Decho Ensemble

Friday, September 15, 2023 | 7:30PM


Hailed as a “winning combination in every way!,” the Decho Ensemble was founded by Sarah Marchitelli and Jacob Swanson in 2011 with the intention of sharing the saxophone as a concert instrument of wide-ranging capability.


Critically acclaimed for its “blend and precision,” the ensemble has performed throughout North America and Europe.  Following years of continuous collaboration, in 2019 Dr. Katherine Petersen joined Decho to champion works for voice and saxophone.


Presenting on concert series, television, and radio, the Decho Ensemble has collaborated with chamber orchestras, poets, dance companies, and ensembles/instrumentalists in addition to its all-saxophone programming.


Decho has presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional and Biennial Conferences, the United States Navy International Saxophone Symposium, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project.


Since 2016 the ensemble has participated in residencies at Mercyhurst University, Idaho University at Moscow, and with the Ny Musikks Komponistgruppe in Oslo, Norway, as part of its inaugural PULS Festival.



Commended as a “soloist with impeccable taste,” and praised by audiences and composers for his “gorgeous, lyrical tone, spectacular technique, and heartfelt musicality …” for presenting “the soprano saxophone at the height of its beauty,” Jacob Swanson has performed throughout North America and Europe. His debut album, Invisible Cities, featured works for soprano saxophone and piano and was met with critical acclaim for “remind[ing] us what a beautiful instrument the soprano saxophone is … [performing with] handsome tone, flawless technique, and great musical sensibilities.  (ClevelandClassical)  His second album, wired., featured music for soprano saxophone and electronic medium – nearly all composer/performer collaborations. Swanson has additionally recorded with Andrew Cote as part of his debut album, Ulterior Motives.


Sarah Marchitelli co-founded the Decho Ensemble with Swanson and, in 2018, joined the Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra. An active chamber musician, she has performed throughout North America and Europe. She serves on the faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia and teaches woodwinds for Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown. She holds both Bachelor’s and Master of Music degrees from SUNY Fredonia; and her teachers have included saxophonists Dr. Wildy Zumwalt, Christopher Oldfield, Carina Raschèr, and Harry White.


Soprano Katherine Petersen specializes in the performance of 21st-century music for voice/saxophone and Russian Art Songs. Based in Chicago, Petersen performs regularly with Folks Operetta, the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Chicago Opera Theater, and Transgressive Theatre-Opera.  She is also an Associate Professor of Voice at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where she teaches Voice Pedagogy, Song Repertoire, Studio Voice, and Diction for Singers. She holds a DMA in Voice Performance from Ohio State University and a MM in Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College.


The Decho Ensemble performs on vintage Buescher saxophones built in the United States.



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A $4 per-order service fee is added to all online ticket orders.   Tickets ordered within a week of performance will be held at the will call desk for pick up at the show.

Additional information


Adults, Opera House Members, Students