The Alfred & Salamanda Saxophone Quartet
The name of the quartet is derived from the first names of the four members.
Alan and Amanda met at the Royal Academy of Music where they studied clarinet and bassoon respectively. Amanda pursued a career in music, teaching bassoon, clarinet, saxophone and recorder. Alan also set out as a music teacher, but having a young family to support his head was turned towards the business world and he now manages a pension fund.
Sally studied the piano at the Royal College of Music and then for five years in France with Monique Haas. Her musical career has focused mainly on piano teaching and accompanying.
Fred spent most of his career as a class music teacher. His main instrument is the french horn and over the years he has played with most of London’s amateur orchestras.
Although the members of the quartet have been friends for about 30 years ‘Alfred & Salamanda’ is a recent endeavour. The spark that ignited the creation of the ensemble was a street party in Wimbledon to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Although they had all played music together with local orchestras such as the Salomon Orchestra and Chelsea Opera Group, two and a half decades of music-making and friendship had never veered towards a saxophone ensemble.
It was Fred’s inability to resist a bargain on Ebay that led him to accumulate more saxophones than he could play at once. He persuaded Alan and Sally to have a go and engineered local players getting together at there was no looking back. Alan acquired his own saxophone, Amanda bought a soprano saxophone, Sally found a tenor saxophone in a car boot sale and the rest is history.
The quartet has played in concerts, garden and birthday parties, and in fundraising events for charities. They play a wide repertoire of music from renaissance to contemporary and perform in many different styles.