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NASA 2020 Biennial Conference Presenter — Elissa Kana

Mark your calendars now to join us Friday-Monday, March 6-9, 2020 for the NASA 2020 Biennial Conference at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
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Saxophone Player
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Name: Elissa Kana
Presentation Date: Monday, March 9, 2020 11:40 AM
Presentation Venue: Organ Hall
Presentation Title: Colere Quartet
Type of Presentation: Student Classical Chamber Music Performance
Proposal Duration: 17

An active saxophonist and music educator, Elissa Kana has performed in festivals and conferences worldwide.  In 2014, Elissa was named second-prize winner of the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition.  A passionate chamber musician, Elissa holds the alto chair of the Colere Quartet, which was recently awarded First Prize in Winds, Brass, and Percussion at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. 


Elissa is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa, where she serves as a teaching assistant for the musicology department; previously, she was the teaching assistant to Dr. Kenneth Tse and was a recipient of the Iowa Performance Fellowship. Elissa has worked as a coordinator and teaching assistant at the American Saxophone Academy, teaches at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in the summers, and maintains an active private studio in the Iowa-City area. Her principal teachers include Frederick L. Hemke, John Sampen, Kenneth Tse, and Karen Wylie.

Ensemble Bio:

Founded in 2017 at the University of Iowa, the Colere Quartet is an Iowa-City based ensemble comprised of saxophonists John Cummins, Elissa Kana, Greg Rife, and Dennis Kwok. Colere presents engaging programs consisting of a wide range of classical as well as contemporary repertoire. Recent performances include recitals at the University of Iowa, Augustana College, and Monmouth College, performances at North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, and appearances at a variety of community engagement concerts. 


Colere has had success at recent chamber music competitions including First Prize in Winds, Brass, and Percussion at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Competition and two consecutive semifinalist performances at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2018 and 2019. 


Colere is a Latin word meaning “to cultivate.”  This name was inspired by Iowa’s expansive farmland and the group’s commitment to cultivating musical life in the Midwest and beyond.

Other Performers / Participants

Name Instrument Bio
John Cummins Soprano Saxophone John Cummins has appeared throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia in a variety of solo and chamber mus . . .
Dennis Kwok Baritone Saxophone Dennis Kwok Tsz Kiu is passionate about drawing audiences deeply into the art of music and has impri . . .
Greg Rife Tenor Saxophone Greg Rife is a saxophonist and music educator currently pursuing a DMA at the University of Iowa whe . . .

Pieces to Be Performed

Title Composer Duration
TBA Alexandros Spyrou 6
Phases of Water Nina Šenk 11