featured numerous times on NPR’s Performance Today.
Hernandez plays saxophone in the critically acclaimed Mana Quartet, which, in 2009, became the first saxophone quartet in history to take home the grand prize at the International Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, and Mana Trio. He teaches privately and serves as chairman of the Desert Marigold Waldorf School’s Music Department.
VSU’s Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.