This year’s Saxophone Fest at NSU will feature beat-boxing saxophonist Dereck Brown as the guest artist.
The music department hosts the annual festival for musicians to hone in on their skills at various workshops and events taught by visiting musicians. Students will play their prepared pieces for Brown and receive tips and critiques during the festival on Feb. 4 from noon to 4:30 p.m.
“I’m excited to see what Dereck Brown can do and what lessons he has for us,” junior and third-year festival participant Kenyon Johnson II said. The musician has played the saxophone since he was in the sixth grade.
Brown is known for his distinct style, in which he simultaneously plays the instrument while beat-boxing to incorporate rhythm. After a performance for the students, he will teach a master class. After the festival, he will join Dr. Paul Forsyth and his musical ensemble to perform at Maglieaux’s at 7 p.m.
Forsyth, who has taught at NSU for 10 years as a saxophone professor, is the founder of Saxophone Fest.
“We have guest artists come through a lot, especially saxophonists, because it helps the students in my studio…to see what other professionals are doing and what they’re teaching their students,” Forsyth said. “…I just started calling it Saxophone Fest when I brought in guest artists and it turned into a way to bring high school students to NSU for recruiting.”
High school saxophonists are also invited to the event, and this year students from Houston, Dallas and various Louisiana cities will attend the festival to learn from the workshops and familiarize themselves with NSU’s undergraduate music programs. They are allowed to both observe and participate in the master classes.
“That’s the beauty of it: getting the saxophone and what we do here at NSU outside of just this building,” Forsyth said.