November 18, 2017  

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Mana Quartet in Residence at Southern Miss July 9-15

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The Mana Quartet will be in residence at The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music July 9 – 15.

Saxophonists and music enthusiasts from across the country will gather in Hattiesburg as the acclaimed Mana Quartet will be in residence at The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music July 9 – 15. The quartet will present workshops, master classes and a series of evening performances that are open to the public.

Called a "groundbreaking ensemble" by the Los Angeles Chronicle, the Mana Quartet has repeatedly won high praise from today's leading composers, noted as an ensemble that is "vigorous and accomplished...deserving every success" and "beautifully balanced...a new bright light in the world of chamber music" by Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen and Ellen Taafe Zwilich. Championed as "Saxophone Ambassadors" by Chamber Music Magazine, Mana embodies its namesake as a pervasive force, advocating for the saxophone in classical music.

The quartet includes Michael Hernandez, soprano saxophone; Michael Mortarotti, alto saxophone; Diane Hunger, tenor saxophone; and Southern Miss alum, Thomas Giles, baritone saxophone.

Since its inception in 2007, the ensemble has premiered dozens of dedicated 21st-century works and widely performed underrepresented masterpieces of the 20th century. Using vintage instruments built to the specifications of the saxophone’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, Mana’s impassioned performances offer a vivid reimagining of the saxophone’s 19th-century heritage – a refined aesthetic characterized by intrinsic warmth, dynamic range of character, and absolute versatility.

In 2009, the group became the first saxophone quartet in history to receive the coveted Grand Prize of the Coleman International Chamber Competition, garnering national attention and activity on the national chamber music circuit. Since 2012, the group has been the Chamber Ensemble in Residence of the National Music Festival, and previously held annual appointments at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, Music in the Mountains, and the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra.

Public events include:

*Mana Saxophone Quartet
Sunday, July 9, 7 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

The renowned classical saxophone quartet kicks off a week of concerts with this feature recital of new and rarely heard music for saxophones.

*Richard Kravchak, English horn with Zhaolei Xie, piano
Monday, July 10, 7 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

*Jeff Humphrey, saxophone with Zhaolei Xie, piano
Wednesday, July 12, 7 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

*Music at the Market
Thursday, July 13, 3 - 6 p.m., Downtown Hattiesburg Farmer's Market; admission is free.

*Mana Saxophone Institute Soloists Concert
Thursday, July 13, 7 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

This concert will feature solo saxophone works performed by aspiring saxophonists from across the country.

Mana Saxophone Institute Chamber Ensembles Concert Recital
Friday, July 14, 7 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

This event will feature chamber music for saxophones, including music from a wide range of classical styles.

*Mana Saxophone Orchestra
Friday, July 14, 2 p.m. at The Claiborne; admission is free.

The Mana Saxophone Orchestra will perform, featuring works by Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak and more.

*Mana Saxophone Quartet Summer Workshop Performance;
Saturday, July 15, 2 p.m., Marsh Auditorium; admission is $5 at the door.

The Mana Saxophone Institute's grand finale will feature saxophone orchestra works by Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak and more.

For more information about these events, contact Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz at Lawrence.gwozdz@usm.edu; or the School of Music at 601.266.5543; learn more about the USM School of Music at https://www.usm.edu/music.