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Library calls for more support: vote online for $50,000 to digitize valuable music collection
Monday, November 15, 2010


Vote here>>




Sigurd Rascher
Sigurd Rascher, above left.

Thanks to a gift from the Rascher family, Reed Library is the repository of an internationally valued collection of notes, correspondence, scores, artifacts, musical instruments, manuscripts, photographs, documents, books and audio materials that belonged to Sigurd M. Rascher.

Rascher (1907-2001) brought a new level of virtuosity to the saxophone, and fostered the development of serious literature for the instrument. He was an American saxophonist of German birth who developed the over-blowing technique which increased the known range of the saxophone from 2 ½ octaves to a full four octaves. 

One of his students was Laurence Wyman, who built the saxophone program at SUNY Fredonia's School of Music from 1965 until his retirement in 2000.

Many more voters needed if project is to place in Top Ten in national competition---Library pleads for voter's participation. 

In an effort to win a $50,000 award from Pepsi to preserve and digitize the internationally-valued Sigurd M. Rascher Saxophone Audio Materials in Reed Library, votes of support are needed online at the Pepsi Refresh-Everything grant program.

The collection is an invaluable resource for studying the history and development of the classical saxophone.

Pepsi promotes 1,000 grant applications each month, with the money awarded based on popular vote. In order to win a $50,000 award, Fredonia's application needs to finish in the top 10.

As of Monday, Nov. 15, the project moved into 197th place, after it had slipped past 200. 

How to help:

It is permitted for a voter to cast a vote once per day for the entire month of November. 

  1. Create an account (or sign in with your Facebook account) and vote here>>

  2. Or send a text message:  Text 103703 to Pepsi (73774).  Standard text message rates apply. 

  3. Request an email reminder to vote from Ms. Widzinski>>

Why help?

The Archives & Special Collections at Reed Library houses an extensive collection of materials once owned by legendary twentieth-century saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher. Melissa Widzinski, who is implementing an audio preservation, digitization and restoration project for the historic audio collection, is seeking additional funds in order to complete the project through the Pepsi community grant program.

Once complete, this digitized collection of the Rascher audio materials in Reed Library will be a vital resource for researchers.

"The Sigurd Rascher Saxophone Collection will draw international attention as a research collection for those interested in the history and development of the saxophone as a classical instrument," Ms. Widzinski explained. "Rascher was one of the musical greats, and these rare, unique recordings should be preserved and restored, to promote their longevity and to enable future generations a detailed window of the past."

About Melissa Widzinski

Melissa Widzinski

Widzinski, left in Rosch Recital Hall, is a 2010 Fredonia graduate with degrees in Saxophone (Mus. B., Performance) and Sound Recording Technology (B.S.) who is already one of the world's foremost authorities on the work of Rascher. Reed Library employs her as a consultant to digitize the 478 analog recordings that are part of the Rascher collection, and to seek grants in support of the project. Contact her at

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