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December, 22, 2023
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM




College Chamber Ensemble


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Walt Puyear

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

Praised by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas for their “nuanced, colorful, and artfully sculpted” interpretations, Aero Quartet is consistently recognized for their versatile and varied performances. Aero’s programming features traditional and contemporary works for saxophones, along with arrangements spanning centuries of musical tradition. The Aero Quartet has appeared on chamber music series including the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Chesapeake Music’s “Rising Stars” Concert Series, Valparaiso Concert Association, and the Dame Myra Hess Concerts broadcast on WFMT Chicago. The quartet will perform on the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs concert series in February 2024. Set to release this Winter, the Aero Quartet is excited to release their debut album. Along with featured artist and jazz saxophonist Arun Luthra, Aero recorded the music of Carlos Simon, Arturo Márquez, Alexander Glazunov, and others on the UK-based label Orchid Classics. They recorded in the historic Prager Auditorium in Easton, MD, recorded and mastered by Abbey Road Studios recording engineer Jonathan Allen. Aero has given masterclasses at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Missouri–Kansas City and the University of Kansas. Aero heavily values educational outreach, having performed for students at many middle schools and high schools across the Midwest and East Coast. Take it from a beginning band student from South Bend, IN, who wrote after an Aero visit: “I personally really like chamber music now, especially if it's played with saxophones!” This past year, the ensemble will reach public school music programs in the Kansas City area, as well as those in Talbot County, MD with support from the Talbot County Arts Council. The Aero Quartet was formed in Ann Arbor, MI in 2021 while students at the University of Michigan. The quartet received the Gold Medal at the 2021 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and along with top prizes at the NOLA Chamber Fest, Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, and Briggs Chamber Music Competitions. Aero completed a residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Boscawen, NH

Aero Quartet

Conductor's Bio

Saxophonist Walt Puyear enjoys a blossoming career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Walt was the 1st prize winner in Vandoren’s 2021 Emerging Artist Competition and was a prize winner in the 2022 Walter Naumburg International Saxophone Competition. His recent engagements include a guest artist recital for the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association and performances with the New World Symphony. As alto saxophonist with the Aero Quartet, Walt received a Gold Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and top prizes at the New Orleans Chamber Music Festival and Music Teachers National Association Competitions. The Aero Quartet recorded its debut album in September 2022, featuring the works of Glazunov, Marquez, Simon, and Calle, set to release in May 2023. In the fall of 2022, Walt served as a sabbatical replacement at the University of Michigan, teaching applied saxophone, chamber music, and studio class. He is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Saxophone Performance and Music Theory from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from the University of Michigan. Walt’s primary teachers include Timothy McAllister, Zach Shemon, and Andrew Bishop.

Additional Directors

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Salvador Flores

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Matthew Koester

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Brian Kachur