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Saxophonist | Educator | Conductor | Mentor

2022 Markham Awards

I’m very happy to announce the recipients of my Markham Awards for 2022.

This is the tenth year of my Sarah Markham Saxophone Award which I started in 2013 to recognise the achievements of my outstanding graduating students. As I come to the end of academic year I enjoy reflecting on all that my students have achieved and what their future plans are.

When my dad died in 2018 I wanted to do something to honour him and so I established the Ralph Markham Achievement Award. My father was a teacher and he always encouraged his students, my brother, and me, to find our own way in life and to carve a path that was right for us. This award reflects that, and recognises students who have achieved great personal success and development in their saxophone playing.

Students from Leeds Conservatoire, the Royal College of Music Junior Department, and the universities of Durham, Huddersfield, Sheffield, and York have all received awards over the last ten years, and I am delighted to have been able to celebrate the success of my students from all those institutions.

The 2022 recipient of the Sarah Markham Saxophone Award is Rosemary Ball. Rosemary has studied saxophone with me at the Royal College of Music Junior Department since 2018. When she first arrived at the Junior Department, Rosemary was a first study composer and self taught saxophonist, having only played the saxophone for a couple of years (Rosemary is also an accomplished trumpet player). Rosemary and I embarked on a journey, with Rosemary re-auditioning a year later to become a first study saxophonist. It was clear Rosemary had a natural affinity with the saxophone, and it has been a joy to guide her through the first part of her learning these past four years. Rosemary’s many recent successes include: reaching the final of the RCMJD Peter Morrison Concerto competition (playing Dubois Saxophone Concerto), winner of the RCMJD Gordon Turner competition (playing Debussy Syrinx and Yoshimatsu Fuzzy Bird Sonata), and winning the top category competition at the International Greek Saxophone Festival (playing Boutry Divertimento). Rosemary continues her studies with a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in September 2022.

The 2022 recipient of the Ralph Markham Achievement Award is Lucy Havelock. Lucy has studied with me at the University of York since 2019, and her love of saxophone playing has seen her work on many core works in the classical saxophone repertoire, as well as contemporary music. From the start of her degree in 2019 Lucy would volunteer to perform whenever an opportunity arose; this inspired her love of contemporary music and free improvisation. When Covid forced Lucy to work alone she bought herself a loop pedal and began experimenting with sounds and audio layering. Lucy made many recordings and ensured that she was able to continue performing, albeit in a different way. She commissioned and premiered several new works for solo saxophone and also for saxophone and loop pedal. Lucy was the president of Chimera, the University of York’s contemporary music group. In continuing to develop both her playing and her love of music administration she is looking forward to starting a postgraduate course in Europe.

Rosemary and Lucy share a love of music and performance. Both of them are open to the exploration of all genres of music, and they work hard to create opportunities to perform and connect with other musicians. I am very proud of all that they have achieved.

Rosemary and Lucy receive a cash award from me, reeds of their choice from Vandoren, a Venova (a ‘casual’ wind instrument with the range of a recorder using a saxophone mouthpiece) from Yamaha, and a work of their choice from the Saxtet Publications catalogue. I am grateful to Vandoren, Yamaha, and Saxtet Publications for their support of my awards.

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Sarah Markham


Saxophonist Educator Conductor Mentor


Sarah is a Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist.

Sarah Markham


Sarah Markham's teaching practice welcomes students of all ages and abilities. Focuses include preparing students for music college, and helping amateur musicians get the most from their playing. Sarah is a specialist in helping students with performance anxiety issues.

Quirk Duo


The Quirk Duo is saxophonists Sarah Markham and Kenneth Wilkinson. Between them they have a performing career spanning sixty years, enjoying many genres including solo recitals, opera, orchestral, jazz, pop and chamber music. The Quirk Duo is a distillation of those experiences, an exploration of possibilities.

Quirk Saxophone Quartet


The.Quirk Saxophone Quartet is made up of like-minded saxophonists:

Sarah Markham - soprano
Kenneth Wilkinson - alto
Chris Jolly - tenor
Sarah Hind - baritone

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