A treat by virtuoso Wilson Poffenberger

UIUC’s own Poffenberger performed saxophone showpieces as the winner of this year’s music school competition.
By Janarth Dheenadhayalan

The program for the performance

The seats we were originally given were in the balcony and were quite high up. However, I had the privilege of sitting on the stage (because there was room) and got to see Poffenberger up close. His performance was absolutely phenomenal. The rendition he made of Ravel was by far my favorite. It is a piece that I know quite well and it was nice seeing his take on it.

View of the seats from the stage

His tone quality and expression were excellent. I can see why he was deserving of winning this award. Judging by the way other people were talking about him, it seemed like saxophonists rarely received this award. I imagine it frequently went to people who played more popular instruments such as the violin or piano.

The other pieces were nice, but they were not as memorable. I thought I was going to love the Bach because I have performed that piece on the violin, but it did not vibe with me. Perhaps it could be because I am not used to hearing it on the saxophone. Nevertheless, it was a solid interpretation of an old classic.

Immediately before the performance

I had never attended a saxophone solo performance before, so I did not know what to expect. Overall, I am quite pleased with the performance. It gave me a new view of what saxophone music is like and how talented some of our musicians are.

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