June 23rd, 2018

Hatter to play Carnegie Hall on Canada Day

By Mo Cranker on June 19, 2017.

Medicine Hat born and raised saxophone player Brendan Catalano will be playing New York's Carnegie Hall on Canada Day thanks to winning first prize in the American ProtŽgŽ International Woodwind and Brass Competition. --SUBMITTED PHOTO


A local saxophone player is about to play a show on the biggest stage of his life.

Originally from the Hat, and a McCoy graduate, Brendan Catalano has been playing the saxophone for roughly 16 years. On July 1 he will get to play as part of a show at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

“It’s a really cool experience to be a part of,” he said. “I found out last December I had won first prize in the American Protégé International Woodwind and Brass Competition. I was happy to hear they liked the videos I had sent them, and the performance will be a great way to spend Canada Day.”

After finishing his undergrad degree at the University of Saskatchewan, Catalano then decided to take his talents to Florida, where he is now studying his masters of musical performance at the University of Florida. He said he was extremely excited when hearing of his first-place finish.

“I was really excited obviously,” he said. “I actually had to keep pretty quiet because I got the email so late and I didn’t want to wake anyone up, so while the was a lot of excitement, I had to contain it for a bit.”

The Canada Day show will consist of a small group of contestants, with Catalano closing out the show with a solo saxophone piece called Rock Me by Barry Cockroft. He said closing out the show on such a grand stage is an honour.

“Last week I found out that I would get to close out the show, so that made it even cooler,” he said. “It was really neat to hear they wanted me to close, but then again, maybe they just needed something loud to wake the audience up. Whatever the case is, I know I have some family and friends coming to watch and I can’t wait.”

Now 23, Catalano said7 once he is finished with his education, he would like to keep performing, as well as find a teaching job.

“With teaching comes a certain amount of performing, which will help me along the way as I try and teach at a higher institution,” he said. “Teaching at the collegiate level has been a goal of mine for a while, so I just need to keep working towards it.”

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