Hartt Grad Students Place 3rd in National Competition

Hartt grad students

Graduate students from The Hartt School won third place in The American Prize Competition, formally known as The American Prize National Nonprofit Competition in the Performing Arts. The students are part of The Hartt Graduate Reed Quintet and include Alaina Chester, oboe; Jung Kyu Song, clarinet; Derek Granger, saxophone; Chad Thomas, bass clarinet; and Morgan Pope, bassoon.  

The quintet was formed in 2022 and is coached by Hartt saxophone Professor Carrie Koffman. Groups compete in different divisions, and Hartt competed in the college/university division.

Koffman shared her enthusiasm, saying, "It was beautiful to be in the room with [the group] and witness your creation, connection, development, and ideas in action!" 

In a short time, the quintet has traversed a wide array of musical styles, performing repertoire from Mozart and Schumann to composers of today such as David Biedenbender. Its members are established soloists with varied international performing experience, leading to an instant musical rapport within the group. Recent performances include an outreach recital in West Hartford and a video recording of Robert Schumann’s Waldszenen, Op. 82, available now on YouTube.  

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts. The American Prize is unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, directors, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings. Now in its 13th year, The American Prize was founded in 2010 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Thousands of artists from all fifty states have derived benefit from their participation in the contests of The American Prize, representing hundreds of communities and arts organizations across the nation.