Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634


Media Contact: 562.907.4974 or


Whittier, CA (March 8, 2005)—The New Century Saxophone Quartet will play “The Art of The Fugue” –a Fantasia-like visual and musical concert of Johann Sebastian Bach’s fugues on saxophone—on March 22 at 8:00 p.m. in the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, located on the Whittier College campus. Featured on the program will be the world-premiere of a piece commissioned by the Friends of the Shannon Center. This event is open to the public; tickets are $25.00 general and may be purchased by calling the Shannon Center Box Office, (562) 907-4203.

The only ensemble of its kind to ever win First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the New Century Saxophone Quartet (NCSQ) is a pioneering and versatile group that offers a diverse repertoire ranging from Baroque to innovative contemporary works to imaginative transcriptions. Featuring musicians Michael Stephenson on soprano sax, Connie Frigo on baritone sax, Stephen Pollock on tenor sax, and Chris Hemingway on alto sax, NCSQ has earned international acclaim and earned grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, The Aaron Copland Recording Fund, Chamber Music America, and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Over the course of ten years, the group has released six CDs of their work for Channel Classics to critical praise, including their latest, “The Art of Fugue," released in early 2004. The group continues their work on the “Bach Project,” a production of live concerts of Bach’s final unfinished work with animations concurrently projected on stage. Misha Films, a leading design and animation house, has partnered with the quartet to create the films, which are based on original designs combined with interpretations of artists’ creations in various media. The premiere performances of the first set of animations took place in early 2004 to a limited audience. The Whittier College Friends of the Shannon Center have commissioned one of these animations, and the world premiere of that piece will occur live at the March 22 performance.

In addition to playing two command performances for the White House, NCSQ has appeared on television and radio across the United States, Europe, Panama, and in the Netherlands, and has played in several international major music venues. The group played a special concerto performance with the United States Naval Band, and, in 1998, participated in a special television performance for the Chinese New Year that was broadcast live to over 100 million people world wide. In 2000, NCSQ premiered “New Century Suite,” a concerto for saxophone quartet and orchestra by Peter Schickele with the North Carolina Symphony, and its performance of the concerto with the Canton (OH) Symphony was featured twice on National Public Radio's "Performance Today."

For more information on the New Century Saxophone Quartet, please visit online at

The Ruth B. Shannon Center is located at the northeast corner of Painter Ave. and Philadelphia St. on the Whittier College campus. For directions or information about series subscriptions, please contact the Box Office, (562) 907-4203.

Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service.
Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Orange County.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927