The clarinet studio of Baylor University performed well in 2015, with students competing at the national and international level.
Jake Hale, a senior from Fort Worth, won the Grand Prize of the 2015 International Clarinet Association Orchestral Excerpts Competition in Madrid. He was one of the six finalists (and the only American) to advance into the solo competition division. Hale recently won the principal clarinet position with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra in Louisiana.
Also at the Madrid competition--recognized as one of the most important clarinet competitions in the world--graduate student Iván Hernández from Matamoros, Mexico, was a semifinalist for both divisions.
In addition, two students won prizes at the Clarinet Colloquium in Dallas, the largest clarinet conference in the nation. Taylor Gonzales, a San Antonio freshman, won third prize in the Young Artist Clarinet Competition, and Ben Quarles, a Richardson, Texas, freshman, won second prize in the Young Artist Bass Clarinet Competition. Julie Yu, a freshman from Houston, also competed well, which meant three of the eight finalists in the Young Artist categories were from Baylor.
Dr. Jun Qian, BM '99, who leads Baylor University's clarinet studio, is the only person to win prizes in both the International Clarinet Association's Orchestral Solo Competition and the Young Artist Competition in the same year. He has earned advanced degrees at the Eastman School of Music, served as the principal clarinetist of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in China, and taught at six colleges, including St. Olaf College and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.