German Village Gazette

Sax quartet takes stage Sunday in Frank Fetch Park

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet will close out the summer concert series in Frank Fetch Park.

Wes Miller, who plays soprano sax in the group, said the lineup might sound unusual, but many audiences find its richly textured music appealing.

"I think that most people haven't heard a saxophone quartet before," Miller said.

"There aren't a lot of bands like this outside of the academic world.

"You would think it would be a very homogenous sound, but it's not because the instruments can create so many different colors."

The group will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, in Frank Fetch Park on Beck Street.

If it rains the concert will be moved indoors at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

Miller said the quartet will play everything from Beethoven to Scott Joplin to Philip Glass, as well as some contemporary pieces.

Miller said it's somewhat of a rare treat, as the quarter only plays in public three to four times a year.

Black Swamp Quartet was founded in 1986 at Bowling Green State University, located in Northwest Ohio, once part of a giant wetlands area known as the Great Black Swamp.

Since the group's founding, there have been many personnel changes. Miller joined in 1989.

The current lineup includes Michael Torres, alto and professor at Muskingum College; Michael Cox, lead tenor in the Columbus Jazz Orchestra; Jay Miglia, baritone and professor at Otterbein University; and Miller, a co-owner of the Columbus Music Academy near Westerville.

Nancy Gamso, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan, will be filling in for Torres at the German Village concert.

The group was widely acclaimed at one point, having earned the grand champions prize at the Fishoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Ind., in 1991, and having traveled as far as Switzerland on two separate occasions.

But the quartet broke up more than a decade ago when the music school at Coyle Music, where the musicians worked at the time, closed down.

Black Swamp reformed three years ago after Miglia reached out to Miller about getting the band back together.

"It's something Jay and I have wanted to do but playing in a group like that with four different personalities it's hard to hold a group together," he said.

"Anybody who's been a band that long will tell you that.

"To be honest, we hit our 40s and we all grew up pretty well."

Comments