DR. XIN GAO currently serves as saxophone instructor at The Music Academy of North Carolina and Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at East Tennessee State University. Prior to this, he taught at Furman University, Georgia State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Gao hails from Chengdu City, China, where he began his musical studies on clarinet at the age of eight. Gao has enjoyed a successful career as a chamber musician and soloist, and his accomplishments include national and international recognition at major world competitions, including first place at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition in 2011, finalist at the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) in 2014, and twice semi-finalist at the International Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition in 2008 and 2014. With the chamber group QuadrAtomic Saxophone quartet, he reached the finals of both the Fischoff and Coleman competitions, and the group was awarded the Coleman-Saunderson Prize. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals across the U.S. as well as Asia. He has toured China as a performer and also given performances and master classes at universities throughout the southeastern U.S. He has performed concertos with the UNCG orchestra, the UTK orchestra, UIC Wind Ensemble and the Duquesne orchestra in the U.S. and the Sichuan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in China. He also frequently performs lecture recitals at national and international conferences, such as the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) and the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. As a chamber musician, his experience with the Sirocco Reed Quintet, New Century Saxophone Quartet, QuadATOMIC Saxophone Quartet, and Road of Creativity (ROC) ensemble have all played major roles in forming his musical identity. Furthermore, Gao is passionate about new music and has commissioned new pieces from world-renowned composers such as Sherwood Shaffer, Marc Mellits, David Maslanka and Leilei Tian, and he has collaborated directly with young composers such as Wei Dai in his efforts to bring Chinese music to a wider audience. His research involves creating the first annotated bibliography dedicated to Chinese saxophone music. Gao studied with Steve Stusek, Connie Frigo, James Houlik, Kelly Burke, Anthony Taylor, Zhenglong Xiao and Yusheng Li. You are welcome to visit his website: www.xingaosax.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
JUSTIN MCCONCHIE is a percussionist and educator based in Greensboro, NC. He is currently the Marching Percussion Instructor at Eastern Randolph High School, and previously served as Percussion Instructor at David Crockett High School and W. Charles Akins High School in Austin, TX, and Matoaca High School in Chesterfield, VA. He has also served as an adjudicator, clinician, and arranger for schools across the country.
As a performer, Justin has been a featured soloist with both the VCU Percussion Ensemble and the VCU Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, North Carolina Brass Band, Magnolia Baroque Ensemble, and tuba virtuoso Øystein Baadsvik.
Justin received the Bachelor of Music degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA where he studied with Dr. Peter Martin, and the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Dr. Thomas Burritt and Tony Edwards. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society. For more information, visit justinmcconchie.comor you can reach Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIANE REYES, originally from central California, received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in the spring of 2013. Ms. Reyes was an active member of the Jacksonville community performing with UNF’s top ensembles, as well as several local ensembles. She has given recitals at the University of North Florida and Mayo Clinic’s Proton Center. Ms. Reyes was also a performing artist with Body & Soul: The Art of Healing, a Jacksonville based arts organization seeking to support local healthcare facilities, their patients and families, through music. A strong supporter of music education, Ms. Reyes has worked diligently with local Title 1 schools, UNF’s Music Mentors program, the Davis Performing Arts Center, and the Bridge of Northeast Florida to provide music instruction and mentorship for Jacksonville’s at risk youth. Her private students have performed in local honor bands and have received superior ratings as soloists. Currently, Ms. Reyes is pursuing graduate studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She can be reached at email@example.com.
ABIGAIL SIMONEAU, a New Hampshire native, is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This fall, she became part of the adjunct music faculty at Alamance Community College in Graham, North Carolina. Ms. Simoneau earned her Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire. Her teachers include Linda True, Peggy Vagts, Douglas Worthen, Carla Copeland-Burns, and Erika Boysen. Ms. Simoneau has performed with numerous ensembles throughout her college career, and has played with the Southern Illinois Music Festival for four seasons.