UCLA took home the gold May 9 in the Senior Wind Division of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, held at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The Angeles Saxophone Quartet—composed of members Christopher Elchico (soprano saxophone), Ryan Weston (alto saxophone), Umut Dursun (tenor saxophone) and Andrew Barnhart (baritone saxophone)—competed against ensembles from across the nation and around the world to win the Gold Medal in their division. On a personal level the four undergraduate students are not only quartet members, but also fast friends. “In many ways we are like a family,” says member Umut Dursun, “feeling as though we have a unique bond, filled with trust, support, encouragement, and belief in one another.  We not only spend countless hours rehearsing in the music building, but we enjoy each other’s company as friends.” The Fischoff Competition itself, founded in 1973, stands as the largest chamber music competition in the nation and a highly sought-after event for young musicians. In addition to their medal the Angeles quartet will receive a $3000 cash prize as well as a concert tour throughout the next year. Dr. Douglas Masek, UCLA Adjunct Professor of Saxophone, imagines that this achievement will have a profound affect on their experience as undergraduate musicians: “Winning First Place at this prestigious event was an incredible learning experience for them and something they'll remember for the rest of their lives.”

The quartet will be performing an encore concert on May 20th in Jans Popper Recital Hall at 8pm.