TEACHING ASSISTANT

Eugene Ryoo (DMA)
Korea/Wisconsin

UNDERGRADUATES

Jenna Anderson (BM) 
Iowa
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) 
Iowa
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.

 

 

Lucas Wiese Ibarra (BM)
California
Lucas is a saxophonist from sunny San Diego, California. In high school, he participated yearly in the district, southern-section and state bands, and competed in the Houston Underground Saxophone competition. Locally, Lucas served as saxophone section leader for the SoCal 2a champion Centurion Sound marching band and volunteered to teach music at a nearby elementary school. He was also lucky enough to premiere featured solos in the piece ‘Dancing Ink’ by Yi-hsien Chen, written for the University City High School Wind Ensemble. Over the pandemic, he was a participant in the Austin Saxophone Academy and MPULSE music camps. Prior to college, Lucas studied with saxophonist Dan Gelok. When not practicing sax, you can find Lucas pouring excessive amounts of Tajín seasoning on his food, playing table tennis, or listening to Joni Mitchell.

 

 

Lauren Lettington
Lauren Lettington (BM)
Iowa
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.

 

 

Cole Moorhead (BM)
Illinois
Cole Moorhead is from Evanston, Illinois. He is a 2022 graduate of Evanston Township High School and the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory at the Merit School of Music. As a part of the conservatory, he was a member of the Precipice Saxophone Quartet, semifinalists at the Fischoff National Chamber Competition and the M Prize Chamber Competition, and CC3 Saxophone Trio, winners of the Barnett Chamber Competition. As a soloist, Cole was selected to perform a solo at the Evanston Township High School Honors Concert three times, and was selected as a soloist at the Interlochen Arts Camp Saxophone Intensive Week. He has performed works by Ibert, Tomasi, Maurice, Creston and Bozza. He has performed master classes with Dr. Timothy McAllister, Professor Zach Shemon, and Professor Tamir Sullivan. In his spare time, Cole enjoys drawing, painting and spending time with family.

 

 

Luke Wymore (BA)
Iowa

Justin Yem
Justin Yem (BA)
Iowa
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

Henry Cao (MA)
China/Canada
Passionate and innovative, Henry Cao is a saxophonist who always strives to perform with the utmost personality and conviction. Henry originated as a regular high school band student in BC, Canada, and moved on to study saxophone performance with Dr. Julia Nolan at the University of British Columbia. During his undergraduate studies, he quickly earned the reputation of a “soulful soloist,” and a “reliable ensemble member.” He was awarded First Place in his age category at the Canadian Music Competition 2021, and the Bellagrande International Music Competition 2020; he also earned the Honorable Mention award at the UBC Concerto Competition 2022. Henry has a strong belief that the mission of an artist is to manifest any imagination from one’s headspace to the world with minimal distortion and reduction. Achieving such a goal requires impeccable techniques and innovative interpretations to work in conjunction, and Henry has a talent in both.

Chris Hunley (MA)
Texas
Chris is from Argyle, Texas. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Saxophone Performance at The University of Iowa with Dr. Kenneth Tse. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Studies with a teaching certification from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Dr. Stephen Page. Chris has performed with the UT Wind Ensemble and was a finalist in the UT Concerto Competition. A passionate chamber musician, Chris was the alto chair of the Epoch Saxophone Quartet, which was named a semifinalist in the 2022 NASA Quartet Competition and a quarterfinalist in the 2022 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. He was also the soprano chair of the Inan Quartet, which was awarded first prize of the 2020 Coltman Chamber Music Mixed Instrumental Division.

 

 

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 (DMA)
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.

Maria Torres Melgares (DMA)
Iowa Performance Fellow
Spain

Maria Torres-Melgares awarded with more than 20 international prizes in solo and chamber music competitions is a Spanish saxophonist based in the US deeply rooted in her Hispanic heritage, sharing music that connects cultures and nationalities. She has collaborated with the New World Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and European Union Young Woodwind Orchestra. Besides performing, she’s a social media intern at the artist agency Sheldon Artists. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s of Music and two certificates in “Arts Entrepreneurship and Leadership” and “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” after studying her Bachelor’s at the Conservatory of Liceu, in Barcelona, and is currently a DMA candidate at the University of Iowa.

Matt Nicholson
Matt Nicholson (MA) 
Iowa

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)
Korea/Wisconsin
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

 

 

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.

 

 

Yang Zhou (DMA)
China

Yang Zhou, saxophonist, was born in Dali, China in 1996. Yang received his Master of Arts in Saxophone Performance from Truman State University, where he studied with Dr. Xin Gao. Yang graduated from Sichuan conservatory of music in China where he received his bachelor ‘s degree. He was selected as the winner of graduate division of the 2021 MMTA (Missouri Music Teachers Association) Collegiate Woodwind Graduate State Level Competitioin, the runner up of 2020 MMTA, same year he won the Gold Medal Concerto Competition at Truman State University. Yang has been accepted by the University of Iowa School of Music and will join Dr. Kenneth Tse’s saxophone studio in the fall of 2022 to pursue his doctoral degree.

 

 

IMPENDING GRADUATES

Jonathan Hart
Jonathan Hart (DMA)
Oregon

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. 

Greg Rife (DMA)
Illinois

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, CRRVersailles 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 Awards, Dutch 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.