KEARNEY — The Kearney Symphony Orchestra and David Nabb will perform the world premiere of “Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra,” a work by Robert Gross that showcases a one-handed saxophone.

Under the direction of Alison Gaines, UNK assistant professor of music, theater and dance, the concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The premiere has international significance in that it is the first solo concerto ever dedicated to a saxophonist playing a one-handed saxophone. Gross composed the piece for Nabb, professor music at UNK, in fall 2018.

“This work by Robert Gross is going to be an audience favorite,” Nabb said. “It’s a terrific work, with plenty of exciting fireworks to show off the saxophone and its capabilities.”

Nabb survived a major stroke in 2000 and has since gained international acclaim as he collaborated with Kearney instrument builder Jeff Stelling in the development of the world’s finest one-handed saxophone, known as the “toggle-key” saxophone.

“The toggle-key saxophone is capable of playing anything a conventional two-handed saxophone can. It highlights for everyone the contributions that persons with disabilities can make in our society,” Nabb said.

The concert will also include “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergie Prokofiev, which will be narrated by Brad Modlin, author and UNK Reynolds Chair of Creative Writing. “Stride la Vampa” by Giuseppi Verdi will be sung by UNK’s Sharon Campbell. Also on the program is Modest Mussorgski’s “Night on Bald Mountain.”

An art installation by poet and artist Sarah Minor of the Cleveland Art Institute will be viewable in the foyer of the concert.

Tickets are $10; admission is free for youth 18 and younger, and UNK students, faculty and staff. Contact the box office at (308) 865-8417 or email

Load comments