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World Class Musicians at Thiel

By: Virginia Riddle

Thursday Sept. 16 – The Aero Quartet appeared at Thiel College’s own David Glen Johnson Memorial Chapel to perform two shows, first at 11:00am, and again later at 7:00pm.

The Aero Quartet is composed of four world-class saxophonists, by the names of Salvador Flores, Walter Puyear, Matthew Koester, and Brian Kachur.

Throughout their performances they played a variety of pieces in classical and jazz styles, as well as some cross over pieces from the two genres. Their shows were extremely well received by the audience, as evidenced by the extensive applause that followed each piece played, as well as the eager questions asked during the “meet-and-greet” that followed.

However, they did not become such respected musicians by chance. Flores, Puyear, Koester and Kachur each started playing music from a young age, ranging from eight to thirteen years old. Since then, it is obvious that they have spent their lives advancing and perfecting their abilities, as even their breaths between notes seemed to enthrall the audience.

Further, when asked what their usual practice routine was, they each said that that they practiced anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day, usually by breaking practice time into chunks and maintaining the upkeep throughout the day.

Puyear explained, “That’s the thing about being a music major, especially at the graduate level, your life is kind of designed around practicing… but it’s very important to honing your craft.” The quartet continued to explain how efficiency, not just sheer time spent in practice, was a major key to their success. For instance, Flores exemplified that he practices, “…two to three hours a day, but that’s super focused, efficient practice, and after that I try to just take my mind off it.” The group agreed that it was this individual practice time that also made meeting for rehearsals so efficient.

By the end of the questioning period, it was evident that a main goal of the group was to present their life’s work for incredibly receptive audiences, such as the ones that were present at the Thiel performances this Thursday.

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