The Arizona Senior Academy is pleased to welcome back saxophonist Derek Granger, who will appear in concert along with pianist Russell Ronnebaum on Tuesday (Aug. 7) at 11:30 a.m.
Their program will feature pieces written specifically for saxophone by several 20th century French composers along with a tango by Astor Piazzolla. Ronnebaum will also play two solo piano pieces of his own composition, and the program will close with an exciting tour de force by François Borne, the Fantasie Brillante on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen.
Granger served as director of choirs at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson following his graduation from the University of Arizona in 2011. During his tenure as a music educator, he was also an active performer with the Presidio Saxophone Quartet, Artifact Dance Project, The Rogue Theatre, and Arizona Repertory Theatre, among others.
His solo debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra led to awards in solo and chamber music competitions. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in saxophone performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and is delighted that a performance at the ASA is providing him an opportunity to spend part of his summer break back in Tucson.
Pianist and composer Ronnebaum frequently performs with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Tucson Masterworks Chorale. He is also assistant director of music at St. Mark Catholic Church in Oro Valley.
Ronnebaum made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 performing with American composer Dan Forrest. In 2015 he was selected to be principal keyboardist for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra’s annual summer tour. That same year saw the recording and release of his first album for piano titled “Winter Scenes.” Recent commissions and premieres include music for voice, choir, piano, and string orchestra.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer