About The Modern Saxophonist Podcast


The Modern Saxophonist Podcast is a place to highlight the work of saxophonists making an impact on the story of the saxophone today.  We will have conversations with professional performers, educators, composers, and up and coming students discussing projects impacting their community.  Through these discussions we hope to increase the awareness and appreciation of some of the most passionate and driven people in the world of music today.


 Why Podcast?

Some may ask why start this podcast?  As I have been working on other podcasts hosted by family members I realized there is an element missing in much of todays media formats for saxophone, conversation.  There have been many in the saxophone world who have impacted my life through the conversations which took place away from the lesson, masterclass, pre-concert talk, or brush in the hallway.  Most of these happened at either dinner, in a car ride, or over drinks.  While studying I always found a way to drive our guest or take them out for dinner.  This was not only a way to get to know them, but I always had faith that something was going to be discussed that would help change my perspective.  I have always been more of a fan of these types of interactions over the well designed presentation.  My hope is the recordings captured on these podcasts will be an inspiration to many who would like to hear these stories and hopefully gain a few nuggets they can apply to their own playing and career.

In this information age there is a huge emphasis on discourse characterized by concise delivery of technical and systemic processes.  In my conversations with my guests there will be a bit of rawness and sincerity that sometimes is missed in the standard media.  Admittedly so, it is difficult to translate an authentic human interaction in a performance setting such as a stage or masterclass.   I am looking to provide a relaxed atmosphere that will help our audience connect with the performers, educators, composers, students, entrepreneurs, publishers, and writers in a way that may only be possible if you were to invite them to lunch when they travel to your town.



This is the real question.  Who?  In all sincerity, how about you?  Anyone who knows me can tell you stories of how I just cannot let a conversation end (I can hear my wife laughing in the background as I write this).  I love to talk and making new friends is a hobby of mine.  One of my favorite things when I talk to other saxophone enthusiasts are the projects and goals they are working towards.  There is nothing like hearing how the CD was put together and be able to share some of the things that impacted me about the album.  Whenever I talk to a composer I always find it interesting the inspirations they used to compose their work and how they developed their voice.  Students are always fun because everything is so new and the enthusiasm leads to some great laughter and revelation.  As saxophonists we have to be entrepreneurial in order to operate as saxophonists today and as an entrepreneur, I am always looking for new ways to use my skills for revenue potential.  Teachers are by far my favorite as the insights of a thoughtful educator can literally save years of misguided effort or give an encouragement that can keep you directed through the tough times.   Whether you are one of these or a mixture of all, it is people like you I want to have a conversation.  Make sure to email me at themordernsaxophonist@gmail.com to schedule.


Who am I?

My name is Mark McArthur and I’ve been a saxophonists since the 5th grade.  I had fantastic middle school and high school band directors who gave me the courage and drive to follow this passion of mine.   Gregg Hanson, director of bands at the University of Arizona, talked my parents into allowing me to head west from Florida to pursue music where I fell in love with the beauty of the desert.  Elizabeth Ervin, Michael Hester and Kelland Thomas were my saxophone teachers while I studied at U of A who were key in shaping me into the performer and educator I am today.  I was drawn to Las Vegas to teach high school band in 2001 where I taught band for 9 years before I was hired as the adjunct professor of saxophone at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

My passion is music education and I take every opportunity to be a part of helping our community to progress and experience music whenever possible.  Las Vegas is a vibrant city with music everywhere, and I love living in this city with my wife Rochelle.   Throughout my years in Las Vegas I have been a pretty loud advocate for improving the quality of saxophone performance, and with the help of many other fine teachers I can say the state of saxophone is in a great place.

Las Vegas is a desert island 5 hours away from our nearest cultural center and we can feel a bit isolated at times.  My desire to host this podcast comes out of a strong desire to bring my students and friends here in Las Vegas closer to the rest of the saxophone world.  The problem we all deal with is the lack or absence of adequate resources to bring everyone here to our city.  I figure if we have the conversation I wanted to have with my guests on the podcast not only Las Vegas, but some other “islands” if you will might get a chance to enjoy the conversation as well.

I look forward to being someone who is an encouragement to you, and I look forward to talking with the many amazing leaders and trailblazers of the saxophone world.

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