Saxophone Alumni Finding Career Success

saxophoneGraduates of the Mary Pappert School of Music can be found all over the world in various areas of the music and arts industries. Recently, several saxophone alumni have exemplified this by landing notable positions as teachers and performers around the globe, ranging from West Virginia to Chengdu. These alumni include (among others) Yi Lian, Warrant Officer Jeremiah Bennett, Dr. Xin Gao, Devin Di Mauro, and Josh Bryant.

Yi Lian (M.M. Performance, 2013) is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu. In addition to a full studio at the Conservatory, he has taken on other teaching responsibilities in the city of Chengdu, and he is involved in frequent performances. He has recently organized a violin, saxophone, and piano trio at the Conservatory.

Warrant Officer Jeremiah Bennett (M.M. Performance, 2009) has been appointed Commander of the 249th Army Band of the West Virginia National Guard. He has been a member of the band throughout his college education and thereafter. Prior to accepting this appointment, he was Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Fairmont State University in West Virginia.

Dr. Xin Gao (M.M. Performance, 2008) is newly appointed Assistant Professor of Saxophone in the Music Department of Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Dr. Gao is native of Chengdu, China, coming to the United States to study with James Houlik, where he eventually earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in performance at Duquesne. He continued his study at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, where he earned a DMA in Performance. Gao is the winner of many performance competitions, and while at Duquesne, he was a member of a student quartet which won of the prestigious Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, California.

Devin Di Mauro (B.M. Performance, 2011) "customized" his undergraduate study to focus on becoming a multi-reed instrumentalist. He can be found these days in the pit of the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City where he is currently playing in the orchestra for the Christmas Spectacular.

Josh Bryant has quickly become a leading force on behalf of the saxophone in the San Antonio area. In two short years of teaching, his studio has garnered national attention with students placing in the Texas All-State Band, and with the Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet becoming the first public school ensemble to be invited to the live rounds of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition two years in a row. In addition to his work in the North East Independent School District of San Antonio, he recently has been appointed adjunct professor of saxophone at Trinity University.

James Houlik, Professor of Saxophone and Chair of Woodwinds, has worked directly with all of the above students. On these students' successes, he offers, "We have a long tradition of educating stellar musicians here at Duquesne - musicians that pervade the industry from continent to continent, from Broadway to Hollywood, and everywhere in between. I am extremely proud of the students in whose development I have have had the privilege of participating. In particular, these diverse and successful career paths have been fostered by the School of Music's extraordinary efforts to provide education, experience, and perspectives that support the professional goals of our students."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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