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Better late than never


Old King Log
Staff member
I recently ran across my photos from our November 2009 trip to Disneyworld down in Orlando FL. One of the nice things about the place is the wealth of instrumental music that you get to experience there, ofttimes in the most unusual places.

One of the staples of the Disney's Magic Kingdom has always been their saxophone quartets or quintets. These days in Florida, it's a quartet that plays at three or four locations over a typical day. They change costume depending on the venue - here they were caught as locomotive engineers, backing up a nifty little vocal group of the mayor, the fire chief, and four suffragettes, agitating for the vote about ninety years too late.

They are often hard to find, since they are not routinely listed on the Times Guide and Information handout available when you enter the park. You can track them down when you visit the Town Hall, to the left of the entrance portal to the park - the gals behind the counter know where everything and anything happens.

The quartet plays a couple of instrumental numbers, with lots of fancy work up high and down low, and three vocal numbers in each set. Each of the vocal numbers has a nice instrumental break included. The programming folks are careful enough to put the quartet in the shade, a wise precaution in the mid-day Florida sun.

The first shot shows the quartet from the side. The bass sax isn't normally used - his usual horn is a baritone. On this one, the girls and the mayor were the attraction, so the saxes were kept in the background.

The second photo shows the whole troop of them. (The gals and the fire chief also do other gigs around the park without the saxes.) The photo shows them about ready to launch into a very energetic number about votes for women - it was well worth the time spent watching them.

The final shot shows me (the fat guy) with the quartet. The musicians are all members of American Federation of Musicians, Local 389 out of Orlando. (Disney World is located in the "fake" town of Lake Buena Vista, about ten miles south of town.) On soprano is Brian Sharp, on alto is Tami Danielsson, on tenor is Dalton Hagler and on bass is Bruce Nardi.

They play seven fifteen minute sets a day. Among the numbers that they played during this set were Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Votes For Women and one of my favorites, A Little Tin Box from Fiorello. Not only was the music impeccably done, but the acting by the singers was top drawer, first rate stuff.

Following this performance, the saxes dropped down into the tunnel system for a quick costume change and transportation over to a Mickey Mouse themed area for another set.
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