Congratulations to the Jacobs School student ensemble, the Kenari Quartet (Bob Eason, Durand Jones, Corey Dundee, and Steven Banks) that has won First Prize in the Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Division of the Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Held in Columbia, Missouri, the competition is one of the most recognized chamber music competitions in the country.
“The guys in Kenari Quartet are exemplary as individuals, and each is an outstanding musician,” said their teacher, Associate Professor Otis Murphy. “They are committed to chamber music, and the horizon is boundless for them. We all congratulate them on their success at the Plowman Competition.”
“We feel very fortunate to have been able to represent the Jacobs School of Music at the 2013 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and are so grateful for all of the support the school has given us,” said Eason, on behalf of the ensemble. “Our teacher, Otis Murphy, has been the most wonderful mentor and we are so thankful for his inspiring teachings and guidance. We have a truly exceptional studio and the friendship and encouragement from our fellow students are invaluable.”
Bob Eason is currently pursuing a master’s degree in saxophone performance and studies with Otis Murphy at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 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 Professor 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, Bob 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, Bob 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 the Jacobs School of Music under tutelage of Otis Murphy. Durand received his bachelors 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, Durand has had many performance opportunities such as performing in the Symphonic Band under the baton of Jeffrey 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, Durand 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. Durand has also performed in master classes for famous saxophonist such as, Timothy McAllister, Dale Underwood, Griff Campbell, H2 Quartet, Iridium Quartet, Jonathan Helton, and Otis Murphy. Durand is affiliated with North American Saxophone Alliance, Kappa Kappa Psi, and the National Association for Music Education.
Corey Dundee is a senior at the Jacobs School of Music, 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.
Saxophonist Steven Banks, age 19, has been described as “a breath-taking performer” by the Classical Voice of North Carolina. He is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. Banks is currently 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, Banks has performed and competed nationwide. He has won top prizes in several competitions, including first prizes at the 2011 Joseph M. Bryan Concerto Competition and the Durham Symphony Young Artist Competition. Banks 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, Banks won the Indiana University Woodwind Concerto competition. Banks 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. He has participated in master classes with Christopher Creviston, Joe Lulloff, the ZZYZX saxophone quartet and the United States Marine Band saxophone quartet.