Rising saxophonist sets the tone for Perse musicians
17 Oct 2018
Sophie Burrows (OP 2015) brought along friends from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama when she returned to provide a masterclass to The Perse School’s talented saxophonists.
Three Perse saxophone quartets, who had been working on their own arrangements, savoured the opportunity to get some tips from Sophie’s group, the Albatross Saxophone Quartet, during a series of tutorials. Pupils then joined the visitors for part of a recital, which featured a wide range of music from Bach to the Beach Boys.
Sophie, who studies classical saxophone at the Guildhall, said she had enjoyed coming back to The Perse to pass on her advice to the school’s musicians.
She said: “We thought it would be fun to come up and give some coaching to the sax quartets and play them some of the music we do across different genres as professionals. They were really responsive. It was nice to work with them and see the pieces they’d arranged grow and change really positively.
“Even just little things like telling them to look at each other while playing makes such a difference to the music and it was really enjoyable to see us have a positive effect on them.”
Sophie added that she was thankful to The Perse for giving her the platform to go on to study music thanks to the quality of tuition and opportunities to play live.
She said: “I played in the Wind Band in the marquee at open mornings and at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, our jazz band played in the Charity Cabaret and when I was in Upper Sixth, I was given the chance to play a concerto at West Road, which was really amazing as you don’t get these opportunities at other schools to play a solo to such a big audience.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am without such amazing teaching or having had those opportunities to play. I don’t think I’d have had the confidence to audition for the Guildhall on the saxophone if I hadn’t had that.”
Listen to Sophie talk more about how she began playing saxophone, her advice to anyone wishing to study music and her hopes for the future.