U of A Saxophone Graduate Student Advances in National Competition

Landon Cole, graduate student in saxophone
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Landon Cole, graduate student in saxophone

U of A graduate student and saxophonist Landon Cole has been selected to advance to the regional round of the Music Teachers' National Association's Young Artist Solo Competition.

Cole was chosen to advance after a successful live performance during the state round held at the University of Central Arkansas, and he is now tasked with sending in a video recording to compete against the other performers from this region.

Cole performed repertoire spanning a wide range of musical styles as a requirement of the competition. These pieces included the Larson Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra, "Distances Within Me" by John Anthony Lennon, a transcribed version of the Poulenc Oboe Sonata and Schumann's "Fantasy Pieces," originally written for clarinet and cello.

These pieces make up about an hour of repertoire to be performed in one sitting, which Cole said required "countless hours of preparation, long nights and early mornings on top of academic schoolwork."

Although Cole started preparation for these pieces in the summer, he also had to overcome the difficulty of having four pieces prepared at one time, coordinating with his accompanist, recital hall reservations for recordings and completing pre-screening recordings to audition for doctoral programs.

"It takes a huge amount of hard work and self-discipline on top of being a student," Cole said. "It's expected of a student to be able to do all of it. Not just the musical aspect."

If selected in the regional round, Cole will advance to the national round of the competition, which will be held in Chicago during the MTNA National Conference and comprise of live performances from all of the regional winners.

Landon Cole is pursuing a master's degree in saxophone performance from the Department of Music at the University of Arkansas as a member of Eric Troiano's saxophone studio. Cole hopes to join a doctoral program for saxophone performance after graduating in the spring.

Troiano's saxophone studio is currently comprised of 19 students. The studio is very active in the music community, and successfully hosted the Region IV North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at the U of A last March.

— Story by Katelyn Barry


Justin R. Hunter, instructor
Department of Music
479-575-4908, jrhunte@uark.edu


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