UNCSA music students dominate statewide competition

Musicians from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts dominated the 2016 state competition of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). A quintet and three soloists earned top honors and are headed to the South Division competition this weekend at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Several other musicians from UNCSA won alternate and honorable mention awards.

Top honors at the statewide competition, held in October on the campus of Wake Forest University, went to Quiescent Quintet, fellows of UNCSA’s Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute, in the chamber music wind category. Members are Marie Smith, horn; Phillip Kandel, bassoon; Sami Eudy, flute; Kali Poore, oboe; and Clifford Tam, clarinet. The ensemble is mentored by faculty member Saxton Rose.

Quiescent Quartet

Soloists from UNCSA who won top honors include saxophonist Jordan Savage in the senior woodwind competition; Jacob Wang in the senior piano competition; and saxophonist Caleb Carpenter in the young artist woodwind competition. Savage and Carpenter study with Robert Young, and Wang studies with Eric Larsen.

In addition, violinist Eva Wetzel, a student of Ida Bieler, will compete in the young artist strings competition in South Carolina. She was the only entrant in her category at the state competition.

“Competitions such as these presented by MTNA are vitally important in training young musicians, helping them hone their performance skills,” said Brian Cole, dean of the School of Music. “We’re very proud and excited to send these fine young musicians to the next level of competition.”

In addition to the top honors, several UNCSA students received alternate and honorable mention awards at the statewide competition. The Tzyra Saxophone Quartet coached by Robert Young was alternate in the chamber music wind competition. Its members are Kyle Greaney, baritone saxophone; Caleb Carpenter, soprano saxophone; Andrew Hasher, tenor saxophone; and Timothy Bachman, alto saxophone. In the junior strings competition, violinist Kearston Gonzales, a student of Sarah Johnson, was alternate. 

Our strong showing at the state competitions reflects the level of talent, the intense hard work, and the expert instruction and mentorship that are the hallmarks of the UNCSA School of Music. 

Music Dean Brian Cole

Honorable mentions were awarded to cellist Benjamin Maxwell, a student of Brooks Whitehouse, in the senior strings competition; Jinho Kang, a student of Dmitri Shteinberg, in the senior piano competition; saxophonist Timothy Bachman, a student of Robert Young, in the young artist woodwind competition; and Michael Dodds, a student of Dmitri Shteinberg, in the young artist piano competition.

“Our strong showing at the state competitions reflects the level of talent, the intense hard work, and the expert instruction and mentorship that are the hallmarks of the UNCSA School of Music,” Cole said.

With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states and more than 500 local affiliates, MTNA is the preeminent resource for music teacher support. The organization annually hosts a three-tiered program of competitions for students in the elementary level (ages 5-10), junior level (ages 11-14), senior level (ages 15-18) and young artist level (ages 19-26). Winners can advance from state to division competitions, and then to the national competitions, scheduled this year for March 18-20 in Baltimore, Md.

January 10, 2017