Home   |   Hemke Legacy   |   Multimedia   |   Biography   |   Former Students   |   Publications   |   Store   |   Contact   |   Links    


Hemke Legacy
A message from Fred Hemke:

Dear Former Students and Other Friends of the Saxophone,

As I reflect on my past fifty years at Northwestern University and the wonderful retirement activities at NU this past June, I again am reminded of just how much each of you mean to me and how important you are to the success of my teaching career. Some of you have made saxophone your life's work and others have moved into other areas and achieved success. Regardless, I constantly remember with pride who you were and who you have become in your lives.

The June retirement Celebrations culminated in the announcement that my fromer and present students have committed to commissioning the well known American composer, Augusta Read Thomas, to write a new Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra for the occasion. That was wonderful news indeed!

A Hemke Legacy Committee was formed to deal with the practical issues of the Commission and to suggest other projects that may arise in the future. As a means of an initial call for action, Jim Bishop, NU 1976, was asked to share his experience at NU with you. Please take a minute to read Jim's message.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I can still remember, vividly, my senior recital at Northwestern University. The journey to get there was rough, indeed. Thanks to Dr. Hemke, I presented a recital that was polished and musical. He taught me how to make music. However, the most important values he imparted to me were those of hard work and commitment.

For me, that recital was a life-changing event. Dr. Hemke's vision of who I was and what I could become was greater than what I saw in myself. His vision, plus his ability to articulate his ideas, enabled me to exceed my personal expectations.

I know there are many who have shared my experience. In June, we were invited back to campus and asked to complete another seemingly impossible task: perform the Bartok-Concerto for Orchestra in two days. Once again, Dr. Hemke brought out the best possible performance from us, his students.

Now we are faced with a new challenge. We have committed to honor Dr. Hemke with a concerto by Augusta Read Thomas for the 2014 concert season. The commission fee will be circa $25,000.00 and, although a lofty goal, it is attainable.

Your support is essential to the success of this endeavor. All donations will be applied directly to the commission fee. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to express our love and admiration for Dr. Hemke through the gift of music. Alumni support will be the critical element in accomplishing our goal. As one of Dr. Hemke's students, I am committed to the success of this project and request that you join me by sending your contribution to:

Hemke Legacy Commission
PO Box 13
South Freeport, ME 04078

Northwestern University motto: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

Join all of us in making the Augusta Read Thomas "Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra" become a reality!

Warmest regards,

Jim Bishop
Class of 1976