Xander Dawson

Hear Me Play

Berbiguier Étude 1

This is my performance of étude 1 from the 18 exercises or études by Berbiguier.

Indie Film Contest

I was selected as a finalist in the 2021 Indie Film Contest. I scored this original film created by Jake Wegesin.

Woodwind Arrangements

I love writing original music and arrangements. Here are a few of my featured pieces:

Disney Villains Medley

This piece combines three of my favorite Disney villain songs into a fun medley! The three songs featured are “Be Prepared”, “Friends on the Other Side”, and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. I had so much fun arranging, performing, and editing this.

The Great Pumpkin Waltz

This is a cover I wrote of Vince Guaraldi's The Great Pumpkin Waltz. Saxophone, piano, flute, and clarinet performed by Xander Dawson. Drums performed by Nate Wilson.

A Distant Memory

One of my favorite original songs. It is the result of chord progression experimentation and uses lots of suspensions. I spent a solid week composing but it was totally worth it.

View my YouTube Channel

Music

My musical journey started at age five when I started to play the piano. I loved the way that the piano produced its sound, as well as the instrument’s linear nature. Next, I started to take voice lessons. The pedagogy was heavily focused on the vocal tone, exploring the movable-do solfège system, and the Takadimi system, which helped set a base for me in music theory.

At age eleven, I began to play the saxophone. I instantly fell in love with the instrument’s rich timbre! I have been able to study under the tutelage of some amazing teachers. I’ve studied with Jennifer Henion, Kelsey Melvin, and currently study with Colin Gordon. I have performed and studied many of the common saxophone standards, such as:

Crane School of Music
  • Bozza, Eugene — Aria
  • Creston, Paul — Sonata*
  • Fournier, Marie-Hélène — Horoscope*
  • Glazunov, Alexander — Concerto
  • Heiden, Bernhard — Diversion
  • Heiden, Bernhard — Sonata*
  • Maurice, Paule — Tableaux de Provence
  • Milhaud, Darius — Scaramouche

You can also view my repertoire list.

I also am a flutist and clarinetist. I’ve played in pit orchestras for multiple theatre companies as a woodwind doubler. One of my favorite woodwind books to play was You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I always enjoy collaborating with other musicians through ensembles and pit orchestras!

Berklee Online Certificates

I have been a student of Berklee Online since 2020. I've been able to study music with individuals all over the world! It has been so interesting to hear about everyone's musical journey as part of these courses. In 2021, I earned a certificate in Professional General Music Studies and another certificate in Advanced Professional Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training (see my certificates at Accredible). I was also a recipient of the Berklee Online Celebrity Scholarship in 2020 for my merit-based accomplishments in the program. Now that I've completed the program, I'm volunteering for the Berklee Online Mentor Collective.

When the pandemic hit, I started to make saxophone multitrack videos. These videos have been an outlet for me to explore the different ways of making music. My first video was a saxophone quartet. However, I’ve expanded to include other woodwind doubling instruments, piano, and voice. I’ve enjoyed exploring the technological side of music production, and I can’t wait to explore it more. I use Final Cut Pro for my video editing and Logic Pro for my audio editing.

When the pandemic hit, I started to make saxophone multitrack videos. I had so much fun with , so I ended up making many more. I’ve enjoyed exploring the technological side of music production, and I can’t wait to explore it more! I use for my video editing and GarageBand for my audio editing.

I’ve been inspired by so many amazing individuals in the music community. I love listening to many of the jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Johnny Hodges, and more! I also love listening to classical music standards, as well as more contemporary music. One of my professional goals is to be a musician on a national tour or Broadway production.

Meet My Instruments

I love to name my instruments (no, I’m not crazy). I feel like each instrument has its own personality! Therefore, each instrument deserves its own name. Here are the names of my instruments:

Claudia

InstrumentModelName
SaxophoneYamaha YAS-62Claudia
Saxophone

I really enjoy this Yamaha YAS-62! I bought it during my freshman year of high school, and have really enjoyed playing it. I play with the Vandoren Optimum mouthpiece (AL3), and with a Silverstein Titanium ligature (Generation 5).

Heiden Sonata

This was my submission for the New York State School of Music Festival 2021. I played the second and third movement of the Heiden Sonata for Alto Saxophone.

USAF Band Duet Initiative

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play this virtually with MSgt Jeremy P. Koch of the United States Air Force Bands as part of the USAFB Duet Initiative.

Felix

InstrumentModelName
FluteYamaha 462Felix
Flute

At the end of 2019, I was looking to get my own flute. I had been playing on a school issued flute for about a year and a half, and decided that I wanted to have an instrument that I could call my own. I went to Atlas Music where I was able to try out a ton of different flutes. On the car ride home, I decided that Felix would be the perfect name for my flute! I love exploring flute technique and repertoire during my practice sessions on this flute.

Clari

InstrumentModelName
ClarinetBuffet B12Clari
Clarinet

My clarinet is a Buffet B12. I love the timbre of the clarinet, and how it produces its tone. I have been fortunate to be able to gig on the clarinet through pit orchestras and ensembles. I had the privilege to play in New York’s Area All-State Festival on the clarinet.

Sforzando

InstrumentModelName
Piano1941 Steinway Model SSforzando

I learned to play piano on an upright we had borrowed from my grandparents. In 2016, my parents bought a 1941 Steinway Model S.

At home on my family's piano
At home on my family's piano

Edvard Grieg: Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4

Mozart Fantasie in D Minor, K. 397