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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just sent off my registration materials last week. The dates will be June 18-25 according to Steve Pollock.

I hope to meet some of you there!

Alan
 

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I'll be there with bells on. It's going to be a killer hang.
 

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Can someone kindly post a short feedback on their experiences at previous Houlik retreats, as I am considering flying in from afar to join this event. Is it a productive week, are the instructors good, and is this purely a legit sax retreat (as in no jazz)? Thanks!
 

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OK, so here's what happens every day:

• Breakfast
• Fundamentals/Technique/Concepts class with James Houlik.
• Large Ensemble ('nino thru bass) with Michael Stephenson and José Oliver Riojas.
• Lunch
• Quartet rehearsal and coaching w/ a member of NCSQ. If you don't bring your own quartet, you will be placed with 3 others of like ability. It would probably help if you could bring a tenor or bari.
• Practice time. There are spots throughout the day to do this as well, but this would be your biggest chunk.
• Afternoon recital. Faculty, staff, and participants. Solo and chamber music.
• Dinner
• Solo masterclass with James Houlik, accompanied by Vahan Sargsyan (Jeannie Baxtresser's flute studio accompanist at Carnegie Mellon Univ -- he's awesome). One evening is devoted to the NCSQ quartet masterclass.
• Party. Every night. It's a fantastic hang, always a great group of people.

There is no jazz in the curriculum, but there is a handful of serious switch-hitters that are in attendance every year, and they even do a jam session a few of the nights.

If you'd like to check out the facility, there are many photos on http://www.wildacres.org/. I don't think the pictures do enough justice to the setting, which is beautiful in the extreme, but you will get the idea.

Generally what happens is that someone comes for the first time, and they love the experience so much that they return at least one or two more years. It's basically a fraternity now, but we enjoy meeting at least several new participants each year.

I would imagine that the roster will be full by the end of the month, so send your application in ASAP. I would be happy to answer any questions via private message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do we bring our own quartet charts?

I'll be looking for a quartet to join for sure --any voice is ok with me.
 

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Definitely bring your own music. The NCSQ brings their library, but there would be any number of participants dipping into that.

The past two years, the camp has been soprano/alto heavy. If possible, I'd advise to bring a lower voice.
 

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I don't recall this ever happening the few times I attended.
Since last you attended, there have been more and more serious young jazz folks, and Chris Hemingway encourages and plays with them. Everyone enjoys the sounds, as there is a party every night, and live music is best.
 

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Since last you attended, there have been more and more serious young jazz folks, and Chris Hemingway encourages and plays with them. Everyone enjoys the sounds, as there is a party every night, and live music is best.
How interesting. I take it play-alongs are used as there's no rhythm section in residence?
 

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How interesting. I take it play-alongs are used as there's no rhythm section in residence?
One of the saxos can play the basic jazz piano stuff, and another is a bass-line walking machine on bari. Somehow it works.
 

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I would suggest that the Virginia Sax Symposium SOTW crowd attend, but then no one really wants that, do they?
 

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Are we talking about the same Wildacres?
I know nothing about it. Good point though, from the name it would suggest zany times going on all over at least more than 43,560 square feet of land
 

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What levels of ability are common at this retreat? Are good high school students welcome to attend?
Every year we make sure to include as wide a participant spectrum as possible in terms of age, ability level, and career. There is no age limit, but I'd personally recommend that a child turn 16 before attending. We have high school kids, college saxo majors, college non-saxo majors, MM and DMA level saxos, saxo professors (yes, as participants), non-music university professors, professional saxophonists (jazz/concert/anything), retirees, band directors, contractors, military, bankers, doctors, scientists, bartenders, etc, representing as wide a range of ability as one can imagine.

It's always a different and fantastic hang, as everyone gets along famously. Over the past several years, this retreat has most definitely turned into a fraternity, and I know that many of the friendships forged here become life-long.

We are pedigree-agnostic, and we like good people.
 

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Every year we make sure to include as wide a participant spectrum as possible in terms of age, ability level, and career. There is no age limit, but I'd personally recommend that a child turn 16 before attending. We have high school kids, college saxo majors, college non-saxo majors, MM and DMA level saxos, saxo professors (yes, as participants), non-music university professors, professional saxophonists (jazz/concert/anything), retirees, band directors, contractors, military, bankers, doctors, scientists, bartenders, etc, representing as wide a range of ability as one can imagine.

We are pedigree-agnostic, and we like good people.
Hey! You forgot firefighters!:tsk:

Angel's right: all good people...who happen to love the saxophone.
 

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Firefighters! I can't believe I mentioned bartenders before firefighters!
 
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