Hurricane back for the fun at Custer
The Hurricane Saxophone Quartet
Updated: June 12, 2012 8:29PM
There’s a Hurricane predicted — once again — for the Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts in Evanston on June 16-17.
That is, Deerfield’s Hurricane Saxophone Quartet will perform again this year, something the group has done just about every year since they formed in 1992.
“It’s just been so much fun to play at the Custer Fair all these years,” said Laura Pryzby, tenor saxophonist for the group. “We always have a lot of fun when we play there.”
The Hurricane Quartet plays “from Bach to the Beatles and beyond,” and can seamlessly blend a wide range of styles. But, said Pryzby, “At the fair, we’ll play a lot more upbeat, fun tunes because it’s just a fun atmosphere.”
That means, said Holly Copeland Aaronson, baritone saxophonist for the quartet, “more Beatles and beyond, less Bach.” And they might throw in some ragtime, big band, and show tunes.
“The four of us just really enjoy playing together,” said Aaronson, who’s a native of Skokie. “It’s such a joy for us to get together and do something we all love.”
The Hurricane Quartet also includes Amy Inmon on soprano saxophone and Debra Schweihs on alto saxophone.
Aaronson said the quartet formed when the four of them went to Northwestern University to study the saxophone. As part of the curriculum at Northwestern, all students played in quartets. “It was a natural progression,” explained Aaronson. “It has evolved.”
Over the years, the foursome has performed in classical recitals, community gatherings and cultural festivals, and has also been featured on the radio and on television. They’ve also played at several Chicago Bulls games.
At one Bulls game, Pryzby said, one of the players got married during halftime and they played for the wedding.
“That was a lot of fun,” she said. “That was a unique experience for sure.”
Pryzby, a native of a suburb of Rochester, New York, said the variety of music the Hurricanes play has not changed much over the years.
“The idea of playing a range of music across centuries is something we’ve always done,” she said. “But we all have young families, so that’s kind of shifted things for us.”
Aaronson said they still try to get together and play when time and family obligations permit.
“We’ve remained close friends and we enjoy playing together,” she explained. “Old friends sometimes finish each other’s sentences. We finish each other’s musical sentences.”