Saxtet Publications (SXP) has established a reputation for excellence, focus and functionality partly because it has always employed active musicians in the business. True to its origins and aims, all the current freelance team are saxophonists:
Born and raised in Bristol, UK, Nigel's early experience on the recorder, piano, trumpet, and clarinet helped him to develop the versatility necessary for an aspiring composer. But saxophone was his first love, and after a prize-winning undergraduate career at Birmingham Conservatoire, during which he established the group Saxtet, he went on to become one of its first specialist professors of saxophone.
A three-year scholarship award as 'Young Musician of the Midlands' by BRMB (Birmingham Radio) also allowed him to pursue a performing career, when he played with many prestigious organizations including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Radio and Concert Orchestras, Birmingham Touring Opera, Moscow State Circus, plus various pop and jazz ensembles.
Saxtet soon emerged as his primary musical interest, and its colourful overseas tours and voracious appetite for busking material inspired (and required!) him to compose at a phenomenal rate. Although many of these works are now performed and broadcast worldwide, early attempts to find a publisher were discouraging, so, despite a plethora of well-intentioned advice not to do so, with the help of colleagues, friends and family, Nigel established Saxtet Publications.
Its primary objective was to develop and promote new music for the saxophone and it was a concept that was exactly right for the times; its popularity grew at first steadily, then faster, its titles were included on exam syllabuses and it became increasingly well known internationally. Its demands left him with little time for composing or performing until the creative fuse was rekindled in 2002, when he established the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain.
Again, Nigel was inspired and required to write for the choir (there is no existing repertoire for an ensemble this size, with its unique line-up). Faced with 40 saxophonists enjoying themselves, he could not resist the temptation to join them so he is now playing again, this time round on the minute soprillo, the tiniest of saxes. He combines his role as soprillo soloist with those of musical director and conductor of the choir.
Nigel sometimes refers to his career as circular, but he is most definitely not back were he started, his musical life-history revealing the creative interdependency of the performing, composing and publishing worlds.
Tom Bruton began his advance saxophone studies with Gerald McChrystal at the age of sixteen and continued under his tutelage while a student at Trinity College of Music. It was during this time that Tom joined the Saxtet Publications' team.
Tom initially started his tenure with Saxtet, preparing scores, dealing with customers' inquiries and eventually contributing to Saxtet's long term strategy. He was a major contributor to the development of the company's E-Edition catalogue.
Over the years, Bruton has worked and performed as a saxophonist with various shows, jazz and classical groups in London and other areas.
Tom's move to France in 2005 enabled him to use his experience to manage courses for various grades of saxophonists and with a fast and efficient broadband service at his disposal, continue to be a part of the Saxtet team. Since starting with editing scores, preparing them in Sibelius format, managing the daily administration of the company Tom, who is now back in the UK, has recently taken over the ownership of Saxtet Publications. This very important role is now juggled with his equally ambitious position with that as Director of Music at The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester.
John (actually Dr John, although he doesn't broadcast it) Hankinson approaches the ideal of a 21st century musician: a talented performer and a website whiz. He established the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain's pioneering website, through which all the choir's members, programme and music are managed, and he now runs the SXP site.
In addition to the current team, many other individuals have helped establish and sustain SXP in the past and currently. Saxtet Publications would particularly like to thank the following for their help:
and the many others who have offered support, advice and encouragement, including (of course!) our customers.