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NASA 2020 Biennial Conference Presenter — Dylan Ward

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Name: Dylan Ward
Website: https://dylan-ward-saxophone.squarespace.com/
Presentation Date: Monday, March 9, 2020 8:40 AM
Presentation Venue: Nelson Fine Arts Center Plaza
Presentation Title: University of Missouri–Kansas City Saxophone Ensemble
Type of Presentation: Large Saxophone Ensemble Performance
Proposal Duration: 18

Praised by Classical Voice of North Carolina as “brilliant…interacting with keen enthusiasm,” Dylan Ward is a Kansas City based saxophonist who specializes in contemporary music and interdisciplinary collaborations. Ward has appeared as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Georgia Philharmonic, Raleigh Symphony, and Jackson Heights Orchestra, and as a chamber musician in venues such as Lincoln Center, Constellation Chicago, and Mesa Arts Center.

Ward is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where he serves as the graduate teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and studies with Zach Shemon. Additionally, Ward has received degrees from Michigan State University, where he served as a graduate assistant to Joseph Lulloff, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Taimur Sullivan and was a recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Award, the school’s most prestigious honor. 

Ensemble Bio:

The UMKC Saxophone Ensemble is comprised of students of Professor Zach Shemon from all degree levels at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory. The ensemble is entirely student-led and its members have been active in commissioning new works, as well as creating new arrangements for saxophone ensemble. In addition to performing regularly at UMKC and within the wider Kansas City community, the ensemble has presented at regional and national North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, the American Single Reed Summit, and at the 2019 Missouri Music Educators Association Conference.

Other Performers / Participants


Rick Firestone

Soprano Saxophone


Currently a doctoral student at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Rick Firestone is quickly establishing himself as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator of the saxophone.

An active performer, Rick has presented and participated in recitals at the European Saxophone Academy, the International Navy Band Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance, University of Georgia Saxophone Day, and the famed Carnegie Hall, among others.

Outside of performing, Rick has had success in the competition circuit as well, having earned accolades in the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition, (2018), the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (2018, 2016), and the University of Georgia Concerto Competition (2017).

In addition to his doctoral studies, Rick holds degrees in Saxophone Performance from the University of Georgia (MM, 2017) and Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BS, 2015). Rick’s primary teachers include Zachary Shemon, Connie Frigo, and Keith Young.

Kevin Arbogast

Alto Saxophone


Based in Kansas City, Kevin Arbogast is a performing saxophonist and educator. Currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kevin also serves as instructor of saxophone at the University of Central Missouri, a position he received in 2018.

Prior to moving to the Kansas City area, he served in the United States Army for seven years as a member of the 399th Army Band in Missouri, and of the US Army Europe Band and Chorus in Germany. Prior to joining the Army in 2011, he was the saxophone fellow for the Aspen Music Festival and School for three seasons and performed with regional orchestras across the Midwest. A native of Kentucky, Kevin completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Louisville, and master’s degree at Indiana University.

Mariah Goulet

Baritone Saxophone


Originally from Hudson, New Hampshire, Mariah earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of New Hampshire. There she studied with Dr. Nathan Jorgensen and was the winner of the 2016-2017 Concerto/Aria Competition and performed the Dahl Concerto as the featured soloist with the UNH Wind Symphony.

Mariah is currently in the first year of the artist certificate degree in Saxophone Performance program at the University of Missouri- Kansas City under the tutelage of Zachary Shemon.

In addition to being passionate about classical saxophone, Mariah also hopes to be an ambassador for female saxophonists, and to find ways to encourage young girls to pursue this beautiful, versatile instrument. She currently serves as a mentor as a part of NASA’s Committee on the Status of Women Mentor program that started in 2019.

John Wardlaw

Bass Saxophone

Bio: John Wardlaw is a second year master’s student at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, studying saxophone with Professor Zach Shemon. John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Saxophone Performance from Baylor University where he studied with Dr. Michael Jacobson, Ricardo Chaves, and Jessica Voigt-Page. Other primary teachers include Dan Gelok of the University of Houston and David Hardin. Additional studies include work with Dr. Eric Wilson, Dr. Nathan Nabb, Dr. Stephen Page, Dr. Nathan Mertens, and Joey Resendez. Some of John’s recent achievements include a finalist appearance in the 2017 edition of Baylor University’s Concerto Competition, an awarding of 1st alternate for the Texas MTNA Chamber Music competition with the Parallax Quartet, commissions from composers Patrick W. Lenz and Benjamin C. Hudson, and a self-organized tour of the state of Texas with the Paradosis Quartet. Aside from playing the saxophone, John also enjoys long-distance running and cooking.

Jared Cummings

Tenor Saxophone


Jared Cummings is a first-year Master’s student studying under the tutelage of Professor Zachary Shemon. Originally from New York, Jared started playing the saxophone at the age of 9 and continued when his family moved to Georgia. It was there that he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music and majored in Music Education at Columbus State University.

As an educator, Jared has presented clinics and performances at several schools in Georgia. As a performer, Jared has most recently performed Marc Mellits’s Tachycardia with Dr. Joseph Girard at the 2019 Schwob Music Festival, as well as performed on masterclasses by Chien-Kwan Lin and Robert Young. Jared was also a participant of the 2016 European University of Saxophone in Gap, France, where he studied with Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, and Vincent David.

Jared’s primary teachers and mentors include Joseph Girard, Jamie Nix, Amy Griffiths, Sam Skelton and Travis Tingle.

Jared Marble

Soprano Saxophone


Jared Marble is currently a senior working toward degrees in saxophone performance and music education. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where his teachers included Ron Jones, Don Fabian, Mark Alewine and Roy Allen. He was a member of the Southpaw Saxophone Quartet which has placed in many competitions across the country, including two top three placements at NASA competitions, advancing to the national level for the MTNA Chamber Competition, playing in the quarter final round in the Fischoff Chamber Competition among many others. As a soloist, Jared placed in the semi-final round of the 2018 NASA solo competition.

Jared’s goal is to teach at the collegiate level, whether it be in wind band conducting or as a saxophone professor.

Chase Shumsky

Baritone Saxophone


Chase Shumsky is a currently a music major at University of Missouri Kansas City pursuing a dual major in both saxophone performance and music education. As a chamber musician, Chase has regularly performed with the Southpaw saxophone quartet which has participated in the Fischoff National Chamber competition, were national finalists in the MTNA chamber music competition, and received multiple awards in the North American Saxophone Alliance quartet competitions. Southpaw has also performed in numerous masterclasses led by members of the PRISM saxophone quartet, Joel Diegert, and Michael Stern. As a soloist, Chase has been a finalist in the Chancellor’s Concerto Competition at UMKC and has performed with the UMKC Wind Symphony as the baritone saxophonist in Michael Colgrass’ Urban Requiem.

After receiving both a music performance and education degree from UMKC, Chase looks to be vigorously involved in the public education system and share his passion for music with his students.

Abbie Forlina

Alto Saxophone

Bio: Abigail Forlina, originally from Aurora, Colorado, is currently a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance, with a minor in Psychology. She attended Denver School of the Arts, where she studied with Luis Zuñiga and Grant Larson. She has performed in master classes with Geoffrey Deibel, Joel Diegert, and Steven Banks. She is currently a student of Zach Shemon.

Caleb Allen

Alto Saxophone

Bio: Caleb Allen is currently a junior at UMKC pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance. Originally from West Virginia, Caleb began playing saxophone in the seventh grade while taking saxophone lessons from his grandfather, Rick Allen. He began participating in honor bands, the WV Solo and Ensemble, and the WV All-State Band. He attended and graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy starting in his junior year of high school. During his junior year, he performed with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial celebration at Lincoln Center. Throughout the years, Caleb has had the opportunity to study or play in masterclasses with many talented teachers including Taimur Sullivan, Timothy McAllister, Zach Shemon, Matthew Schlomer, Bill Sears, Michael Ibrahim, Steven Jordheim, Paul Cohen, Joseph Lulloff and Chien-Kwan Lin.

Colton James

Tenor Saxophone

Colton James is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelors degree in Saxophone Performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. From just north of KC, Colton is and has been an active member in the arts community. While in high school, he was a member of the 2017 Missouri All State Band, and the 2016 All State Honorable Mention Band. He was also a member of his District band all four years of high school, three State Solo and Ensemble superior ratings with both solos and small ensembles. Colton was appointed drum major his Junior and Senior year and was a heavily active performer in his school’s color and winter guard. He is one of the Tenor Saxophonists in the UMKC Wind Ensemble and the Soprnano Saxophonist in the Shuttlecock Quartet.

Jared Gutzmer

Alto Saxophone

Bio: Jared Gutzmer is from St. Joseph, Missouri, and is currently a sophomore at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory pursuing a degree in saxophone performance. Jared is a graduate of St. Joseph Central High School, and has performed in ensembles under the direction of Roy Maxwell, Joel Fischer, Chad Lippincott, and Lynnea Wootten. Jared recently attended Interlochen Arts Camp where he studied with Timothy McAllister, Eddie Goodman, and Zachary Shemon. Jared was premiered with the Kansas City Symphony in 2018 when he was awarded second place in the Kansas City Symphony Young Arts Competition. In addition to studying privately with Zachary Shemon before becoming a student at UMKC, he has also studied with Bob Long. Jared dedicates all of his musical endeavors to his friend and mentor, Steve Hall.

Cooper Smith

Alto Saxophone


Cooper Smith is currently a freshman pursuing a bachelors degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance. While in high school, Cooper was selected to play in the Missouri All State Band three times. During his junior year, Cooper won the North Winds Symphonic Band Solo Competition and performed with the ensemble in the same year. Cooper won the KCMTA concerto competition his senior year and performed with the Heritiage Philharmonic.

Cooper has also performed as a soloist at the Interlochen Saxophone Institute, as well as the Indiana University Saxophone Academy. He has studied with Professor Zach Shemon since this sophomore year of high school, and has had the opportunity to study and play in masterclasses with artists such as Timothy McAllister, Otis Murphy, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy, and Jonathan Yanik. Cooper hopes to eventually become a band director and conductor at the collegiate level.

Noah Stoker

Baritone Saxophone

Bio: Noah Stoker is from Columbia, Missouri, and is currently a freshman at UMKC majoring in saxophone performance with Professor Zach Shemon, as well as music education . During high school, Noah was a member of the 2019 Missouri All-State band, as well as alternate in 2017 and 2018. Noah was a two year member of the University of Missouri saxophone studio, under the direction of Leo Saguiguit, where he performed as a member of the Mizzou Saxophone Ensemble at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance conference. He attended the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop and the Indiana University Saxophone Academy in the summer of 2018, and the Interlochen Saxophone Institute and Wind Symphony camps in the summer of 2019. During these camps, Noah performed in masterclasses and took lessons with professors around the nation such as Michael Shults, Heidi Radtke, Otis Murphy, and Timothy McAllister.

Chase Wolters

Alto Saxophone


Chase Wolters is originally from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory. He graduated from Broken Arrow High School where he performed in ensembles under the direction of Darrin Davis, James Morrison, and Adam Wienken. In high school Chase participated in local all district and all state bands, as well as solo and ensemble competitions, earning superior ratings. He was involved in The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band and earned numerous state, super regional, and national championships as well as marching in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. Prior to joining the saxophone studio, Chase studied under Dr. Kelli Pence.

Chase is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Saxophone Performance, and hopes to perform and teach saxophone in the future.

Pieces to Be Performed

Title Composer Duration
Antiphonal Fanfare for the Great Hall John Zorn 4
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 Ludwig van Beethoven 10
Funhouse Frazzle Kristofer Maddigan 4