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Teacher joins top music students on stage

Richmond saxophonist Sandra-Mae Luykx, inspired by late teacher Jeremy Hepner, will be on stage Saturday giving Richmond Music School’s annual Concerto Concert a seasoning of jazz.  - Len Grinke
Richmond saxophonist Sandra-Mae Luykx, inspired by late teacher Jeremy Hepner, will be on stage Saturday giving Richmond Music School’s annual Concerto Concert a seasoning of jazz.
— image credit: Len Grinke

Richmond Music School’s outstanding students will be on stage Saturday for the local institution’s Concerto Concert, which will also feature one of their teachers.

Sandra-Mae Luykx, who teaches jazz saxophone and pop voice, will play two selections from the Charlie Parker With Strings date, “April in Paris” and “Everything Happens to Me,” giving the annual concert a jazz twist.

Luykx, a 26-year-old R.A. McMath grad, is a lifelong musician who earned a bachelor of music in jazz studies from Capilano University in 2011. She’s played in most well-known music hotspots around town, including the Orpheum, Railway Club and Backstage Lounge. Her specialties are jazz, Brazilian, soul, rhythm-and-blues and pop.

Her inspiration for pursuing music was Jeremy Hepner, a Richmond music teacher who died last year following a battle with cancer.

“He was so instrumental to my career and what it is today,” she said of Hepner, whose mother Patricia Rolston is Richmond Music School’s principal. “He was kind of like my sounding board. He was my musical GPS.”

Besides teaching and playing, Luykx also writes music with techniques honed at Capilano.

“I always knew music was going to be my path, I just didn’t exactly know how I was going to do it. Capilano was a step in the right direction for me.”

The Saturday concert will feature the school’s chamber orchestra, student soloists and ensembles. Providing musical direction this year is conductor Allen Stiles, known for his longtime musical direction at Gateway Theatre.

Armed with an alto saxophone Luykx will bring the music of Charlie Parker—a man instrumental in rethinking how the woodwind instrument is played—to life.

“He redefined technique for the saxophone,” said Luykx. “Obviously I’m going to try and do it justice.”

Concerto Concert

•Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Richmond Music School recital hall, 11371 No. 3 Rd.

•Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and free for kids 12 and under

•Call 604-272-5227

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