Composers Festival spotlight: Missouri Saxophone Quartet

In addition to a performance by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, the Friday night concert of the Mizzou International Composers Festival usually features one or more guest artists, and this year’s “Mizzou New Music” concert will include some selections from the Missouri Saxophone Quartet.

Formed in 2009, the MSQ includes Leo Saguiguit (soprano sax), Adrianne Honnold (alto sax), Joel Vanderheyden (tenor sax), and Matthew Kendrick (baritone sax).

Collectively, they play a variety of musical styles, from baroque transcriptions and traditional French repertoire to jazz, tango, and avant-garde, but are particularly “devoted to exploring and promoting new music, particularly that of Missouri composers.’

In keeping with that interest, the MSQ already have inspired several commissioned works, which they’ve presented at events including the North American Saxophone Alliance‘s Biennial Conference at the University of Georgia; the United States Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium in Fairfax, Virginia; the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland; and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series in Columbia.

Individually, the four members are involved in many different performing and teaching activities.

Leo Saguiguit is an associate professor of music at Mizzou who holds music degrees from Emory University and Northwestern University. He performed at last year’s MICF as part of the duo DRAX, and also plays with the Athens (Greece) Saxophone Quartet, Chicago Saxophone Quartet, Trio Chymera, and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series of Columbia.

Saguiguit also has been a soloist with various orchestras and wind ensembles, performing on more than a dozen CD recordings, and has played as an orchestral saxophonist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, and more.

Adrianne Honnold earned her bachelor of music education and master of music degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and now teaches saxophone at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University.

A former member of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band and Rhythm in Blue Jazz, she is one of the founding members and artistic directors of Chamber Project St. Louis and also has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre Saint Louis and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Joel Vanderheyden is assistant professor of music and director of jazz at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO. He earned his D.M.A. in saxophone performance from the University of Iowa, a master’s in jazz studies from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in music education and performance from University of Minnesota, Morris.

A member of the electro-jazz ensemble Koplant No, Vanderheyden previously served as director of jazz and woodwinds at Oakton Community College near Chicago, and director of jazz at the University of Minnesota-Morris.

Matthew Kendrick earned his music and accountancy degrees from Mizzou and has been featured as a saxophonist in festivals, recitals, and conferences throughout North America and Europe. He also is a founding member of the Contreras Saxophone Quartet, and serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Northland Symphony Orchestra.

For more on the Missouri Saxophone Quartet, you can “like” their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter, and you can see and hear them performing in the embedded videos below.

“Rocket To Venus” by Stefan Freund, recorded in 2012 at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland

“Primal” by Aaron Perrine, recorded in 2012 at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland

Excerpt from performance in February 2014 at Saxquest in St. Louis, MO