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Presenters

2021 Presenter Biographies
Writing of saxophonist Andrew J. Allen, The Wichita Falls Times-Record News has praised the "savory warmth” of his tone, while The Saxophonist has lauded his "virtuosic saxophone performance,” and The Saxophone Symposium has cited his “complete control of the instrument.”  In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, Allen has performed throughout Europe and North America, and he has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma State University Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Arkansas Wind Symphony, among others. More than two dozen works have been dedicated to him by such composers as François Rossé, Robert Lemay, Fang Man, and Jesse Jones.  His recordings can be heard on the Equilibrium and Ravello labels. Dr. Allen is an assistant professor of saxophone and coordinator of woodwinds, brass, and percussion at Georgia College, and he is a Conn-Selmer Artist-Clinician and a Vandoren Artist.

Hailed by Gramophone for her ‘characterful sparkle’, pianist Jasmin Arakawa has performed widely in North America, Central and South America, Europe, China and Japan. A prizewinner of the Jean Françaix International Music Competition, she has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau in Paris and Victoria Hall in Geneva, as well as in broadcasts of the BBC and Radio France. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Philips Symfonie Orkest in Amsterdam, Orquestra Sinfonica de Piracicaba in Brazil, and numerous orchestras in the United States and her native Japan.  Arakawa is a graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts, and holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Emile Naoumoff, the last protégé of Nadia Boulanger. Arakawa is Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at the University of Florida, as well as Director of the UF International Piano Festival.


Arno Bornkamp is a unique figure in both the saxophone world and the Classical music world in general. In his career, now spanning nearly 40 years, he has amazed the music world of his energetic and stylish interpretations, full of lyricism and passion. He believes in the saxophone as an instrument with an infinite amount of nuance and colors, reflecting the human soul with all its shadings of light and dark. Bornkamp is a natural storyteller on his instrument and offers a highly personal take in his interpretations of all the music he plays.
       Arno Bornkamp's saxophone style is strongly rooted in the 20th century French tradition: his primary teachers were, in addition to Ed Bogaard, the French saxophone legends Daniël Deffayet and Jean-Marie Londeix. Nonetheless, he was primarily influenced by the Dutch musical climate of the 1980s, a time when traditions were overthrown, dogmas were broken, and classical music reached a huge audience. Bornkamp flourished greatly in this cultural climate. Arno has given more than 200 performances as soloist with orchestra, wherein he collaborated with conductors such as Hans Vonk, Jac van Steen, Lucas Vis, Thierry Fischer, Bernhard Klee, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Andrey Boreyko, Pierre-André Valade and others. Arno Bornkamp finds it essential to pass on his know-how to new generations of musicians, teaching at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where many of his students put his ideas into practice. 

Michael Bovenzi
is an active soloist of contemporary music and has premiered numerous works in France, Thailand, Scotland, and the United States. As an advocate of new music he has commissioned works for saxophone by award-winning composers to contribute to the saxophone and chamber music repertoires. As a pedagogue he has written articles in international publications on woodwind teaching techniques. He teaches saxophone and serves as an instructor in computer music applications, woodwind courses and chamber music at the University of North Florida. He holds the position of Associate Professor.
Jeremy Brown is a renowned Canadian saxophonist, flutist, woodwind doubler, teacher, author, composer and conductor.  He is Professor of Music and former Head of the Music Department at the University of Calgary. (1990-present) He has been an artist-in-residence and a visiting lecturer at the Banff Centre.  He was invited as saxophone soloist with the National Youth Band of Canada in 2015 and as conductor/artistic director in 2017, an unprecedented double invitation. He is also an improviser of both free music and jazz and is a composer in an eclectic mix of styles. He is the author and conductor of the inaugural recording of the band works of Henry Cowell with the winds of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in his book, The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell (Taylor and Francis Books, 2018). His recording of Wayfaring by Nova Pon was nominated Outstanding Classical composition of 2015, Western Canadian Music Awards.

Described as a “passionate and gifted soloist” (Libby Larsen - 2015) with “flawless technique and intuitive musicianship” (Craig Kirchhoff - 2016),  Dr. Benjamin Cold is currently Artist/Assistant Professor of Woodwinds at McNeese State University (Lake Charles, LA), where he teaches applied single-reeds and double reeds, and directs woodwind chamber ensembles including saxophone quartets. As a passionate advocate of new music, he has been involved in the commissions and premieres of dozens of compositions for solo and chamber saxophone, most of which were dedicated to him. His work has been performed and recorded on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.  Throughout his professional career, he has held residencies, taught master classes and given guest recitals and performances across the country at top academic institutions including, but not limited to the University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Texas.  

Noa Even is a versatile saxophonist whose work as a performer and educator is dedicated to the arts of today. In addition to creating new music through commissioning and close collaboration with living composers, she interprets traditional concert music and improvises. Ongoing projects include atomic, a multimedia solo program exploring themes of human connection, and her duos Ogni Suono and Patchwork. Both ensembles recently released albums of commissioned music on New Focus Recordings. Noa is Lecturer and Head of Woodwinds at Rowan University. She also serves as Treasurer of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Advisor for NASA’s Committee on the Status of Women+, and on the editorial board of The Saxophone Symposium. Noa is a Conn-Selmer Artist-Clinician and on the Vandoren Artist Roster. 

Ryan Gamberino’s research explores experiments in biochemistry and neuroscience which measure the impact of the human psyche on performance. Inspired by his own lived experience as a trained musician with a neurological disorder, Ryan seeks to study the neurobiological factors that affect a performer before, during, and after a performance. While at UF, Ryan has pursued a dual degree in saxophone performance and chemistry. He has spent that time studying with Dr. Jonathan Helton and working in several research labs on campus, most notably the UF Performance Psychology Lab. Through his multidisciplinary performance training, Ryan has been able to participate in masterclasses with saxophonists such as Kyle Horch, Jessica Maxfield, and Fred Hemke. These experiences culminated in him winning the 2019 UF Concerto Competition. His research goal is to not only educate and facilitate a more prolific performance practice, but to also help develop therapies for conditions similar to his own.

Derek Granger is an active soloist, chamber musician, and music educator, and is currently pursuing his DMA in Saxophone Performance under Carrie Koffman at The Hartt School. A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, he earned a BME from the University of Arizona, where he studied with Timothy McAllister and Kelland Thomas. He then taught high school choir and music theory at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona for six years, during which time the choirs earned multiple superior ratings at local and state choir festivals. In addition to teaching, Derek led a freelance career and played alto saxophone with the Presidio Quartet. He earned an MM from Indiana University in 2017 while serving as an Associate Instructor in the studio of Otis Murphy. Maintaining his commitment to education, Derek serves of the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Rocky Ridge Music Center in the summer.

 
Saxophone Professor at Grand Valley State University, Dan Graser is also soprano chair of the world-renowned Sinta Quartet. SQ are among the most successful chamber ensembles having received the Gold Medal of the Fischoff Chamber Competition, 1st Prize of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition (the first time awarded to a saxophone group), 1st Prize in the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, 1st Prize and the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the Coleman Competition and 1st Prize at the NASA Quartet Competition. A highly sought-after pedagogue, Dan has given master class performances and clinics at numerous schools throughout the world including the Paris Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing Central Conservatory, China Conservatory, Versailles Conservatory, University of Michigan and many others. A recipient of the DMA from the University of Michigan, Dan has studied with Donald Sinta and Timothy McAllister. Dan is a Selmer Paris artist, performing on Selmer Saxophones and Mouthpieces exclusivelymphony Band.  


Casey Grev
is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the Crane School of Music. A dedicated performer of contemporary music, Dr. Grev was an invited performer at the Hot Air Music Festival, San Francisco Center for New Music, Resonant Bodies Festival, Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, Northwestern University New Music Conference, The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival, and was selected to study at the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music. He has received awards at the Coleman, Fischoff, Music Teachers National Association, and North American Saxophone Alliance Chamber Music Competitions. Dr. Grev received both his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Michigan State University, where he was a recipient of the University Distinguished Fellowship and studied with Joseph Lulloff. Dr. Grev's undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Music Performance are from Ohio State University, where he studied with James Hill.


Joshua Heaney
is an award-winning saxophonist and music educator based in the greater area of Toledo, Ohio. He is regularly featured as a soloist, having recently performed with the Susquehanna University Wind Ensemble Institute, Atlanta Chamber Collective, Atlanta Wind Project, Georgia State University Wind Ensemble, and Susquehanna University Orchestra. He has also performed as principal saxophonist with the Macon Symphony, Lima Symphony, and Fort Worth Philharmonic orchestras. A staunch advocate for new music, Joshua has collaborated with composers John Luther Adams, Marc Mellits, Evan Ziporyn, Viet Cuong, and many others. Additionally, he has been featured with Atlanta’s SoundNOW festival, Toledo Museum of Art’s EAR|EYE series, ArtsX, and Bowling Green New Music Festival. Joshua Heaney serves as Adjunct Professor at Heidelberg University, where he teaches saxophone, clarinet, chamber music, and performs with the faculty wind quintet. His primary teachers include Gail B. Levinsky, Jan Baker, John Sampen, and Frederick L. Hemke.

Jonathan Helton is an active solo recitalist and chamber musician who has appeared in concerts worldwide, in Beijing, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Athens, Bogota, Brasilia, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Montreal, Vancouver, Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York. He has been featured on programs of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the World Saxophone Congress, the College Music Society, Wisconsin Composers’ Alliance, Chicago Consortium of Composers, and the New Music Chicago Festival. His performances have been heard on North Carolina Public Radio, on WFMT in Chicago, and in national radio syndication. He is featured on compact discs from Centaur, Navona, Elf, Innova, Windlass, Mark Records, and Music from Northwestern. From 1992 to 1999, Dr. Helton served on the faculty at Northwestern University. He is currently Professor of Saxophone at the University of Florida School of Music. Jonathan Helton is a Selmer Artist/Clinician, and a former President of the North American Saxophone Alliance.


Lois Hicks-Wozniak is an active concert saxophonist and educator in the New York Metropolitan and the Hudson Valley region, committed to community engagement through new music and Global Music styles. A D’Addario Woodwinds Artist, she is described in performance as having “tremendous technique and fidelity to tone without sacrificing musical line.” (Saxophone Symposium). She served in the U.S. Army as a saxophonist with the West Point Band, and among many ensemble recordings, she recently collaborated with Pat Waing master, Kyaw-Kyaw Naing in the first Burmese-American Hsiang Waing ensemble. Her recording Playback: Music for Saxophone and Bass Trombone is available on many platforms and she is a featured educator in the textbook, World Music Pedagogy Vol VII: Teaching World Music in Higher Education (Routledge 2020). She holds degrees from Florida State University and Montclair State University and is on the faculty at Montclair State University, Marist College and SUNY New Paltz.
 

Saxophonist and new music curator Andrew Hosler is an advocate for contemporary music, he has commissioned and premiered over one-hundred pieces by award-winning composers including Andrew Mead, Alexis Bacon, Benjamin Attahir, Jamie Sampson, and Marilyn Shrude.  Andrew is an avid performer as a soloist. He was selected as a winner of the 49th Bowling Green State University Competition in Music Performance and has performed concerti by Walter Mays and William Albright with the BGSU Philharmonia and the BGSU Concert Band. He has performed at the Cortona Sessions for New Music, Kansas New Music Guild, BGSU ArtsX Festival, University of Michigan Imprint Series, BGSU Praecepta Concerts, and North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. Andrew is currently pursuing a MM in Saxophone Performance and a MM in Chamber Music from the University of Michigan. He holds a BM in Saxophone Performance from BGSU. His primary instructors have been Timothy McAllister and John Sampen.

Carrie Koffman is Associate Professor of Saxophone at The Hartt School, University of Hartford and Lecturer of Saxophone at the Yale School of Music. Prior to this, she held positions as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Penn State University, Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of New Mexico, and Lecturer at Boston University. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in 28 states, 15 countries and on 5 continents. One review in Fanfare Magazine calls her playing “suave, subtly nuanced, and technically secure in its every gesture,” while another refers to her “melting tone and touching sensitivity.” Commissions and premieres include 54 compositions. Her students have placed in over 120 performance competitions including winning 23 university concerto competitions at all five of the universities where she has taught. Koffman is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and teaches Yoga for Musicians. She is also a Conn-Selmer artist/clinician, performing on Selmer Paris saxophones.

Shyen Lee
is the first Taiwanese saxophonist to receive training and academic degrees to teach the instrument at the university level. Since 2005, he has worked as the professor of saxophone in the College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand. Shyen Lee has actively initiated many international events to promote the instrument. He is the main organizer of the International Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, World Saxophone Congress XV, Thailand International Composition for Saxophone and the Asian Saxophone Congress. He was elected as World Saxophone Congress International Saxophone Committee in the term of 2009-12 and 2018-21.    
       Mr. Lee appeared as a solo recitalist in various concert halls including New York, Boston, Montreal, Minneapolis, Paris, Bordeaux, Vienna, Ljubljana, St. Andrews (UK), Strasbourg, Zagreb, Kiev, Odessa, Mallorca, Kraków, Bangkok, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. Shyen Lee commissioned and premiered pieces by John Harbison, Frank Ticheli, Larry Bell, Gunther Schuller and Bernard Rands, Lei Liang, Yiu-Kwong Chung, ChihChun Chih-sun Lee, Tzyy-Sheng, Che-Yi Lee, Shih-Hui Chen, Narong Prangcharoen, Jiradej Setabundhu, and Boomrat Sirirattanapan.


American-Canadian saxophonist Paul Lessard is at home in a wide range of styles, from classical and jazz to funk and punk. Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Mr. Lessard has worked with a growing number of composers to bring their works to international audiences, recently giving the North American premiere of Piet Swerts’s “Horta Suite,” as well as the European and Canadian premieres of Avner Dorman’s “Suite for Solo Saxophone.” Mr. Lessard has performed across North America and Europe, including solo recitals at North American Saxophone Alliance conferences and the 2019 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb. He holds degrees from the University of Florida and Gettysburg College. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where he maintains a studio of private woodwind students. 


Hailed as “a truly modern virtuoso, Jeffrey Leung effortlessly navigates the most demanding scores without losing his trademark warmth, sensitivity, and lyricism” (Roydon Tse, composer). An active performer and educator, Jeffrey serves as the Vice President of Novus New Music, the Associate Director of the International Saxophone Academy, and an Artist Faculty member of the Maryland Chamber Winds. As a pedagogue, Jeffrey cultivates student-driven curiosity and mindful creativity with his backgrounds in teaching saxophone, music theory, and Soundpainting/improvisation. In addition to hosting saxophone masterclasses in high school and university programs, Jeffrey has presented workshops on music and improvisation pedagogy, entrepreneurship, and musicians’ wellness throughout North America and curates his online music pedagogy series “Taking it From the Top.” Dr. Jeffrey Leung holds degrees in Saxophone Performance and Music Theory from Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and University of Toronto. To learn more, please visit www.jeffreyjfleung.com


Ben MacDonald is a recognized performing saxophonist whose musical endeavors have propelled him to the vanguard of creative and collaborative musicianship. During his career, MacDonald has received awards and recognition in multiple prestigious solo competitions. As a champion of new music, MacDonald has premiered works from sixteen different composers including David Maslanka, Roger Zare, Christopher E. Hass, and Kevin Day. MacDonald is a founding member of the Zenith Saxophone Quartet, a dynamic chamber ensemble focused on the development of chamber music performance through memorization and artistic staging. Their debut album, Convergence, was released in January 2021 and consists of seven works written for the Zenith Saxophone Quartet and the Zen Duo. MacDonald holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (2019) from Central Michigan University and is currently pursuing his Master of Music Degree from the University of Oklahoma. His primary teachers include John Nichol, Jonathan Nichol, and Jay Wilkinson. 


From his initial recognition as a young jazz lion, Branford Marsalis has expanded his vision as an instrumentalist, composer, bandleader and educator, crossing stylistic boundaries while maintaining an unwavering creative integrity. In the process, he has become an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence. The Branford Marsalis Quartet, first formed in 1986, remains Branford’s primary means of expression. In its virtually uninterrupted three-plus decades of existence, the Quartet has established a rare breadth of stylistic range and a continuity of personnel. The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, recorded in Melbourne, Australia in the midst of an international tour in the Spring of 2018, contains the mix of challenging original and classic compositions, and the range of moods from the tender to the explosive, that has defined the group. With its focus on melodic strength and extrasensory interaction, the album confirms that the Branford Marsalis Quartet remains a paragon of uncompromising jazz excellence.
       While the Quartet thrives, Branford continues to expand his status as a musical collaborator that dates back to his early experiences as a sideman with Clark Terry, Art Blakey and his brother Wynton Marsalis and extends through encounters with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr.  As always, Branford also remains eager to join in musical ventures with artists in other musical realms. His relationship with Sting, which began with the pop icon’s first solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles in 1985, was resumed when Branford contributed solos to Sting’s collaboration with reggae star Shaggy, 44/876. And Branford’s status among Deadheads, dating back to 1990 as the ultimate guest artist with the Grateful Dead, moved the spinoff band Dead and Co. to break precedent for the first time and announce Branford as a guest artist at the band’s August 26, 2018 concert in Arrington, Virginia.
       Classical music also continues to play a growing role in Branford’s musical life. Sally Beamish reconceived her composition “Under the Wing of the Rock” to feature him after hearing Branford interpret another of her works, and Gabriel Prokofiev wrote “The Saxophone Concerto” for Branford on a joint commission from the Naples Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony. Branford and the Ural Philharmonic performed and recorded the Prokofiev piece during August 2018 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Branford has performed these and other works by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams and Villa-Lobos with leading orchestras in the United States and Europe, and served as Creative Director for the Cincinnati Symphony’s Ascent Series in 2012-13.



Gerard McChrystal
 was born in Derry, N. Ireland. He was the first student to graduate from the RNCM with three awards in 1986.   He did postgrad at The Guildhall School, London. During his year in London he reached the final of the RTE Young Musician of the year for the second time, won The Lombard & Ulster £15,000 Foundation on RTE’s ‘The Late,Late Show with Gay Byrne’ as well as The Royal Overseas League, London, The Countess of Music Award, The Sir James Caird Travelling Awarded, Scotland, The Martin Music Award, The NFMS Award and appeared on the BBC’s ‘Opportunity Knocks’ with Bob Monkhouse.   His UK debut was with The Philharmonia premiering Dave Heath’s ‘Out of the Cool’ in 1989 at St John Smith’s Square. Also in 1989 he performed as soloist in the premiere of Shaun Davey’s ‘Relief of Derry Symphony’ with The Ulster Orchestra. This performance was also recorded for his first CD.
       Gerard has performed in over 35 countries including China, USA, New Zealand, Korea, South Africa and Azerbaijan. His main ambition is to develop collaborations and encourage composers, especially from Ireland, to write for the saxophone. Collaborations include composer Philip Glass, The Soweto String Quartet, Rambert Dance Co., London Musici, The Smith Quartet, Classical guitarist Craig Ogden,  vocal groups Anuna and Codetta, Saxophone quartets Saxtet and The Bros Quartet. As part of Bros Saxophone Quartet he has recorded and performed music by Salvatore Sciarrino in Milan. 
       Gerard has made 15 CDs with orchestras including BBC NOW, Ulster Orchestra and London Musici. His most recent CD, with organist Christian Wilson, was recorded in The Royal Chapel, Tower of London and features music from Haydn, Handel, Vivaldi, Jehan Alain and Barbara Thompson. Gerard is Professor of Saxophone at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London and also teaches at RWCMD, Cardiff. He is a Vandoren Artist.


Described by noted American composer Libby Larsen as “fearless on stage,” saxophonist Stephen Page has garnered international prominence as one of the leading saxophonists of today’s younger generation. Page has appeared across four continents, including United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Stephen has earned prizes in no fewer than ten International and national competitions, including the MTNA Solo and Chamber Competition, the NASA Solo and Quartet Competitions, the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the YYPA, and the AUREC Saxophone Competition. 
Dr. Page has released fourteen recordings as a soloist and chamber musician which can be heard on the Enharmonic, Teal Creek, Crystal Music, and AUR Labels. Stephen’s premier recording of John Mackey’s Soprano Saxophone Concerto and John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto will be released in 2019, on the NAXOS label. Stephen Page is Associate Professor at The University of Texas Butler School of Music.

Wisuwat Pruksavanich
is the first Thai saxophonist in contemporary classical music to become a Yamaha Artist. He has made his name on the world stages as a soloist in Narong Prangcharoen’s world premiere “The Dawn of Darkness” at Ki Zu Na Concert 2012, Sumida Triphony Hall, Tokyo Japan. 
Wisuwat is a doctoral student at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland with Professor Andrzej Rzymkowski. Moreover, a saxophone instructor at Mahidol University’s College of Music.



Jessica Small
combines her interests in business and saxophone at the University of Florida, where she is pursuing her DMA in performance. She has previously studied at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (BM) with Frank Bongiorno, and at Ithaca College (MM) with Steven Mauk. While at UNCW, Jessica won the Richard R. Deas Collegiate Concerto Competition (2015) and was a finalist the Rosen-Scaffel Competition (2015) at Appalachian State University. She has performed with the top ensembles at each university, including Ithaca College’s Wind Ensemble as they performed the 50th anniversary of Karel Husa’s Music for Prague at Lincoln Center in 2019. As a passionate chamber musician, she has organized outreach tours with the DubSax Ensemble throughout eastern North Carolina, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas. 


Saxophonist and conductor Andrew R. Steinberg has been recognized for his “beautiful tone” and his “astute and refined leadership” throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. As an Alice M. Ditson Fund and Aaron Copland Fund for Music grantee, Steinberg has commissioned over a dozen works for saxophone and has premiered countless more for the instrument. Recent performances featured new compositions by Molly Herron, Hayes Biggs, and Niki Harlafti, as well as premieres of works by Tera de Marez Oyens, Eric Moe, and Lei Liang. In addition, he has performed at music festivals across the globe, including the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, Round Top Festival Institute, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.Since receiving his doctorate from New England Conservatory, Steinberg has presented lectures and master classes at Georgia State University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Boston University, the North American Saxophone Alliance’s 2020 Biennial Conference, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 


Saxophonist Joshua Thomas has built a robust career based in eastern Connecticut on the foundations of high musical standards, and a love of performance and education. Since winning a position in the United States Coast Guard Band, he has performed hundreds of concerts around the world as a featured soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble player. A proponent of new music, Thomas has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works in many genres. His discography consists of fourteen recordings as a soloist, chamber musician, and member of large ensemble. Thomas is on faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University and Connecticut College. He received his BME at Michigan State University, MM in performance at Louisiana State University, an MA in music theory at Connecticut College, and the DMA in performance at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. He is a Selmer performing artist and membership director of the North American Saxophone Alliance. 




Pianist Elisabeth Tomczyk is a sought after collaborator and chamber musician based in Vernon, CT. A native of Wisconsin, she began her study of piano at the age of three and was accompanying choirs and instruments by the age of nine. Currently on staff at The Hartt School, Elisabeth performs in over 100 concerts a year with students, faculty and guest artists. She performs regularly with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra and has done concerts all over the United States and Europe including New York City, Boston, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Vienna and Reykjavik. She holds a MM in piano performance from The Hartt School having studied with Dr. David Westfall and a BM in piano from Webster University having studied with Daniel Schene. Elisabeth is also an avid sewist and bag designer, running a small business on Etsy. 


Dr. James Umble, Professor of Saxophone at Youngstown (Ohio) State University, was recently awarded the 2020 Distinguished Professorship in Teaching. A recognized teacher/soloist, clinician, chamber musician and author, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that Dr. Umble…” must be one of the most elegant exponents of his instrument…he was virtuosic in every way.” More at jamesumble.com.  His acclaimed book “Jean-Marie Londeix- Master of the Modern Saxophone” documents the life and pedagogy of this celebrated artist-teacher. (Second Edition coming in 2021). Recent performances include: The Hartt School, University of Mississippi, Oakland Unversity and others. With composer Andrew Mead he has presented recital/lectures on Mead’s works for saxophone. Dr. Umble has performed extensively with his trio, The Cleveland Duo and James Umble (violin/saxophone/piano). New York Concert Reviews wrote of their “sensuous….outstanding performance…” Dr. Umble has also been heard as guest artist in the Cleveland Orchestra, under Pierre Boulez, David Zinman, Franz Welser-Most and others. The Miami Herald wrote that his playing was “…glorious…” and of his “…mellifluous tone…


Paula Van Goes
is "a virtuoso saxophonist that possesses excellent technical attributes and a deep understanding of the music [she] performs" (Ovación). Based in Atlanta, Georgia she enjoys a career as a chamber musician, soloist and educator. In her previous appointment as Interim Professor of Saxophone at Universidade de Brasília Dr. Van Goes was the first American to teach saxophone within the federal university system in Brazil. In recent performances, Paula has shared the stage with Branford Marsalis and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro in Brasília and presented at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. As a Selmer-Paris Artist and Clinician she has toured and lectured throughout Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, China, Croatia, France, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, Ukraine and the United States.


Trained in both Australia and the US, Texas based saxophonist, North American Saxophone Alliance President, Jess Voigt-Page has been described by her colleagues as a “tour de force." As a career and business coach for musicians, Jess is inspired by the careers and lifestyles of colleagues both in and outside of music, and has dedicated the latest part of her career to working with musicians who want to explore non-traditional career trajectories in music. In addition to serving on faculty at UT Austin, where she lectures on Arts Entrepreneurship, and Baylor University where she teaches applied saxophone, chamber music, saxophone methods, and Music Entrepreneurship, Jessica is the owner of Saxophone Academy Austin, through which she has worked with over 1000 young saxophonists since 2014. Jessica is a Yamaha Performing Artist, D’Addario Woodwinds artist, Key Leaves artist and Beaumont Music Artist.