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Whitby MD off to join select musicians in Italy

Don Sutton
Special to the Star

A Whitby doctor who says that music is the best medicine is getting a chance to practice what he preaches - in Pesaro, Italy.

Ted Brankston, 44, a family doctor at the Oshawa Clinic, will join a select group of 75 musicians performing this week at the World Saxophone Congress in Pesaro.

The invitation to perform at the international symposium - to be attended by more than 900 musicians from 18 countries, including Russia and China - is a major coup for Brankston, who says he's considering scaling back his medical duties to pursue music on a professional basis.

An accomplished saxophonist schooled in both jazz and classical music, Brankston plans to premiere a sonata written by Toronto's Srul Irving Glick for the alto saxophone at the congress.

The invitation came after sending in a tape and an application to the Italian Association of Saxophonists.

Brankston who has his conservatory certificates in his office along with his medical diploma, has long maintained that medicine and music are a harmonious mix.

"That was one of the main motivations in starting to study," he said.

"I wanted to have something non-medical I could do on a regular basis that would completely divorce me from medicine."

Many physicians, Brankston feels, are overworked yet bored with their lives because they have no interests outside the office.

"I consider myself very fortunate," he said.

Although he plays with local big jazz musicians in the Durham Big Band and the Herb Knox Swing Band, Brankston is devoted to classical music.

He has taken master classes with some of the best players in the world, including Eugene Rousseau and Gerald Danovitch, and Toronto's Paul Brodie.

He has played with the Oshawa Symphony Orchestra as a soloist and last year put on a charity performance to raise money for the Whitby Hospital.

He said he has no trouble switching from playing classical music to Jimmy Dorsey.

"I think they are entirely different styles but I feel comfortable with each." he said.

To purchase Ted's debut CD
"I Want To Live" click HERE

"...one of the best classical saxophone recordings I've ever heard!"
David Gibson, Editor
Saxophone Journal 2004

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