UI quartet wins prestigious competition

UI quartet wins prestigious competition

The Colere Saxophone Quartet, composed of three University of Iowa doctoral of music arts students and a recent UI alumnus, won a gold medal May 10 at the 47th annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Association Competition.

The Colere Quartet is composed of members, from left, John Cummins, Elissa Kana, Greg Rife, and Dennis Kwok.

The Colere Quartet is composed of members, from left, John Cummins, Elissa Kana, Greg Rife, and Dennis Kwok.

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association Competition is the nation’s largest chamber music competition and America’s premier educational chamber music competition. 

Members of the Colere Saxophone Quartet include:

  • John Cummins (DMA, 2018), Grinnell, Iowa
  • Elissa Kana (DMA), Katy, Texas
  • Greg Rife (DMA), Crest Hill, Illinois
  • Dennis Kwok (DMA), Hong Kong  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association transitioned from its traditional live competition to a virtual one, basing decisions on the ensembles’ initial video auditions. 

“This has been a long journey for them in the Fischoff Competition. Even though they won the Plowman Competition last year, they only advanced to the semifinal round at Fischoff that year,” says Kenneth Tse, professor of saxophone. “After months of dedicated practicing and rehearsing, they committed the entire program to memory and were thoroughly prepared to take on the challenge again. We are thankful that despite of COVID-19 pandemic, the Fischoff committee decided to move forward with the competition. I am very excited that they finally received what they deserve, and it is truly a terrific memory for their time here at the University of Iowa.”