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Alex Upton
Alex Upton, class of 2023

Alex Upton, class of 2023, was winner of North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) competition in March 2022. This competition is held biannually and Upton competed against students of the undergraduate and graduate level from across the country.

“This is very exciting news for our department and for UNC Jazz Studies, as it is a major competition comprising students from across the most renowned university programs in the field across North America,” noted Professor Stephen Anderson. 

Upton is a student of Assistant Professor Rahsaan Barber.

Isabelle Kosempa, class of 2024, won first place in June 2022 at the national auditions for the National Association of the Teachers of Singing. 

“It makes me proud of how far I’ve come vocally. It really showed me that my hard work is paying off and it has inspired me to continue working toward a music career,” Kosempa noted. She has been competing in NATS competitions since high school and attended nationals as a senior, although due to the pandemic the competition was solely online. This was her first time attending nationals in person.

Kosempa also attended the prestigious Songfest art song summer program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music this summer. She is a student of Dr. Jeanne Fischer.

Isabelle Kosempa holds her certificate, smiling.
Isabelle Kosempa, class of 2024, with her first-place certificate.

Matthew Svec, class of 2023, was a co-winner for first prize in the Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Concerto Competition with the North Carolina Symphony in May 2022. He won a cash prize and will get to play the Francaix Clarinet Concerto with the symphony in 2023. Matthew was also selected by Ricardo Moralis, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a master class on Zoom, and played Elliot Carter’s Gra.

Svec is a student of Professor Donald L. Oehler.

The UNC Symphony Orchestra’s Annual Concerto Competition Winners this year were pianist David Green, class of 2022, violinist Hannah Lee, class of 2023, and mezzo-soprano Mackenzie Smith, class of 2022. All three students performed in concert with the UNC Symphony Orchestra in Moeser Auditorium, Hill Hall on November 18, 2021. The concert featured repertoire by Aleksandr Borodin, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, G.F. Handel, Gioacchino Rossini, Louise Farrenc, and Robert Schumann.