When Dr. David Nabb, a 41-year-old music professor who teaches woodwinds at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, suffered a massive stroke in February of 2000, he thought he would never play again. The stroke left him paralyzed on the left side of his body.
Since that time, he has worked with Jeff Stelling of Stelling Brass & Winds in Kearney to develop a saxophone that can be played with the right hand only. Dr. Nabb will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, to present a recital titled “A One-Handed Saxophone by Stelling Brass & Winds.”
He will open the recital with a solo from Schumann’s Drei Romanzen, accompanied on the piano by Dr. Valerie Cisler, chair of the UNK Department of Music.
After the opening piece, Dr. Nabb and Stelling will discuss the one-handed saxophone project–how they worked through the process of developing the sax and how it has not only benefited Dr. Nabb, but others as well.
Joining Dr. Nabb on the recital will be 16-year-old Kyungsun Orr from Spartenburg, S.C. Orr lost his left arm in a tragic airplane crash that claimed the life of his grandfather. An accomplished tenor saxophonist and bassoonist, and a member of the Palmetto Youth Orchestra at the time of the accident, one of the first things Orr said after recovering from the coma was that despite the loss of his arm, he would play sax again. He is currently using one of the two one-handed saxophones that Stelling and Dr. Nabb developed, and plans to audition to rejoin his high school band later this year. Dr. Nabb and Orr will perform a duet on the program.
Also performing with Dr. Nabb will be his former teacher and mentor, world-renowned saxophonist Dr. Eugene Rousseau. Dr. Rousseau has performed across North America and on five continents since his Carnegie Hall debut. Since 1972, Dr. Rousseau has been the Yamaha corporation’s chief consultant for saxophone research. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Music (emeritus) at Indiana University and is currently on the faculty at the University of Minnesota.
The two will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major F. IX, no. 1 with the UNK Wind Ensemble. The UNK Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Gary Davis, UNK director of bands.
The recital is free and open to the public.