Meet The Studio
DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS
Sean Xue, a native of Shanghai, China, has been praised as “one of the most exciting saxophonists of the young generation.” He has won awards in numerous competitions, including First Prize in Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, First Prize in LISMA International Music Competition, First Prize in Concours Saxiana in France, and Third Prize in Concours Saxo Voce in France. He has given recitals and masterclasses in Soochow University School of Music, Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai Conservatory Music High School, and Nanyang Academy of Arts in Singapore. He has been invited to perform as a soloist with IRCAM, Soochow University Wind Ensemble, Shanghai Jiaotong University Wind Ensemble, and Zhong Fu Yin Symphonic Band.
He founded one of the leading saxophone quartets in China, Alah Quartet, and has performed regularly in Shanghai Symphony Hall, Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall, Oriental Arts Center, and Shanghai Poly Theater. They initiated numerous commissions from composers in China, such as Zhu Jianer and Xu Jainqiang. The crowning achievement of such collaboration, the arrangement of Chasing Tiger from traditional Peking Opera, has become an Internet sensation in China.
As the saxophone instructor at Soochow University School of Music, Sean Xue made his debut with his saxophone studio at the Second Asian Saxophone Congress in Shanghai. Their performance of his arrangement of Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez has received very high critical acclaim. His students have won competitions in China and have gained very positive attention.
Sean Xue has studied at Eastman School of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Conservatoire de Cergy-Pontoise in France. His past teachers include Chien-Kwan Lin, Otis Murphy, Jean-Yves Fourmeau and Jingli Hong.
Anne Kunkle is an award-winning saxophonist and educator based in Rochester, New York. She made her Chicago debut at the Chicago Cultural Center as the First Prize winner of the 2018 Musician’s Club of Women Competition. As soprano chair of the Khroma Saxophone Quartet, Ms. Kunkle was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2019 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The quartet frequently collaborates with contemporary composers, and continues to perform at nationwide events such as the Midwest Band Conference, while committing to education and outreach.
Ms. Kunkle has performed at prestigious venues across the United States including the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Internationally, she has performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing with the Eastman Saxophone Project, as well as the Esplanade Theater in Singapore, where she performed and recorded an album of Shostakovich’s music with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton.
Prior to her doctoral studies, Ms. Kunkle received her Bachelor of Music with High Distinction in Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also inaugurated into the Beta Pi Eastman Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda for her academic excellence, and earned a certificate from the Arts Leadership Program. Ms. Kunkle is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, where she was a member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and former Assistant Director and chief arranger of the Eastman Saxophone Project.
Ms. Kunkle is the Instructor of Saxophone at Syracuse University Setnor School of Music, and an Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Roberts Wesleyan College. She also teaches at the Eastman Community Music School. Her primary teachers include Chien-Kwan Lin and Debra Richtmeyer.
Floris Van der Veken is a Belgian saxophonist currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music with Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He received his Master’s degree as well as a Postgraduate performance degree, both with highest distinction, at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Belgium, studying under Hans de Jong. During an exchange year he studied under Rodrigo Vila at the Conservatori Superior de Música de les Illes Balears in Mallorca, Spain.
Floris specializes in contemporary and experimental repertoire, often working together with composers to highlight new works. In a collaboration with the composer Wim Henderickx, he premiered the concerto Empty Mind I for soprano saxophone and live electronics. Being passionate about interdisciplinary performances, Floris wrote and directed his own music- and dance theatre ‘MOIRA – Ode to a Life of Failure’ under the coaching of Muziektheater Transparant, which premiered in 2019.
Floris is the 2020 Laureate of the ‘Oranjebeurs’ for music, awarded by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and was awarded a grant for his studies in the US by the organization Inspiratum. Having studied conducting as a minor during his Master’s, Floris was the assistant-conductor of l’Orquestra del Conservatori Superior de les Illes Balears in 2018. He participated in many masterclasses with renowned saxophonists such as Timothy McAllister, Arno Bornkamp, Ryo Noda, Lars Mlekusch, Vincent David, Joonatan Rautiola, Jérôme Laran, and Nicholas Prost.
Colin Crake is an aspiring concert saxophonist and pedagogue, based in Rochester, NY. He is currently a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, where he is pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and Literature under the tutelage of Prof. Chien-Kwan Lin. He is a recent graduate of the Conservatoire royale de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium where he studied with French saxophonist and composer Vincent David. He received his Masters in Music degree and was awarded “Grande Distinction” for his work with David and for his thesis, titled Le guide pratique de saxophonist sur l’interprétation de Dialogue de l’ombre double (1985) de Pierre Boulez. Before this, he studied at the Eastman School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance with High Distinction and a Performance Certificate.
As a soloist, Mr. Crake regularly gives solo recitals at the Eastman School, as well as at international conferences, including the US Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium held in Washington, DC. In addition, he has garnered several accolades from various solo competitions, most notably the third prize of the 2021 Andorra SaxFest International Saxophone Competition, and first prize at the 2017 Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. He has also had the honor of advancing the world’s most prestigious saxophone competitions, including the 2017 Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand, and the 2019 Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition in Dinant, Belgium. He has performed as a soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the National Classical Orchestra of Andorra.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Crake has been a member of numerous saxophone quartets and other chamber groups. Most notable is his membership in the internationally-recognized Eastman Saxophone Project, where currently serves as the ensemble’s Assistant Director and chief arranger. Recent arrangements of his include a suite of Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, Gyorgy Ligeti’s Hungarian Rock, and Gioacchino Rossini’s Overture to La gazza ladra. He has also been called upon to serve in saxophone ensembles abroad, including the Belgian Saxophone Choir.
MASTER OF MUSIC
Samuel Ka-Ming Leung is a budding saxophonist and versatile musician from Hong Kong. Doctorjohn Classical Music and Arts Page praised his performance of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances with the 2018 Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre as “the most amazing saxophone solo.”
As a member of the AYO, Leung has given his debut performances in notable venues including the Beijing National Centre for Performing Arts Concert Hall, Taipei National Concert Hall, and the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. Besides his focus on solo performance, Leung is also regarded as a refined ensemble musician. He is a member of the Chung Chi Wind Orchestra and Hong Kong Youth Saxophone Choir where he frequently appears in the Lee Hysan Concert Hall and the Chung Chi College Chapel.
Leung began his saxophone training at the age of six, under the tutelage of Mr. Ryan Poon, Dr. Jennifer To, and Mr. Martin Choy. Currently a second year master’s degree student studying saxophone performance at the Eastman School of Music, he works with Professor Chien-Kwan Lin weekly. At the same time, he was selected to be a recipient of a graduate award as a studio accompanist under the direction of Dr. Andrew Harley. Previously as a saxophone-major music student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he worked with Mr. Michael Campbell and Dr. Tak-Chiu Wong and was trained in international saxophone academies including the American Saxophone Academy and the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy. He also worked with Vincent David, Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Pieter Pellens, Timothy McAllister, and Dale Underwood in masterclasses. In 2019, he was selected as one of the 14 finalists of the 2nd Asia Pacific Solo Saxophone Competition.
Leung strives to become a multi-faceted artist. Besides saxophone, he is equally accomplished as a pianist. He was awarded a distinction in the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 Piano Examination at the age of ten when he was working with Ms. Jacqueline Hau-ling Li. He was selected as a choir accompanist in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival at the Vienna Musikverein in 2016. He also worked with Mr. Martin Choy as a clarinettist and performed in a master class by Mr. Andrew Marriner in 2019.
Wang, Jiaqi (b. 1997, China) began his saxophone study at the age of 10 with Prof. Hui Wang from the Nanjing University of the Arts, and has recently begun studying with Prof. Chien-Kwan Lin at the Eastman School of Music.
Jiaqi Wang studied at the Affiliated Secondary School of NUA, Nanjing University of the Arts, and Eastman School of Music. His past teachers include Chien-Kwan Lin, Nikita Zimin, Hui Wang, Wilson Chen and Sean Xue.
Mr. Wang has been invited to perform with Jiangsu Zijin Wind Orchestra, Jiangsu Saxophone Association, Symphony Orchestra of Nanjing University of the Arts, and Jiangsu Oriental Symphony Orchestra. During his studies at Eastman School of Music, he participated in the Eastman Centennial Celebration Series Concerts and the ESP 10th Anniversary Series Concerts.
Will Pyle was raised in San Antonio, TX, and from a young age, his interests have always been in flux — he bounced from soccer practice to the capoeira studio to drawing comics with his friends. His taste in music has also always been unpredictable. He is the kind of music fan who will become fixated on a particular artist, absorbing their music on repeat before inevitably moving on to something new and, more likely than not, very different.
The exception to this rule has been his love of making chamber music, which started when Will convinced his high school friends to form the, now award winning, Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet. He attended Texas Tech University to study with David Dees and became a founding member of the Aruna Quartet. The Aruna Quartet has since garnered national and international acclaim, winning awards at numerous competitions including the Grand Prize of the 46th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Will serves as Executive Director of the Aruna Quartet’s non-profit organization and continues to take a lead role in managing commissions, fundraising, and community outreach efforts. The quartet is currently focused on exploring new ways to collaborate with composers, storytellers and other musicians. Some of these explorations include a recent multimedia premier with composer Austin Perry, an ongoing partnership with the ADJective Composer Collective, and a concerto grosso commission for Viet Cuong in collaboration with the Texas Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Will has performed at conferences and conventions including the Midwest Clinic, the Asia-Pacific Saxophone Academy, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, North American Saxophone Alliance national and regional conferences, and the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. He has played on masterclasses with Jasmine Choi, Connie Frigo, Jan Berry Baker, Stephen Page, and the Iridium Quartet. He has received additional summer instruction from Frederick Hemke, John Sampen, Gail Levinsky, and Nathan Nabb. He is also certified to teach all levels of music by the Texas Education Agency.
Will is continuing his studies at the Eastman School of Music with professor Chien-Kwan Lin, and he is making chamber music as a member of the world-renowned Eastman Saxophone Project. Although he is enjoying the cooler weather in Rochester, NY, as the winner of the Texas Tech University Concerto Competition, he will return to Lubbock, Texas to perform as a soloist with the Texas Tech Symphony Orchestra in October 2021. His listening habits remain sporadic and obsessive. His last fixation was Brahms Symphony No. 1 but has since moved on to the band Polyphia
Leonardo Enrique Aguilar-Arias is a Colombian solo saxophonist and chamber musician who is passionate about finding innovative ways to share his art. His solo debut came in 2015 after winning his first concerto competition. Since then, Leonardo has received various opportunities to perform, study, and research internationally. In 2018, he was invited to give a world premiere at the 18th World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. In the Fall of 2019, Leonardo studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. During that time, he performed for audiences in halls such as Paris’ Grand Salon of the Musée de l’Armée and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw.
Leonardo graduated in 2020 from Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Music degree. His time at Northwestern brought him various collaborations, projects, and recordings with composers of the highest caliber. This passion for cooperation and learning has garnered him a love for every genre and aspect of music.
Leonardo is currently pursuing his graduate studies and serving as a teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music. He hopes to continue contributing to his field through education and creative performance.
Hailing from Glen Allen, Virginia, Wesley Taylor currently holds a Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction in Saxophone Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was a student of Dr. Otis Murphy.
As a soloist, Wesley won First Prize in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) State Solo Competition in 2019. He was also awarded First Prize in the MTNA State Chamber Competition in 2017. Wesley appeared as a featured soloist for the Lafayette Citizens Band in 2018 and gave three solo degree recitals throughout his time at Indiana University.
Wesley has played in multiple masterclasses, both as a soloist and chamber musician on all four standard saxophones. Most notably, he has participated in classes led by Claude Delangle, Philippe Geiss, Masaki Tadenuma, and both the Kenari and Zzyzx Saxophone Quartets.
He is an active patron of new music, participating in more than 15 premieres over the course of his time at Indiana University. Wesley has also presented new music at the Midwest Composers Symposium, the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, and on Dr. Don Freund’s Faculty recital. In 2018, he performed alongside the Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra in the collegiate premier of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs Opera by Mason Bates.
Wesley possesses a wide variety of performance experience, having played with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble and Eastman Wind Ensemble as well as multiple Orchestras at Indiana, including their Conductors and Philharmonic Orchestras. Additionally, he currently holds the tenor saxophone chair in the saxophone quartet Excursus IV and is an active member of the Eastman Saxophone Project.
Wesley is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance at the Eastman School of Music where he studies under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He is also a Graduate Assistant and a mentor for the New Horizons Music program at the Eastman Community Music School.
BACHELOR OF MUSIC
Ian Briffa is currently a Senior from Princeton, New Jersey pursuing a BM in Saxophone Performance under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and a Certificate in Arts Leadership at the Eastman School of Music. He has been playing the saxophone since the age of 11 and has been fortunate enough to perform across the United States, Austria, The Czech Republic, Italy and Germany. At the Eastman School of Music, Ian is a member of the Eastman Wind Orchestra and Eastman Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Mark Scatterday and the Eastman Saxophone Project directed by Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He has also had the opportunity to pursue additional studies with Timothy McAllister, Carrie Koffman, Otis Murphy, Kenneth Tse and Paul Cohen. Prior to his time at Eastman, Ian studied under saxophonist Daniel Kochersberger. As a lover of both chamber and new music, Ian is the tenor saxophonist of the Xeno Saxophone Quartet which has premiered new works by Eastman composers and participated in masterclasses with professional ensembles such as the Sinta Quartet.
Trevor Chu, a senior from Winter Park, Florida, is currently pursuing a BM in Saxophone Performance at Eastman, a BA in Biology at the University of Rochester and is a candidate for the Chamber Music Certificate and Performer’s Certificate. He is a member of the Eastman Saxophone Project under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Dr. Mark Scatterday.
In addition to these ensembles, Trevor is also the saxophonist of the Sequoia Reed Quintet which is coached by Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. Sequoia performs frequently around Rochester including performing in the 2022 Rochester Fringe Fest. Sequoia holds many accolades including 1st prize of the 2021 American Prize Competition in Chamber Music, National 2nd prize winner of the 2019-2020 MTNA Chamber Music Competition and were semi-finalists in the 2021 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
Prior to Eastman, Trevor’s past teachers include Dr. Katherine Weintraub and Jeremy Williamson.
Richard Kim hails from San Diego, California, and is currently in his fourth year pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Saxophone Performance from the Eastman School of Music. Richard first discovered the saxophone in the fifth grade, and has continued to enjoy playing the instrument since then. He has experience in both the jazz and classical worlds of the saxophone, and participated in ensembles of various musical genres during his high school years. Richard has played in all-county band and honor bands in California, playing first alto for two years in the SCSBOA All-Southern Honor Band. He has held leading positions in his school’s Wind Ensemble and top jazz ensembles, and has received the Louis Armstrong Award for his interscholastic achievement in music. Richard has also attended music camps such as the MPulse Saxophone Institute and the UCSD Jazz Camp, and studied and performed in masterclasses under notable virtuosic saxophonists such as Timothy McAllister and jazz saxophonist Charles McPherson. His private teachers prior to studying under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin include Professor of Saxophone at The University of Southern California Dr. Jessica Maxfield, and Bradley Nash (San Diego State University).
Richard is currently a member of the Eastman Saxophone Project under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Dr. Mark Scatterday. With the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Richard has performed as a featured soloist in Eastman’s Centennial Celebration, performing new works by distinguished trumpetist Allen Vizzutti. Richard is the alto saxophonist of the Xeno Saxophone Quartet, and also plays with the Eastman Jazz Ensembles on tenor saxophone.
Joseph Moruzzi, from Upton, Massachusetts, is currently a senior at the Eastman School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance, studying with Chien-Kwan Lin. Joseph started playing the saxophone in middle school, around age 10, and has performed in numerous ensembles since, including concert bands, jazz bands, pit bands, and orchestras. Joseph has also participated in numerous competitions and was Honorable Mention at the 2020 Heddy Kilian Empire State Competition, as well as placed 2nd in the Senior category of the 2021 International Saxophone Academy Young Artist Competition. At Eastman, Joseph plays in the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Saxophone Project, and is the Soprano Saxophonist of the Xeno Quartet. Joseph has previously studied with Ron Lewis, and later studied at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where he studied with Ken Radnofsky. He has performed in masterclasses for the Sinta Quartet, Vincent David, and Yasuto Tanaka.
Ian van Nuys is a Senior from Hyattsville, Maryland who is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in classical saxophone performance under Professor Chien-Kwan Lin. Before coming to Eastman, he studied privately with Brendan Kelly (MM University of Michigan). He is currently the baritone saxophone chair of the Xeno Saxophone Quartet, along with his colleagues Joseph Moruzzi, Richard Kim, and Ian Briffa. In addition to his saxophone studies, he is also proficient in flute, oboe, and clarinet. Ian plans to get his masters degree in woodwind specialty with his primary being classical saxophone.
Hongjin Li is a junior from Wuhan, China, and is pursuing his BM in saxophone performance under Professor Chien-Kwan Lin at the Eastman School of Music. He is an active player in the Eastman Saxophone Project, and the Eastman Winds Ensemble. He has been playing the saxophone since the age of 10, and participated in various winds ensembles and symphonic bands since then. During his time in Singapore, he has studied under Dr. Leslie Wong, and participated in the Protégé Saxophone Ensemble. He was a student enrolled in the Music Elective Program during high school, and studied musicology under Mr Seow Aik Keong.
Dykeem Cervantes, originally from Orange County, Virginia, is a second year Saxophone Performance major studying under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He is a performing member of the Eastman Saxophone Project and the Eastman Wind Orchestra. Dykeem is the current baritone saxophonist of the Unter Saxophone Quartet.
During high school Dykeem served as principal tenor saxophonist in the VBODA All-Virginia Symphonic Band for two consecutive years and participated in honor bands at the district level. With his high school quartet, Dykeem performed in the High School Honors Recital at the U.S. Navy Band’s 41st International Saxophone Symposium and at the Virginia Music Educators Association 2019 conference.
Matthew Hrinda, from Munster, Indiana, is currently a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music pursuing a double major in Music Education and Saxophone Performance under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He is a member of the Eastman Saxophone Project, the Eastman Wind Orchestra under Dr. Mark Scatterday, and the tenor saxophonist in Unter Saxophone Quartet.
Matthew was principal saxophonist of the ILMEA District 1 Concert Band, and was a member of the ILMEA All-State and Honors Bands and the 2020 Honor Band of America. Additionally, he was named a finalist in the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) High School Solo Competition.
In the Summer, Matthew has studied with Dr. Otis Murphy at the Indiana Summer Saxophone Academy and Dr. J Michael Weiss-Holmes at the Chicago Saxophone Institute. His prior teachers include Lara Regan, and additional studies with Dr. Weiss-Holmes.
Hengyuan (Henry) Zhang, from Shandong, China, is currently a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. Hengyuan began his saxophone studies at the age of ten, when he was in the fifth grade. He participated in many saxophone festivals include Shanghai International Saxophone Art Festival and Italy International Saxophone Festival which he attended master classes from Marco Albonetti and Damiano Grandesso. He also won the third prize in the Shanghai International Saxophone Competition In 2016.
Hengyuan is currently a member of the Eastman Saxophone Project under Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and the Eastman Wind Orchestra under Dr. Mark Scatterday. In chamber music, he is currently the alto player of the underclassmen saxophone quartet at Eastman. Prior to his studies at Eastman, Hengyuan studied under Xiao Zhang and Yusheng Xue.
Darryl Leung is currently a freshman from Phoenix, Arizona, pursuing a bachelor of music degree in saxophone performance at the Eastman School of Music. Darryl began playing violin at the age of five and saxophone at the age of ten, participating in numerous school ensembles such as wind ensemble, jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, saxophone orchestra, marching band, and string orchestra, along with local ensembles such as the Phoenix Youth Symphony String Orchestra and Wind Orchestra.
He has also performed in multiple honor ensembles, such as the AzMEA All-State, placing principal chair, and NAfME All-National concert bands for multiple years. Along with participating in these ensembles, Darryl has competed in numerous competitions, obtaining first place twice at the Phoenix Youth Symphony Junior Winds Concerto Competition, first at the AzMEA Solo and Ensemble Woodwind Competition in 2020 and was named the overall Competition Band winner in 2021, second at the Houston Underground Competition, and becoming a national finalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial High School Solo Competition in 2020. He has previously performed as a special guest soloist for the Phoenix Youth Symphony and performed at the Musical Instrument Museum on multiple occasions.
Darryl is currently studying with professor Chien-Kwan Lin, and has previously studied saxophone under David Duarte and West Virginia University professor of saxophone, Dr. Jeff Siegfried as well as violin under the late Carter Pendell. At Eastman, Darryl plays in the Eastman Wind Orchestra, Eastman Saxophone Project, and the underclassmen saxophone quartet.
Matthias Roth is a freshman from Long Beach, New York, and is pursuing a Dual Degree in Saxophone Performance and Chemistry. He has been playing the saxophone for over eight years, and has received instruction in both the classical and jazz styles from Dr. Geoffrey Landman and Premik Russell Tubbs. Additionally, he has received instruction from various professors across the United States, such as Dr. Timothy McAllister and Dr. Otis Murphy. In high school, he participated in the Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony, where he sat first chair for two years. He was also a participant in the NYSSMA All-State Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, and the NAfME All-Eastern Concert Band. As of now, he is a member of the Eastman Saxophone Project under the instruction of Professor Chien-Kwan Lin, the Eastman Wind Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Mark Davis Scatterday, and an underclassmen saxophone quartet under the instruction of Leonardo Aguilar. Matthias is also an experienced pianist and drummer, both of which are roles he performed as in pit orchestra. As a drummer, Matthias is a member of a rock band in his hometown which has recently released two original singles. Furthermore, Matthias has premiered a personal composition for his high school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction Ceremony.
Austin Shilling is a first year student pursuing a performance degree at the Eastman School of Music. Austin began playing saxophone at the age of 11 and has loved the instrument ever since. During his middle school and high school studies, Austin received lessons from phenomenal teachers, including Benjamin Tate, Dr. Scott Campbell, and Dr. Andrew Martz. During his Sophomore year, Austin placed into the TMEA 5A All-State Band and won the Houston Underground solo competition.
Entering his junior year of high school, Austin was admitted into the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS), an early college program located at the University of North Texas (UNT). At TAMS, Austin was concurrently enrolled in the UNT College of Music where he studied under Dr. Eric Nester and performed as part of the UNT Wind Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Andrew Trachsel.
During his time at TAMS, Austin received many performance opportunities. He performed at the Juanita Miller Concerto Competition and won the grand prize at the beginning of 2019. A month later, he performed at the United States Marine Band “The President’s Own” Concerto Competition, being named second runner up. Austin ended his junior year by taking second prize at the North American Saxophone Alliance High School Solo Competition.
Austin currently studies with Dr. Chien Kwan Lin and performs in the Eastman Wind Orchestra under the direction of Mark Scatterday.