Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Maegraith, Richard (William John)
After beginning on the alto saxophone in 1981 at the age of eight Richard moved on to the tenor saxophone three years later. Before he settled on the saxophone Richard had begun lessons on piano, violin and guitar. Richard was soon intrigued by jazz music shortly after he joined the 'Sydney North Youth Jazz Ensemble' under the direction of Mike Ryan. This was a very valuable time of learning to play both written and improvised music. Richard also began on the clarinet (1986) and flute (1989), as well as drums and electric bass during high school, mainly in rock groups. In 1989 Richard won the Northside Jazz Competition and with this a study trip to the UK (sponsored by the Big Brother Movement). The year after finishing his Higher School Certificate Richard entered the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he graduated two years later with an Associate Diploma of Jazz studies. He stayed on for another two years to complete a Bachelor of Music (jazz) and during this time was awarded the 'Scarf Foundation Award for Student Excellence'. At the Conservatorium Richard had the opportunity of performing with many lecturers including Mike Nock, Judy Bailey and Roger Frampton. Other ensembles included the Conservatorium Big Band and the Advanced Small Ensemble. During the four years of Richard's undergraduate degree he studied with Graeme Lyall for three years and Col Loughlin for one.
Upon graduating in 1996 Richard spent the next three years performing with many different artists and groups, both 'art' ensembles and commercial bands/orchestras including the Java Quartet, Selah, Cathy Harley sextet and many others. Richard has also had some casual work with two shows: 'Crazy For You' where he played bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute and piccolo; and 'Showboat' which involved playing soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo and clarinet. Richard has also taught saxophone, flute and clarinet in many schools, and privately. He has composed for various (jazz) groups including the ten-piece big band Selah and the Java Quartet (both of which he is a member). Richard has also arranged music for various commercial CD releases including Tim Uluirewa, Michelle Kay, Christian City Church's 'River', Dr Bob and the Amazing Disciples of Groove and many others. In 1999 Richard returned to the Sydney Conservatorium to begin a Masters in Jazz, and was awarded the 'Zelma Oakley Dinely' Scholarship early in the year by the Conservatorium. He has also recently formed a quintet featuring Daryl Pratt on midi-vibraphone, performing his own compositions.
A Kernal Of Wheat (1997); Passages (1998)