Since the group’s founding five years ago, the Arizona Graduate Winds has gained national recognition for its mastery of chamber music, and so it came as a surprise when, in August, the group renamed itself the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet.
The name was changed to honor Fox, a symphony and studio musician, scholar and educator who topped off his impressive musical career by serving as a master teacher at in the UA School of Music, where his visits and residences inspired wind and brass students.
Professor William Dietz, who mentors the group, added that “after a 40-year career in orchestras throughout the United States, Fox has retired to share his teaching insights with emerging artists.”
An anonymous gift has created the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, and the group will play at the Academy Village Tuesday in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.
The quintet has successfully competed in national competitions, including appearances in the final rounds of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition twice (Atlanta and Milwaukee), the Coleman Competition (Pasadena), and performed in the Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival in Mexico. In addition, the ensemble has won the MTNA State Competition twice in the past three years, as well as winning regional competitions in Tucson, Santa Barbara and Hawaii. They regularly perform concerts in Tucson, which have been heard on Arizona Public Media’s classical radio station.
Members of the quintet are chosen by competitive national auditions. All of the musicians are master’s degree students at the UA School of Music. They are mentored by the Arizona Wind Quintet faculty.
The music program at the University of Arizona attracts Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet musicians from all over the country. Diana Schaible, flute, comes from Idaho; Rebecca Dixon, oboe, from Washington; Ashley Knecht, clarinet, from Minnesota; Travis Jones, bassoon, from Tennessee; and Gray Ferris, horn, from Virginia.
Their Tuesday program will include Ferenc Farkas’s “Early Hungarian Dances” from the 17th Century, as well as fellow Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Six Bagatelles.” They will also feature the “Wind Quintet in E-flat Major, Opus 88, No. 2” by Anton Reicha (a Czech contemporary of Beethoven), and American composer Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music,” a cornerstone of the woodwind quintet repertoire.Submitted by Janet Kerans Academy Village Volunteer