Zachary Shemon wins First Prize in the inaugural US International Saxophone Symposium and Competition

The Jacobs School of Music congratulates Zachary Shemon (DM, Saxophone,) a student of Associate Professor Otis Murphy, who has won First Prize in the inaugural International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC), held Oct. 25-28 at Columbus State University in Georgia. The competition is one of the first international saxophone competitions ever to be held in the United States.

“I am truly thrilled for Zach and his success at this international competition,” said Murphy, “and it has been such a privilege as his teacher over these past four years for me to see him blossom into a consummate musician and artist.  Zach is an incredibly gifted saxophonist, and the future is looking bright for him!”

The first prize includes a cash award of $3,000, a P. Mauriat PMXA-67RGL professional alto saxophone, and an opportunity to perform as featured soloist in the premiere recording of L’oiseau dans l’espace, a concerto for saxophone and percussion ensemble by composer James M. David.

“I had a great time performing in all three rounds of the competition and meeting many fine young saxophonists from around the world,” said Shermon. “The highlight was premiering James David’s work in the final round.”

In addition to the competition, the ISSAC event included performances and master classes presented by some of the world’s top saxophone artists.  Learn more about the ISSAC >

About Zachary Shemon

Zachary Shemon’s performance career has led to appearances around the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. Later this month, Zach will be featured with the Michigan Philharmonic performing Libby Larsen’s Song Concerto. Other upcoming concerts include a week-long educational residency in Haiti with the ensemble Arundo Donax Reed Quintet (an ensemble formed in the Jacobs School by students) sponsored by MusAid, and residencies with the PRISM Quartet at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, the University of Oregon, and Cornell University.

Next summer, Zach will return to the Apsen Music Festival and School for his second year as the saxophone fellow. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BM, BSE, MM) and Indiana University (Performer Diploma) where is studied with Donald Sinta and Otis Murphy, respectively. He has also received instruction at the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France and at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Shemon is a Conn-Selmer artist and performs on Selmer (Paris) saxophones. He is also a Rico Performing Artist and endorses Rico Reserve Classic saxophone reeds.

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