Meet the Team

Calvin Wong

Where did you graduate high school/college?

University of Iowa (2014), Indiana University (2016),

The University of Texas at Austin (2018)

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

17 Years!

How many years have you taught at YSI?

2

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

- I met three other incredible saxophonists during grad school at UT and formed the quartet MODUS. The best part is that we have become best friends!

- I am also the winner of the concerto competition at UT, which allowed me to play the Tomasi Concerto with the UTSO.

Why do you love YSI?

Students always ask interesting questions that has inspired and motivated me! Also, throughout the last couple of years, I have seen huge improvements from the students, which is the biggest joy for me as a teacher

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

- I use to play badminton and draw a lot. Outside of music, I like architecture and physics stuff. That's how I got interested in the acoustics and mechanics of the instrument.

- I am right-handed, except when I eat with my chopsticks.

Final thoughts?

Stop whining; start working.

Chris Padilla

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated from North Texas in 2015 and will have just finished my masters in saxophone at The University of Texas in Austin in May! \m/

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have only played saxophone for fourteen years now! 

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This is my first year and I can't be more excited! :)

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

I have been recognized in the William C. Byrd Competition, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Competition, the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, and the Hellam Young Artist’ Competition.  

Last summer I went to what is essentially the "Older Saxophonist's Institute" - The  European University of Saxophone in Gap, France. I got to meet and take lessons with many of my oldest saxophone heroes - Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, and Vincent David - and made many new saxophone heroes. The best part (aside from the mountains and the cheese) was getting to make new saxophone friends that were from all over the world!

Why do you love YSI?

I love YSI for the people! I've made so many Saxophone Teacher friends since starting music school and it wasn't until just recently that I realized a lot of them taught at this camp! All of the teaching artists are expert performers, master teachers, and wonderful human beings.

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I hike, bike, and like to read! In 2017 I challenged myself to read 24 books by 2019. With several months to go, I've since read 27! My favorites so far have been Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, The Abundance by Annie Dillard, and rereading all of the Harry Potter books. 

 

Final thoughts?

Saxophone is the best, and so are you for playing it!

José Barrientos

Where did you graduate high school/college?

Jacksonville High School Class of 2010 in Jacksonville, TX

Stephen F. Austin State University Class of 2014 in Nacogdoches, TX

The University of Iowa Class of 2017 in Iowa City, IA

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

14 Years!

How many years have you taught at YSI?

1

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Outstanding Soloist Award at State Solo & Ensemble competition

Why do you love YSI?

I love YSI because not only is the staff great, but being able to inspire students is such a rewarding and memorable experience for both the staff and students.

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

- Running, Reading, Traveling

- I have a German Shepard named Nuke and he’s awesome!

 

Final thoughts?

Join YSI!! You will not regret it!

www.jose-barrientos.com

Jonathan Kierspe

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated high school from the Governor's School of the Arts and Humanities, a residential arts high school in South Carolina. I completed my undergraduate at the University of South Carolina

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have been playing the saxophone since sixth grade, so for about 12 years. 

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my first time!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

First place in the Solo division of the South Carolina MTNA competition.

I have been featured on the radio (WDAV and NPR) on multiple occasions.

Guest principal saxophonist with the Augusta Symphony and Limestone College Wind Symphony

Why do you love YSI?

It seems like a great opportunity for young saxophonists to get quality coaching from some excellent staff!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I enjoy playing some video games, hiking, and travelling!

I was born in Hong Kong and spent the first 17 years of my life growing up in China! I am also half Cuban from my mothers side. 

Mike Korson

Where did you graduate high school/college?

Plano East Senior High School - 2008;

TCU - Bachelors Degree in 2012 

Masters Degree in 2014

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

17 years...time flies when you're having fun!

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my first year! I'm stoked!!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

I've performed as a soloist with my college orchestra twice as their concerto competition winner. I have also had the opportunity to perform in many different venues within the United States, Cuba, and Argentina. My biggest accomplishment would have to be forming the annual McKinney Saxophone Choir, in which I serve as the artistic director and music arranger. 

Why do you love YSI?

I was drawn to this program because I mainly love that the organization is giving students the opportunity to perform in more chamber ensembles. This is something that needs to happen more in our school band programs!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

When I am not playing saxophone, I enjoy arranging music and spending time with my pug, Chewy. When I'm not in my office writing, you can usually find me at the CrossFit box.

I can recite/sing almost every word in the Hamilton soundtrack!

Jenny Rios

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated high school in 2014 and will graduate from Texas Tech in December of 2018.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have been playing saxophone for 11 years.

How many years have you taught at YSI?

I have taught at YSI for one year.

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

1 at state solo and ensemble, “Best soprano sound,” comment from MTNA judge in 2017.

Why do you love YSI?

I love YSI because it is all about saxophone! It is a great opportunity to learn about the saxophone and become a better player with an exceptional staff!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I love to swim, read, and play my ukulele. I was a ballroom dancer for 6 years when I was younger. I am weirdly good at throwing a Frisbee. I grew up on a farm so I know a lot about farm animals.

Final thoughts?

I am so excited to be here for a second summer and I am looking forward to hearing all of the great players!

Dr. James Barger

Where did you graduate high school/college?

Hebron High School - 2006

West Texas A&M University (BM) - 2010

 West Texas A&M University (MM) - 2012

Texas Tech University (DMA) - 2016

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

19 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

4 years

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Winner of Fischoff Gold Medal in the Wind Division with Mirasol Quartet

Concerto soloist at TMEA conference

Teaching at Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy this summer

D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist and Clinician

Selmer Performing Artist and Clinician

Why do you love YSI?

YSI gives an opportunity for all ages of saxophone students to immerse in saxophone playing, learn a ton in a short amount of time, and meet and hang out with other like-minded young saxophonists!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I enjoy reading, cooking, cheering for the Texas Rangers, and spending time with my fiancée, Brianne, and dog, Cashew.

Patrick Feher

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated from high school in 2013 from Central Bucks High School East in Bucks County, PA and completed my undergraduate degree in Music Education at Penn State University in 2017.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have been playing the saxophone for about 14 years now!

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This is my first year being involved with YSI.

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Penn State Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto Soloist 

MTNA Young Artist Solo First Alternate (State)

2018 NASA Quartet Competition Semi-Finalist

Teaching Assistant at Arizona State University

Why do you love YSI?

This is my first summer with YSI, but I have heard nothing but great things about the students and staff, and I am thrilled to be coming on board to share my love of saxophone with like-minded musicians!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

In addition to saxophone, I also enjoy hiking, playing soccer, and watching movies of all kinds

In the past year, I have seen Joel Frahm, Ben Wendel, and Chris Potter play in concert (three of the greatest jazz saxophonists alive)!

Final thoughts?

I am excited to have a great week of music making with everybody at YSI!

Matthew Stookey

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated from Southwest High School in Fort Worth in 2009. I went to receive a Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado in 2013 and a Master of Music Performance from Ithaca College in 2016. In the fall I will begin work on a DMA at the University of North Texas.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have played the saxophone for 17 years and I played piano for 4 years before that. 

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my first year at YSI!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

I have had the privilege of studying with some of the best saxophonists in the country and attend summer camps/master classes with some of the top saxophonists in the world. Currently I serve as alto saxophonist with the Lone Star Wind Ensemble in addition to maintain a private studio of around 60 students.

Why do you love YSI?

This is my first year with YSI so I am looking forward to finding many reasons to love YSI.

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I am a huge sports fan and enjoy attending Rangers and Stars games. I also love to travel.

Alexander Richards

Where did you graduate high school/college?

High School: Henry Wise Wood HS: Calgary, AB Canada 2006.  

College: University of Victoria: Victoria, BC Canada 2011. 

Master's: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN 2013

Currently completing a DMA at UNT in Denton, TX.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

20 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This is my first year! I'm very excited to join the faculty, and am looking forward to a week of saxophone-ing!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

I had the opportunity of commission and premiere a double concerto for saxophone and flute in 2015!  It was a great experience working with a young composer, a flautist, and a full string orchestra!  I've also been a soloist with the University of Victoria Wind Ensemble, the University of Minnesota Wind Symphony, and a string orchestra at UNT. 

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I've been working a lot on my dissertation lately, which leaves little time for hobbies.  But in my breaks I enjoy playing with my dog, watching some tv with my cat, and going out to movies and new restaurants.

Ryan Yett

Where did you graduate high school/college?

MM Saxophone Performance - University of Texas at Austin (2017)

BM Music Education - West Texas A&M University (2014)

High School - Randall High, Amarillo TX (2010)

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

15 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my second year at YSI!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

My most memorable accomplishment is performing the Larsson Concerto with the

WT orchestra.

 

Why do you love YSI?

I really love that YSI students achieve so much musical growth throughout the week,

and that they have a blast while doing it! Also, I really enjoy working with such a talented staff!

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I enjoy reading, weightlifting, and playing soccer. 

I'm a massive Dallas Cowboys fan, and I can quote almost

every episode of Seinfeld.

Final Thoughts?

Excellence is never an accident.

Dr. Marcos Colón

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. My high school's name was Colegio Bautista de Caguas. I also went to college in Puerto Rico as to obtain my Bachelors degree in saxophone performance. After graduating, I went to Grad school in the US mainland and finished my Masters degree at the University of New Mexico and Doctorate degree at Louisiana State University.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

22 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my first year!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Obtaining my Doctoral degree (DMA) in saxophone performance, forming my quartet (Iridium Quartet), recording two CDs and commissioning one work for saxophone quartet by David Maslanka. 

 

Why do you love YSI?

It is a great opportunity to share knowledge with younger people and help inspire them to become great musicians and saxophone players 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I love Cooking, especially Puerto Rican food. It keeps me in touch with the culture I grew up with. I also enjoy video games! I am happily married with my awesome wife, Jeanny, who is also a musician and elementary music teacher in Fort Bend ISD. I also have two dogs and two cats. 

Final Thoughts?

Looking forward to meet everyone at the camp. Let's have some fun!

Chris Valero

Where did you graduate high school/college?

I graduated from Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock Texas in 2013 and the University of Houston this spring.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

Since the 6th grade! (12 years total)

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my 3rd year teaching for YSI.

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

I was a member of 2012 Texas all-state band and principle saxophonist in the Moores school of music wind ensemble and jazz orchestra. 

 

Why do you love YSI?

 I love YSI because it provides me with the opportunity to work the most talented saxophonist and staff that the state has to offer!

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

I love playing golf and was on the varsity golf team in high school. I also play the clarinet guitar and piano!

Any other fun or interesting facts about you? 

I play in two different gospel church services every weekend and also play in a cumbia band and a funk band!

Nick Madden

Where did you graduate college?

I graduated from the University of Houston in 2013 with Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. The following year I attended the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and earned a performance certificate.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I have been playing the saxophone for 17 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This is my first year teaching at YSI and I am very excited to be apart of the camp this year!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

One of my favorite accomplishments as a saxophonist was being accepted to the University of Massachusetts - Amherst to study with Lynn Klock. 

 

Why do you love YSI?

I’m excited to join YSI this year and look forward to couching quartets and sharing in a saxophone community. 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

Besides music, I love to shoot archery and enjoy studying history. 

Any other fun or interesting facts about you?

I have a wonderful 10 month old daughter who keeps me very busy.

Kevin Tang

Where did you graduate from high school/college?

I graduated from Cy-Fair High School in 2010, and I graduated with a degree in Music Education from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music in 2015.

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I've been playing the saxophone for about 15 years.

How many years have you taught at YSI?

I will have taught at YSI for three years after this summer.

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

My college quartet, Ikiryo Saxophone Quartet, received the 1st place prize at the 2014 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. 

 

Why do you love YSI?

I love YSI because it's a fantastic opportunity for students to meet and play with other saxophone students and teachers! Not only do we get to play and learn a lot of music, we get to have a lot of fun too!

What are some other interests/hobbies you have?

I really enjoy producing music through the mixing and mastering of real and virtual instruments inside of a computer which I hope to do in a professional studio someday. I also play a lot of pool and video games in my free time.

Any other fun or interesting facts about you?

I can solve a Rubik's cube in less than 2 minutes!


Final thoughts?
Let's make this summer's YSI camp the best one yet!

Justin Jones

Where did you graduate high school/college?

Katy High School class of 2007

Sam Houston State University class of 2012 Bachelor of Music in Music EC-12 

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

I've played for 17 years now!

How many years have you taught at YSI?

This will be my 2nd year and I'm very excited to be back!

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Being able to pursue both jazz and classical studies in college was very exciting. I play more classically nowadays and play in a quartet along with a local community band.

Why do you love YSI?

YSI has a great pulse on the music and saxophone world and the instructors I teach alongside with are top notch. Everyone has a love for the saxophone here which is refreshing!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

Playing video games, transcribing cool songs, and playing chess!

Final thoughts?

 It's good to have fun, but it's more fun to be good.

Damian Cheek

Where did you graduate high school/college?

Tennessee Tech University B.M.E '14

Oklahoma State University M.M. '16 

Currently a D.M.A. student at University of Oklahoma

How long have you been playing the saxophone?

15 years

How many years have you taught at YSI?

 Going into my second year.

What are some of your biggest musical accomplishments?

Winner of the National MTNA Chamber competition, NASA Quartet Competition, and Naftzger Young Artist Competition

Why do you love YSI?

 YSI is a great opportunity for saxophonists to perform chamber and solo music and create friendships with other students they otherwise wouldn't interact with. I love seeing how these students are able to work together to perform beautiful, challenging music!

 

What are some other interesting facts/hobbies you have?

Hiking, swimming, cooking, video games

© 2016 by The Young Saxophonist's Institute.

Houston, Dallas, & Forth Worth, Texas