Bay area quartet bids farewell

Following the successful Robert Helps International Music Festival, the USF College of Visual and Performing Arts will play venue to a farewell performance by the Bay Area Saxophone Quartet.

The quartet will conclude its musical career when it performs its final show as a feature of USF School of Music’s Guest Artists Series. Established in 1984, the quartet is composed of J.B. Starkey, Ted Hope, Terry Mohn and James Burge.

“This is a great opportunity to feature these artists, who have tremendous value as cultural resources and have been vitally involved with the community,” said Brian Moorhead, clarinet professor for the USF School of Music. “It is important to recognize and acknowledge their contribution to cultural music education and music advocacy.”

Formed with the intent to share a different side of the saxophone, the quartet has been perpetually praised by those who appreciate serious music. The concert will feature music spanning an array of periods, from Classical and Romantic to ragtime and jazz. The quartet plays music by composers including Bach, Debussy and Kern.

“I have performed with each of the gentlemen of the quartet at many local shows,” said Valerie Gillespie, saxophone professor for the USF School of Music. “When they said they were about to retire, Professor Moorhead and I decided to invite them for a farewell performance here at USF.”

The air around the School of Music is rich with excitement as flyers, posters and lunch conversations add to the anticipation of the quartet’s much-awaited performance this evening.

“It’s going to be a very exciting concert,” said Henri de la Vega, a junior majoring in bass clarinet performance. “It’s not very often that you get to hear such a professional saxophone quartet and that too, a local one.”

The Bay Area Saxophone Quartet presents its final performance tonight at 8 in the Music Recital Hall FAH 101. Admission is $6 for students and seniors and $12 for general admission. For tickets and further information, contact the College of Visual & Performing Arts box office at (813) 974-2323 or