Congratulations to the Kenari Quartet (Robert Eason, soprano saxophone: Durand Jones, alto saxophone; Corey Dundee, tenor saxophone; and Steven Banks, baritone saxophone), who have won the Silver Medal in the Senior Wind Division at the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
The quartet performed in the final round of the competition on Sunday, May 12, alongside the Wasmuth String Quartet, also Silver Medal winners (of the Senior String Division).
Bob Eason is currently pursuing a master’s degree in saxophone performance and studies with Otis Murphy at Indiana University. Recently, Eason was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2013 Young Texas Artist Competition. He has performed with the Jacobs School of Music Wind Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Pratt, and he is the Soprano Saxophonist of the Kenari Saxophone Quartet. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The University of Houston and studied with Dan Gelok, Valerie Vidal, and Karen Wylie. While at the University of Houston, eason was a founding member of the Blue Static Saxophone Quartet and performed with the ensemble at the 2011 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition where the group won the Silver Medal in the Senior Winds division. In addition to the teachers mentioned above, Eason feels incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by Eddie Green, John Benzer, David Bertman, Noe Marmolejo, Tom Bennett, Gregory Dick, Robert Munoz, Theron Sharp, Julio Sanchez, Aaron Brown, Martin Langford, and Chris Patterson.
Durand Jones is a master’s student at Indiana University under tutelage of Otis Murphy. He received his Bachelor of Music Education at Southeastern Louisiana University. Other saxophonists that Durand has studied with include Richard Schwartz, Brina Bourliea, and Craig Millet. Durand is the alto saxophonist of the Kenari Quartet. While at Indiana University, Jones has had many performance opportunities such as performing in the Symphonic Band under the baton of Gershman, the IU Latin Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Michael Spiro, the IU Soul Revue under the direction of Tyron Cooper and Charles Sykes, and the IU Saxophone Ensemble. Outside of IU, Jones has had the opportunity to also perform in Carnegie Hall, the International Saxophone Symposium in 2011 and 2012, the North American Saxophone Alliance region 5 Conference, and as a featured artist for the Southeastern Guitar Festival for two consecutive years. Jones has also performed in masterclasses for famous saxophonist such as, Timothy McAllister, Dale Underwood, Griff Campbell, H2 Quartet, Iridium Quartet, Jonathan Helton, and Otis Murphy. He is affiliated with North American Saxophone Alliance, Kappa Kappa Psi, and the National Association for Music Education.
Corey Dundee is a senior at Indiana University, where he is currently studying saxophone performance with Otis Murphy and composition with Claude Baker. He is a recipient of the Jacobs Scholarship, a full-tuition merit award given to a select number of undergraduate students. Dundee has performed as a guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the UNC School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Philharmonic. As a composer, he has received recognitions from ASCAP and the Tribeca New Music ensemble, and has collaborated with the Barkada saxophone quartet and the Akropolis reed quintet in writing new pieces for chamber winds.
Steven Banks is a sophomore in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the instruction of Otis Murphy. He is a recipient of the Jacobs Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards given in the School of Music. Banks regularly performs as both a soloist and an ensemble player with the Kenari Saxophone Quartet and Indiana University Symphonic Band. Since his solo debut at age 17 with the Durham Symphony Orchestra, Steven has performed and competed nationwide. Banks has won top prizes in several competitions, including 1st prizes at the 2011 Joseph M. Bryan Concerto Competition and the Durham Symphony Young Artist Competition. Steven was also chosen to perform on NPR’s From the Top on show 241 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Most recently, Steven won the Indiana University Woodwind Concerto competition and performed Paul Creston’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra on April 10, 2013. Steven is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Taimur Sullivan, baritone saxophonist of the renowned Prism Saxophone Quartet. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp under the tutelage of Timothy McAllister. Steven has participated in master classes with Christopher Creviston, Joe Lulloff, the ZZYZX saxophone quartet and the United States Marine Band saxophone quartet.