The security guard saxophone star

Q&A with Mr. Ernest Whitehead


Emmaly Lemieszek, Design Editor

Q: How long have you been playing the saxophone?

A: I have been playing since high school, but I took a couple years off.

Q: Whose music inspires you to play? Why?

A: There are so many saxophone players that I am influenced by. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Dave Kotz, and Kenny G just to name a few. Each saxophone player has their own style of playing music. 

Mr. Ernest Whitehead plays the saxophone at a retirement party in 2022. (Photo by: K. Trace)

Q: What is your favorite music to play?

A: I try to play all genres of music. To me, music is one of the things that make people happy. 

Q: Have you ever played for a crowd or a special event? 

A: I have played in weddings, retirement parties and sometimes at church special events. I have recently started playing at nursing homes once a month. I just love to play for people and I have fun when I do it. 

Q: What advice would you give to students who want to play the saxophone? 

A: My best advice is if you decide to play the saxophone, have fun and enjoy it. It takes practice like anything else would. 

Q: What did you find most challenging about learning to play the saxophone?

A: I always tell people that it’s okay to play sheet music, however, you also need to train your ears by listening and trying to play a song without the sheet music. 

Q: Why did you choose the saxophone over any other instrument?

A: I chose the saxophone because I always thought it had a warm and bright sound. I also love how the brass looks.