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March 12, 2014/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



 May 3 event is only competition in the country focusing on chamber music skills for young brass players

WINSTON-SALEM – The School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has announced the inaugural High School Chamber Brass Competition, to be held on campus from 12:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

The competition is open to groups of three to five brass players of like or mixed instruments. Registration is $50 per group, and the deadline to register is March 31. A registration form is available at http://faculty.uncsa.edu/music/saxtonj/docs/resources/BRASS%20COMP%20REG.pdf.


Judith Saxton

Organizer Judith Saxton, who teaches trumpet and heads the brass and percussion area in the School of Music, said the new event is the only competition in the country that specifically targets chamber ensemble skills for high school brass musicians.

“This event will allow participants to compete only against other brass players, ensuring an even playing field,” she added.

Saxton said performing in a chamber ensemble requires a specific set of skills, including respectful communication, cueing, stage presence, addressing an audience, collaboration without a conductor, and marketing the ensemble. “We stress these skills at UNCSA because they are so important to professional musicians,” she said.  

Music Dean Wade Weast said the new competition highlights the school’s emphasis on chamber music. “Chamber music is the bread and butter for many professional musicians, and it is at the core of how we train our students to be successful,” he said. “We look forward to hosting young brass musicians and being part of their success.”

Guest artist Richard Cox, author of “Managing Your Head and Body So You Can Become a Good Musician,” will join Saxton and UNCSA colleagues John Ilika (trombone) and Matt Ransom (tuba) to present clinics and workshops. A Conn-Selmer clinician and nationally respected specialist on performance psychology, Cox has doctorate degrees in theology, medicine and psychology, and has worked clinically in the field of performance anxiety.

Prizes for the competition include a $1,250 Conn-Selmer Prize for first place; a $750 Anita Rzonca Rigsbee Prize for second place; and a $500 prize for third place.


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.