For many students classes are hard enough to handle on their own. Taylor Allen, a senior orchestral saxophone performance major, masterfully handles the requirements of school while maintaining work with a landscaping business and, of course, performing.
Allen’s degree is in classical music, but he specializes in alto saxophone and plays soprano, baritone and tenor sax. Allen started playing the saxophone in the fourth grade with his school band program and has been playing ever since. He listens to saxophone players such as Sonny Stitt, Maceo Parker, Kenneth Chay and Otis Murphy to draw inspiration for his own. Jazz and funk give him a little more room for expression than classical music and there is a lot more you can do with these genres. In addition to playing the saxophone, Allen said he can also play a little bit of the clarinet and flute.
Allen ideally puts aside two hours of practice for his music here and there because it takes a lot of work to perfect his music. Allen still feels nervous before a performance but he tries to use it to fuel his performance. “If as a performer, you don’t get nervous or feel something before you go on, I think that is kind of a bad sign,” said Allen.
Apart from music, Allen has an interest in entrepreneurship, he owns a landscaping business, Taylor Made Property Services LLC, in New Hampshire. Allen said it helps pay the bills. He hopes to own a business after graduation, one that can provide him with financial security since it can be hard to have that working solely in the music world. Though he hopes he can continue playing and teaching some lessons.
Allen said a typical day is usually pretty busy. He constantly goes back and forth from class and rehearsal, and then, he still takes an hour or two to deal with business stuff back at home depending on the season. Balancing school obligations and owning a business can be time consuming. .
“There is an indescribable feeling when you go out and perform and you make people feel something,” said Allen. “You getting a physical reaction from someone is so personal, but when you do something musically, there is just something that feels so great about that.” Allen said his recital music, for the moment, is paramount. He will be having a few performances with the URI Jazz Big Band and will be doing a feature performance with the wind ensemble as well.