Virtuoso Series Concert Tackles Classical Music with Unique Instrumentation

By Tyler Stup, SMTD Publicity Intern

Kicking off a four-stop tour, music faculty Dan and Patty Goble and Russell Hirshfield will be playing an eclectic array of music for saxophone, voice, and piano, including works by Claude Debussy, W.A. Mozart, Frank Techeli and others at the University Center of the Art’s Organ Recital Hall. The Virtuoso Series performance starts the beginning of a tour for the three musicians. The tour starts in the UCA on Thursday Nov. 2 at 7:30 pm.

When a saxophone, soprano, and piano seek to tour, that presents some challenges. There isn’t a lot of music out there written for such an arrangement of instruments. Being that the saxophone wasn’t invented until 1840, any desire to play classical music – such as Bach and Mozart in this concert’s case – has to meet very specific criteria. “For example, the Mozart aria being performed has a beautiful duet that is usually played by a violin” says Patty Goble. “The violin part will be played on the soprano saxophone.” For this piece to even be considered it had to be in the saxophone’s range without jeopardizing the integrity of the composition.

Putting that together can be hard. But trusting who you’re playing with makes it easier. “Friendship is imperative when working with a pianist,” says Patty Goble. “The trust and respect I have for Russell's musical intelligence, skill and sensitivity allows me to reach new levels of expression.”

Over the course of the performance, Bach and Mozart will both make an appearance, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg for the three. Composed by Belgian composer Piet Swerts, Hat City Sonata was written specifically for Hirshfield and Dan Goble. Swerts is internationally renowned for his saxophone compositions that Goble describes as, “challenging and exciting for the saxophonist and pianist.”


Through their musical selections, the group hopes to share the energy and shared experience of live performance. “I enjoy most of all the storytelling through music and poetry that vocal music provides,” says Patty Goble.

The trio will be touring with these selections, hitting three other cities to add to their extensive list of impressive accomplishments.

Hirshfield has appeared in recitals around the United States and the world, including stops in Brazil, China, Belgium, England, Serbia, Costa Rica, and South Africa. In this year alone, he has presented recitals at Oxford University in England and at the Royal Flemish Academy in Brussels. A professor of music at Western Connecticut State University, he has presented master classes and conference lectures throughout the United States and abroad.

Professional singer and actress, Patty Goble’s career has brought her alongside Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business, and to Carnegie Hall with South Pacific, amongst many other performances in New York theater and opera. Patty Goble serves on the faculty of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Colorado State University where she teaches courses in musical theatre.

Dan Goble currently serves as the director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and professor of music at CSU. An arts administrator who is also an active performer, Dr. Goble has performed with the New York Philharmonic for over 18 years, and has been featured with the orchestra as the saxophone soloist on Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Ravel’s Bolero, among other works.

After CSU, the trio will be on to Casper, Wyoming; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Lawrence, Kansas. For Fort Collins audiences, they’ll be performing in the Organ Recital Hall 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $3 for youth (under 18), and $12 for seniors (62+), and $14 for adults. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at