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Music lovers will want an appointment to see this doctor

George Kaufman
Oshawa Times

If the old cry of 'Is there a doctor in the house?' goes up Sunday night at the Oshawa Symphony concert, they won't have to look far.

An Oshawa physician, Ted Brankston, will be front and centre up on the stage, as featured soloist in the Symphony's second concert of the season.

Brankston, who presented a two-hour recital last year here, will perform the Glazunov Concerto for Alto Saxophone. Also on the program are Mozart's 'Eine Kleine Nacht Musik', Rossini's Overture to Semiramide and Symphony No. 6 by Dvorak. Appropriately enough, the concert is sponsored by the Clinic Pharmacy.

Brankston, who played clarinet in highschool in Willowdale, returned to music in 1983 after 12 years away, "because I needed something to do that had nothing to do with medicine."

He quickly made up for lost time, earning his Grade 10 in Royal Conservatory in one year. Early in the new year, he'll tackle the ARCT examination.

Part of the reason he's progressed so well is that he's spent the last three years studying with Toronto's Paul Brodie. But most of the reason is his natural ability - and the fact that he practises an hour to an hour and a half, six days a week.

"I'd love to do triple that, and really get serious about it," he says, but acknowledges he has to find time for work and family (he lives in Oshawa with his wife Linda, who has just finished articling as a lawyer; daughters Jennifer, 17, and Gabrielle, 13; and son Matthew, 10).

"I have no idea where this is all heading," he admits. "Right now, I'm just enjoying it."

He's enjoying it a lot more after his first public concert last year at the McLaughlin Library, where he experienced the difference between playing and performing.

"I didn't think I was nervous until I got out there and looked at all the people. It took me a little while to concentrate on the music again." But by the end of the performance, he was feeling comfortable and enjoying himself quite a bit.

"And now I'm really looking forward to the Symphony appearance," he says. In fact, he's the one who approached conductor Winston Webber about performing the concerto which he describes as "a typical romantic Russian piece - I like it a lot."

He'll perform the piece with 13 strings from the Oshawa Symphony, which will also be a new experience for him.

"Our first rehearsal together went very well, it sounded very good with that combination."

Brankston predicts he'll continue developing his classical repertoire, with plans to attend another master class in France next summer and the World Saxophone Congress meeting in Japan in 1988.

"I'd like to renew my interest in jazz, but I prefer classical music and there's not enough time for it all."

Tickets are available at Saywell's and Alto II Music, Oshawa; Middleton's in Whitby; and Rickaby's in Bowmanville; or by calling 579-6711.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Eastdale Auditorium.

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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