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University Relations

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May 11, 2006
Contact: Erin Curtis-Dierks, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-9742.

KU saxophone quartet wins ‘Down Beat’ magazine student chamber music award

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Saxophone Quartet I has won its fifth Annual Student Music Award as Best Chamber Music Group in the United States and Canada from Down Beat magazine.

“We are absolutely thrilled to take home our fifth Down Beat award,” said Vince Gnojek, KU professor of saxophone who leads the group. “It is a very prestigious award, and it is an honor to be named as one of the winners of this elite competition.”

Saxophone Quartet I members are Nate Jorgensen, Gardner doctoral student, soprano; Tim Schapker, Prairie Village senior, alto; Scott Matson, Lawrence junior, tenor; and Matt Royal, West Des Moines, Iowa, senior, baritone.

The Saxophone Quartet I won the award in 1994, 1996, 2003 and 2004.

“This award is international recognition of the outstanding talent of these students,” Gnojek said. “We are competing with a variety of collegiate chamber music groups on all instruments including brass, woodwinds and strings. The committee awards only the highest level of performance, which makes us proud of our progress throughout the year.”

This is the 29th year Down Beat, one of the world’s leading jazz and contemporary music publications, has presented the awards. Students and educators nominate themselves in an open call for recorded performances and applications, which are due each year the end of December. Honors in various categories are announced the following spring in high schools, performing arts institutions and college levels. Winners will be published in the June issue of the magazine.

Participants send in a minimum of two compositions, or 20 minutes of music, for judging. This year, Saxophone Quartet I’s selections for the competition included “Molly On the Shore,” by Percy Aldridge Grainger, arranged by Steve Ruger; and “Krunch,” by Tim Davies.

For more information on the students’ honor, contact the Department of Music and Dance at (785) 864-3436.

Saxophone Quartet I members are listed below by name, hometown, parents’ names, high school or previous school attended and quartet role.

From Lawrence and Larned
Scott Matson, junior in saxophone performance, son of Karen Gore, Larned; Lawrence High School; tenor saxophone.

From Gardner and Olathe
Nate Jorgensen, doctoral student in musical arts, son of Mark and Cheryl Jorgensen, Olathe; Olathe East High School graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance from KU and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; soprano saxophone.

From Prairie Village
Tim Schapker, senior in saxophone performance, son of Dennis and Merrill Schapker; Bishop Miege High School, Mission; alto saxophone.

From Larned
Scott Matson. See DOUGLAS COUNTY.

From West Des Moines (ZIP 50266)
Matt Royal, senior in music education, son of Jon and Barb Royal; Valley High School; baritone saxophone.


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