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K-State Today

July 31, 2012



Saxophone professor and piano collaborative artist present international premiere at World Saxophone Congress XVI in Scotland

By Anna Marie Wytko

Anna Marie Wytko, assistant professor of saxophone, chamber music and music theory, and Amanda Arrington, piano collaborative artist, presented the international premiere of noted American composer Karen P. Thomas’ "When Night Came for Soprano Saxophone and Piano" at World Saxophone Congress XVI at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in July.

Wytko said limitless tonal and technical capabilities have placed the saxophone at the forefront of serious, new solo concert literature being written by composers.

The World Saxophone Congress is the largest and most prestigious professional international conference celebrating the continuous advancement of saxophone literature and pedagogy. As the first university established in the country of Scotland, the University of St. Andrews is the third oldest English-speaking university in the world and is recognized as a leading teaching and research institution in Europe.

"When Night Came for Soprano Saxophone and Piano" is dedicated to the women of Bosnia-Herzegovina and is winner of the Theodore Front Prize. Wytko said the highly emotional, personal and currently relevant work is a reflection of the horrors of the war in the former Yugoslavia and, in particular, to the atrocities committed against the women of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

While the piece is partly a lament, it is also a tribute to the strength and resilience of these women, Wytko said. Two Bosnian folk songs are incorporated into the work. One is a "ganga," an intense, vibrant form of vocal music based on a short series of repeated notes with harmonies consisting of major and minor seconds. The other is one of the most treasured love songs of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Wytko released a professional recording of "When Night Came" on her new solo CD. The CD can be purchased through CD Baby or as a digital download (iTunes, etc.) or directly from the Discography Page at www.AnnaMarieWytko.com.