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April 16, 2012 /FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / High-res photo available upon request
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu





WINSTON-SALEM – Students in the School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) are celebrating recent wins in national competitions in March.

The Aidai Saxophone Quartet won Third Prize in the biennial North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) 2012 Quartet Competition in Tempe, Ariz. The quartet was chosen from a pool of 49 quartets to perform in the semi-final round on March 15, followed by the final round the next day. 

As part of their win, the quartet received $1,200 in cash and merchandise.

This is the 2nd time the since the inception of the NASA Quartet Competitions in 2008 that a UNCSA Saxophone Quartet has been a prizewinner, an accomplishment shared only with the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan.
Dean Oaks
Photo by Diane La Haie

Dean Oaks with his winnings following the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, Va.

Members of the Aidai Quartet are Chris Cline, a second-year graduate student from Hampton, GA; Shawna Pennock, a first-year graduate student from Iowa City, Iowa; Shane Rathburn, a college junior from Burnsville, N.C.; and Nick Statzer, a second-year graduate student from Zelionople, Penn.  All are students from the saxophone studio of Taimur Sullivan.

On the same weekend, March 15-18, Dean Oaks, a high school junior from Fayetteville, N.C., won third place in the High School Division at the National Trumpet Competition at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. 

For his third-place win, Oaks received a cash prize, a new leadpipe and tuning slide for his trumpet from Ken Larsen’s Brasswerks, and a full tuition scholarship to Interlochen Center for the Arts this summer. 

Including Oaks, five students from the trumpet studio of Judith Saxton recorded solos for the National Trumpet Competition preliminaries and all five were selected as semi-finalists.  Nico Rodriguez La Haie, a high school freshman from Winston-Salem competed in the Junior Division.  High school juniors Jason Grimes of High Point and Benjamin Keoseyan of Matthews both competed in the High School Division with Oaks.  Benjamin McCarthy, a second-year graduate student of Chesapeake, Va., competed in the Graduate Division.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.