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Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog

Kenny G's Symphony Appearance Led to Sax Donation for Local School

A chance meeting with famed saxophonist Kenny G following his concert with the North Carolina Symphony last year has provided a local high school band with the chance to raffle off an instrument donated by the man himself.  During his concert Kenny G shared recollections of his high school band years. In fact, several of his band members are his high school band friends. 

On his 2013 tour, Kenny G established a tradition of giving away a student saxophone to a concert goer during each show.  His performance with the North Carolina Symphony was no exception, and he stood onstage and reached in a clear bowl of blue ticket stubs to pick the winner.  When the ticket was drawn, the lucky winner made his way to the stage to accept the saxophone.  It was at that moment that Panther Creek High School band parent Joy Wilkes decided to try and make some luck of her own.

After the concert, Mr. G headed to the lobby to sign CDs. “With a line of people holding CDs behind me, I knew the plea for a donation of a saxophone had to be brief and convincing,” said Wilkes, whose two daughters performed in band at Panther Creek High School.  Her request was warmly greeted by Mr. G, and the journey began. 

Two months later, a limited edition professional series Kenny G Tenor Saxophone arrived in the Triangle, as a $6,000 in-kind gift to the Panther Creek Band Boosters.  The donation was made by Kenny G and his business partner Rheuben Allen, who designed the Kenny G line of saxophones.  Both Mr. G and Allen are enthusiastic supporters of music education.  Only four instruments with these specifications have ever been produced; the tenor saxophone features a black nickel plated body with silver plated keys, two custom-made necks, and a case.  Kenny G has even played the saxophone. 

Panther Creek Band Boosters is raffling Mr. G’s gift on January 25.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by any North Carolina resident that is over 18.  To learn more about the Kenny G Sax, or how to purchase a ticket, click here.

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