Saxophone student awarded in an international competition

Posted on February 19, 2021 by Zi Wang

We are excited to share that saxophone student, Brayden Wang, received third place at the 2020 Metropolitan Music Festival, the Solo Brass/Woodwinds category.

“Brayden has flourished into a very confident and charismatic performer with a wonderful lyrical tone,” said Academy Instructor Ariel Williams, Brayden’s private lessons teacher. “His musical interpretations are compelling and show how hard he has worked to develop his craft as a performer.”

The competition attracts hundreds of young musicians around the world annually. Brayden said he had a rewarding experience performing and receiving feedback from nationally and internationally known artists.

“It was not as stressful as performing in front of the audience,” said Brayden. “It’s different from performing in-person. Because I was recording in my home, I felt less nervous.”

A young musician who actively participates in district band auditions and solo and ensemble competitions, Brayden said that these performing opportunities allow him to reflect on his progress and weaknesses and provide him a direction of what to improve upon for future performances.

Ms. Williams praised Brayden’s passion and commitment to playing the saxophone. “Coaching a student through a competition experience is challenging at the best of times. Competitions require a high level of focus and preparation and the ability to execute a great performance under intense pressure. Brayden’s competition placement was well-deserved and served as a great motivator for his studies this year.”

Earning a competition placement was not an easy task, and Brayden contributed his success to Ms. Williams’ coaching and two months of consistent practices.

Ms. Williams commented that preparing competitions during COVID added extra difficulties on the students, and they are overcoming obstacles in distance-learning with a positive attitude. “I have been amazed with the resilience and perseverance of my students during this time of virtual lessons,” said Ms. Williams. “They have shown a dedication to their craft even through the adversity we have all faced this year.”