Members of the Red Line Saxophone Quartet are, from left: Brandon Kies, Douglas O’Connor, Gao Qun, and Quinn Lewis. Photos by Gerry Szymanski.
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The Red Line Sax Quartet recently won first prize in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chamber Music Competition. The group, which includes Eastman students juniors Brandon Kies, alto sax, Gai Qun, tenor sax, Quinn Lewis, baritone sax, and doctoral student Douglas O’Connor, soprano sax, competed against 75 other ensembles in this national event, and earned the $3,000 award at the finals round in Atlanta on March 28.
The MTNA competition is one of the most prestigious chamber music competitions in the country for pre-professional chamber groups. Members of the Red Line Quartet are from the saxophone studios of Eastman School of Music professors Ramon Ricker and Chien-Kwan Lin.
“For the members of the Red Line Sax Quartet, this award marks a milestone in their careers, as it is their most competitive win to date,” said Lin. “The fact that this is a group award reflects how these four performers truly care for one another, sacrificing individuality for the common goal of taking their music as a group to the next level. They’re such an inspiration.”
The Red Line Sax Quartet also recently made its first concerto appearance with Branford Marsalis and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Kim Allen Kluge’s Vocalise for sax quintet and strings. Upcoming appearances for the group include a May 3 concert at a University of Rochester alumni reception in Cleveland. The quartet will travel to Notre Dame University later that month to compete in the quarter-final round of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Other Eastman students who won prizes in the competition were freshman Yi-Yang Chen, who studies with Douglas Humpherys and placed second in the Senior Piano category, and junior Quinn Lewis, who studies with Chien-Kwan Lin and placed third in the Young Artist Woodwind category.
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