TEACHING ASSISTANTS

Yo-Yo Su (DMA)
Australia

Gabriel Sanchez Porras (DMA)  JAZZ
Costa Rica

UNDERGRADUATES

Jenna Anderson (BM) 
IA
Jenna is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is a first year undergraduate double majoring in music performance and business. She began playing saxophone at the age of twelve and soon after, music became an important aspect of her life. In high school, she was involved in multiple groups and productions including wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, musicals, and choirs. She also competed throughout high school, receiving outstanding ratings on solo performances and earned a spot in the Iowa All-State band for three years. Outside of music and school, Jenna enjoys photography, hiking, and sushi. She’s eager to learn and grow in the music program at the University of Iowa.

 

 

Chun Hang (Henry) Chan (BM) 
Hong Kong
Henry, Chun Hang Chan is from Hong Kong. He is currently a freshman majoring in music performance, under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Tse. Henry found his interest in playing the saxophone when he was twelve. He participated in different competitions during high school. For instance, Henry was awarded the First Prize in 20th OSAKA International Music Competition and subsequently being invited to compete in the final round competition which was held in Osaka. Recently Henry was awarded 2nd place in Hong Kong Youth Arts and Cultural Elite Festival 2020 in Open Group. Being an active saxophonist in Hong Kong, Henry is also a member of the Première Quartet. Première Quartet is a saxophone quartet group which is established in August 2020 and the first student-initiated saxophone group in Hong Kong. Henry also attended master classes with Professor Stephen Page and Professor Yang Tong in 2018 and 2021 representatively. 

 

Katie Greiner
Katie Greiner (BA) 
IA
My name is Katie, and I’m a second-year student double majoring in biology and music. While I plan to pursue a career in medicine, I chose to also study music at UIowa because of the amazing programs and faculty here at the School of Music. Before studying here, I was taught by the wonderful Lynne Hart. When I’m not practicing or studying, I enjoy watching movies, thrift shopping, and hanging out with my roommate. I also volunteer weekly at the UIHC. I’m originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I graduated from Linn-Mar High School. My favorite high school memories are playing saxophone in the marching band. When I’m back at home, I love playing with my two shelties, Pepper and Holly.



 

Lauren Lettington
Lauren Lettington (BM)
IA
Lauren is a first year undergraduate pursuing a B.M in music performance and is looking forward to her time at the university.  Throughout her high school career, she has participated in various honor bands, competed in concerto competitions, and received outstanding ratings on solo performances.  In addition to performance opportunities, she has also attended various events such as the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA), the 2020 International Saxophone Summer Academy (ISSA), and Interlochen Summer Arts Camp/Saxophone Institute.  She is constantly looking for more opportunities to grow professionally.  Her favorite staples in the classical saxophone repertoire includes Rapsodie (Debussy) and Prelude, Cadence et Finale (Desenclos). Lauren, from Muscatine, Iowa, is a movie enthusiast and has a keen interest in practicing, knitting, and dogs.  In her free time she frequents coffee shops and Mexican restaurants on the lookout for the best cup of coffee and chips and salsa combination, respectively.



Joseph Lobb
Joseph Lobb (BM)
IL
Joseph Lobb is from Moline, Illinois. He is currently a freshman majoring in Saxophone Performance. Joseph started playing the saxophone when he was nine and have loved it since. Throughout high school, he has been involved in various honor bands, jazz ensembles, and orchestras. He has also won different solo competitions, and even got the chance to perform in the High School Honor's Recital at the International Saxophone Symposium. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hanging out with friends, and coffee! He is very excited to be attending University of Iowa and to see the many opportunities!

 

 

 

Luke Wymore (BA)
IA 

Justin Yem
Justin Yem (BA)
IA
My name is Justin Yem and I’m from Marion, Iowa. I’m a current freshman double majoring in Human Physiology and Music on the Pre-PA track. Music has always been a significant part of my life. I started piano lessons when I was five and saxophone when I was ten. In my free time I really enjoy working out, watching TV, and playing soccer. I love Chick-Fil-A as well. One of the most impressive things about me is that I have 18,000 points on the app! I also drink sparkling water religiously, which many people think is incredibly odd. I’d like to consider myself a very extroverted person and love making people laugh.  I’m very fortunate to be a part of such a prestigious school of music and am very excited to call Iowa City my home for the next four years!   

 

 

GRADUATES

Max Borah
Maxwell Borah (MA)
TX
Maxwell Borah, originally from Round Rock, TX, is currently a graduate student who is pursuing their master’s degree in Performance on Saxophone. Maxwell received bachelor’s degrees in both Music Education and Performance from the University of North Texas where he studied with Dr. Eric Nestler. While at UNT, Maxwell received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Woodwinds award in 2019 and has also received scholarships for his playing. Performance opportunities include premiering works with the UNT Symphonic Band, playing for Donor’s Concerts for the university and being an active solo performer.  

 


Jonathan Hart
Jonathan Hart (DMA)
OR
Born in Beaverton, Oregon, Jonathan Hart received his Bachelor’s in Music Performance at the University of Oregon under Dr. Idit Shner and immediately began his Master’s in Arts from the University of Iowa with Dr. Kenneth Tse in 2017. Currently, Jonathan is continuing his studies with Dr. Tse, pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance in Pedagogy. Previously, Jonathan won the University of Oregon Concerto/Aria Competition in 2014, named Honorable Mention in the Eugene Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2017, 2nd place in the Grande Ronde Symphony Concerto Competition in 2018, and named Honorable Mention in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition in at the Iowa State level in 2018. Most recently, in October of 2019, Jonathan appeared in Dinant, Belgium, after being selected as one of the six Americans to play in the live rounds of the 7th Adolphe Sax International Competition. Jonathan has appeared in masterclasses with artists such as Otis Murphy, Clifford Leaman, Jonathan Bergeron, and José A. Zayas-Cabán.

 

Dennis Kwok
Dennis Kwok (DMA)
Hong Kong
Dennis Kwok Tsz Kiu is passionate about drawing audiences deeply into the art of music and has imprinted his passion in music all over the world. In recent years, Dennis has made remarkable accomplishments as a soloist, quartet and ensemble musician. In 2013, he was awarded the Saxophone Winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition. In 2014, he advanced to the first round of the prestigious Adolphe Sax International Competition in Dinant, Belgium. As a baritone saxophonist of the Colere Quartet from the University of Iowa, he advanced to the semi-final of the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2018 and was awarded the First Prize of the Plowman Chamber Music Competition in 2019. Dennis holds BM, with the addition of the Meredith Wilson scholarship, and MA from the University of Iowa. Currently, he is pursuing DMA at the University of  Iowa, under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Tse. 

Charlottee Leung
Charlotte Leung (DMA)
Hong Kong
A saxophonist and music educator originally from Hong Kong, Charlotte is currently studying under Dr. Kenneth Tse, in pursuit of a Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance at the University of Iowa. With degrees from the University of Montana (BM, BME) and the University of New Mexico (MM) in education and performance, Charlotte has studied privately with saxophonists Dr. Eric Lau, Dr. Johan Erikson, and Dr. Ashley Kelly. She is a highly accomplished performer both in solo and ensemble settings and was the winner of the 2019 University of New Mexico Concerto Aria Competition. In addition, she was invited twice to perform and teach at the Music from Angel Fire Residency as a part of the Platinum Saxophone Quartet. In 2015 she cofounded the Eudae Duo with percussionist/composer Levi Raleigh Brown, which is dedicated to performing new music for saxophone and percussion. 
 

 

LingXiao Li
LingXiao Li (MA)
China
Lingxiao Li comes from Dalian, China. He is currently a first year master’s student in saxophone performance at the University of Iowa under Dr. Kenneth Tse. He received his bachelor’s degree of saxophone performance from the University of Kansas, where he studied with Prof. Vince Gnojek. During his time at KU, he was the principle saxophonist in KU Wind Ensemble and the soprano saxophonist in KU Saxophone Quartet I. He was selected to perform for the annual KU collage concert as a member of the Saxophone quartet and for the undergraduate honor recital as a saxophone soloist. In the past few years, he won first prize in the IIYM competition and the second prize in GLORY music competition. His goal is to continuing pursuing doctoral degree in saxophone after finishing his master’s degree.

Matt Nicholson
Matt Nicholson (MA)
IA
Matthew Nicholson graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music with teaching certification from the University of Iowa. He is currently a student of Dr. Kenneth Tse in the master's program. He was awarded Third Prize in the Classical Saxophone category in the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition in early 2019. In early 2020, Matt traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to compete in the Classic Winds International Saxophone and Clarinet Competition. Matt is the bass saxophone chair of the Iowa Saxophonists’ Workshop under the direction of Kenneth Tse. Aside from performing, Matt has an active teaching career. He gives saxophone lessons in the Iowa City area and has taught in multiple different school districts in Iowa as a saxophone instructor and director.  

 

 

Eugene Ryoo
Eugene Ryoo (DMA)
WI
Eugene Ryoo is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree at the University of Iowa studying with Dr. Kenneth Tse.  Eugene has earned degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and The University of Texas at Austin, studying with Dr. Robert Young and Dr. Stephen Page respectively. During his time at UNCSA, Eugene was the Saxophone Teaching Assistant, Woodwind Graduate Assistant and the Jazz Ensemble Manager.  While in North Carolina, Eugene maintained an active studio teaching clarinet and saxophone students, and was involved as a member of ArtistCorps Arts Engage. As an active performer, Eugene has performed with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, and Twin City Reed Quintet. He is a winner of 2018 North Carolina MTNA Young Artist Competition, silver medalist of the 2018 Young Texas Artist Competition and 2017 Texas MTNA Young Artist Competition

 

Yo Yo Su
Yo Yo Su (DMA)
Iowa Performance Fellow
Australia
Australian saxophonist Yo-yo Su has been active on the international music scene for the past decade as both a soloist and a chamber musician. Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, CRR Montpellier, CRR Versailles and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and the Netherlands String Quartet Academy, Yo-yo is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Iowa supported by the Iowa Performance Fellow with stipend while serving as the Teaching Assistant to Dr. Kenneth Tse.  Yo-yo has been a laureate of numerous national and international competitions, notably the 3MBS young performer of the year award, finalist of the Australian Young Performers AwardsDutch Classical Talent Award, Boris Papandopulo music competitionand was a semi-finalist of the International Adolphe Sax competition in Dinant, Belgium, the International Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

 

ChengYue Wang
Chengyue Wang (MA)
China
Chengyue Wang, a graduate student at the University of Iowa.  In 2015, he entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a first in his major in saxophone. He studied under a renowned saxophone player and an educator, associate professor Xiaolu Zhang. He excelled in school and won academic scholarships many times. In the university four years of study has accumulated a wealth of professional knowledge and playing experience. He has been invited by renowned conductor Yousheng Lin to perform as a guest performer in the symphonic concerts of the Shanghai Opera House and the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. He and his friends’Saxophone Quartet -- the shadow quartet -- has performed in numerous top orchestral chamber music quartet concerts and in 2017 held their own concert. At the same time, he is also keen on the cause of music education. During 2016-2017, he worked as a volunteer to teach and assist the blind saxophone quartet. In 2019, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he studied under Dr. Kenneth Tse, a world leading classical saxophonist.

 

Gabriel Sanchez
Gabriel Sanchez Porras (DMA)
Costa Rica
Saxophonist Gabriel Sanchez Porras was born and raised in Costa Rica. Currently he is a candidate for a D.M.A. in Saxophone Performance at the University of Iowa, and a Graduate Assistant of the jazz department at the same institution. 
Throughout his career, Gabriel has performed in different stages in Argentina, Brazil, México, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Switzerland and the US. In festivals such as FNA Costa Rica, FIA Costa Rica, Cosquín Rock, Montreux Jazz Festival, North American Saxophone Conference, Sax Fest Costa Rica, ALASAX, Encuentro Universitario Internacional De Saxofón México, Festival de Música de Santa Catarina, and Oficina de Música de Curitiba.
In 2017 he was awarded the third prize of the ALASAX classical saxophone competition, in 2019 he got the 2nd prize at the Concurso Panamericano de Saxofon Clásico Yucatán. Gabriel Sanchez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Saxophone Performance from the State Distance University of Costa Rica, and a Master of Music from Ball State University. His main teachers are Dr. Kenneth Tse, Dr. Nathan Bogert, and M.M. Harold Guillén.

JiChen Zhang
JiChen Zhang (DMA)
China
Jichen Zhang is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at University of Iowa under the guidance of Dr.Kenneth Tse, major in classical saxophone performance. He finished his master’s degree at Truman State University where he was as a member of Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantship. Zhang graduated from Yantai University where he received his bachelor ‘s degree. Zhang is the soprano player and founding member of Paean Saxophone Quartet which received a tremendous success performing in Shandong Provincial Capital Grand Theatre, China. He is also Bastet Saxophone Artist in China and an overseas reporter for SaxChina publication. In 2018, He won the Gold Medal Concerto Competition at Truman State University. In World Animal Day (Oct 4th, 2018), Zhang released his first saxophone album which is dedicated and benefited to stray animal care. On April 6, 2019, he won the first place in the 16th Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition.

 

Ruiqian Zhang
Ruiqian Zhang (MA)
China
Ruiqian Zhang is currently a graduate student at University of Iowa, majoring in saxophone performance with Dr. Kenneth Tse. He also received his BS Music Education degree at Roberts Wesleyan College in 2020 under professor Jiaqi Zhao.  Ruiqian was born in Xi’an of Shaanxi Province in China and began studying piano at age of four. He started learning saxophone at age of 8. During his college year, Ruiqian won 2 nd prize in the Roberts Wesleyan College Concerto-Aria Competition (2018), 3 rd prize in the Dragonfly International Saxophone Festival (2019).  Ruiqian has played in masterclasses for Claude Delangle, Johannes Thorell, Vincent David, Mariano Garcia, Vincent Le Quang, Joonatan Rautiola, Christian Wirth, ChienKwan Lin, Nikita Zimin and Alexandre Doisy.

 

 

IMPENDING GRADUATES

Elissa Kana
Elissa Kana (DMA)
Iowa Performance Fellow
TX
An active saxophonist and music educator, Elissa Kana has performed in festivals and conferences worldwide.  In 2014, Elissa was named second-prize winner of the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition.  A passionate chamber musician, Elissa plays alto in the Colere Quartet, which was recently awarded First Prize in Winds, Brass, and Percussion at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and a Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  
Elissa is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa where she has served as a teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and the musicology area and received the Iowa Performance Fellowship.  Elissa has worked as a coordinator and teaching assistant at the American Saxophone Academy, teaches at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in the summers, and maintains an active private studio in Iowa City. Her principal teachers include Frederick Hemke, John Sampen, Kenneth Tse, and Karen Wylie.

Greg Rife (DMA)
IL

Colin Young (DMA) 
IA