The Studio




Praised by Classical Voice of North Carolina as “brilliant…interacting with keen enthusiasm,” Dylan Ward is a Kansas City based saxophonist who specializes in contemporary music and interdisciplinary collaborations. Ward has appeared as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Georgia Philharmonic, Raleigh Symphony, and Jackson Heights Orchestra, and as a chamber musician in venues such as Lincoln Center, Constellation Chicago, Mesa Arts Center, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Ward is a recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education, an organization dedicated to developing skills of imagination, creativity, and innovation through education and the arts. He has presented masterclasses and clinics in public schools and universities throughout Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. Ward has been honored as an Artist Fellow at the 2017 inaugural Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, and the 2018 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA.

Ward is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where he serves as the graduate teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and studies with Zach Shemon. Additionally, Ward has received degrees from Michigan State University where he served as a graduate assistant to Joseph Lulloff, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Taimur Sullivan and was a recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Award, the school’s most prestigious honor.


Based in Kansas City, Kevin Arbogast is a performing saxophonist and educator. Currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kevin also serves as instructor of saxophone at the University of Central Missouri, a position he received in 2018.

Prior to moving to the Kansas City area, he served in the United States Army for seven years as a member of the 399th Army Band in Missouri, and of the US Army Europe Band and Chorus in Germany. Prior to joining the Army in 2011, he was the saxophone fellow for the Aspen Music Festival and School for three seasons and performed with regional orchestras across the Midwest. A native of Kentucky, Kevin completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Louisville, and master’s degree at Indiana University.

Kevin is an avid saxophone historian and collector, performing and lecturing on historical saxophones of many eras. His most unique honor was a performance in collaboration with the US Library of Congress in which he was featured performing on Gerry Mulligan’s baritone saxophone.


Currently a doctoral student at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Rick Firestone is quickly establishing himself as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator of the saxophone. He currently serves as the saxophone instructor for the UMKC Musical Bridges program and is a saxophone/clarinet instructor at REW Music in Lenexa and Olathe, KS.

An active performer, Rick has presented and participated in recitals at the European Saxophone Academy, the International Navy Band Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance, University of Georgia Saxophone Day, and the famed Carnegie Hall, among others. He made his debut performance as a guest artist with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in 2015 with Jacques Ibert’s famous Concertino da Camera, as part of the JSO’s “Current and Future Masters” program. In addition to classical saxophone, Rick is also comfortable in the jazz and musical theater idioms, having served as resident saxophonist/clarinetist with the Ohio Light Opera (2017; 2013; 2012), resident saxophonist/clarinetist with the St. Vincent Summer Theatre (2015), and saxophonist in the Hersheypark Strolling Brass Band (2014).

Outside of performing, Rick has had success in the competition circuit as well, having earned accolades in the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition, (2018), the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (2018, 2016), the University of Georgia Concerto Competition (2017), the Music Teachers National Association (2016), and the Johnstown Symphony Concerto Competition (2015; 2012).

In addition to his doctoral studies, Rick holds degrees in Saxophone Performance from the University of Georgia (MM, 2017) and Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BS, 2015). Rick’s primary teachers include Zachary Shemon, Connie Frigo, and Keith Young, with additional studies and masterclasses from Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Arno Bornkamp, Debra Richtmeyer, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Doc Severinsen.



Originally from Hudson, New Hampshire, Mariah earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of New Hampshire. There she studied with Dr. Nathan Jorgensen and performed in various ensembles such as the UNH Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. Andrew Boysen Jr, the UNH Saxophone Quartet, and the 3 O’Clock Jazz Band. During her time at UNH, Mariah was the winner of the 2016-2017 Concerto/Aria Competition and performed the Dahl Concerto as the featured soloist with the UNH Wind Symphony. She also had the opportunity to perform with jazz greats such as Chris Potter and Bob Sheppard at the annual Clark Terry Jazz Festival held at UNH with the 3 O’Clock Jazz Band. Mariah was featured as the soprano saxophonist with the UNH Saxophone Quartet during the premiere of a special arrangement of Piazzolla’s Serie del Angel for saxophone quartet and concert choir.

Mariah is currently in the second year of the master’s degree in Saxophone Performance program at the University of Missouri- Kansas City under the tutelage of Zachary Shemon. During her time at UMKC, Mariah has competed with the Eleventh Hour saxophone quartet as the alto saxophonist in the semi-final round of the 2018 National NASA Quartet Competition. Eleventh Hour was also selected to perform all six movements of Jennifer Higdon’s Short Stories while she was the artist in residency at UMKC as a part of the Barr Institue. At the most recent annual Crescendo gala, Mariah was the alto saxophonist in a special sextet arrangement of Guillermo Lago’s Cuidades: Sarajevo, that was performed in collaboration with UMKC’s dance department.

In addition to being passionate about classical saxophone, Mariah also hopes to be an ambassador for female saxophonists, and to find ways to encourage young girls to pursue this beautiful, versatile instrument. She currently serves as a mentor as a part of NASA’s Committee on the Status of Women Mentor program that started in 2019. She also serves on the Board of Directors for two Kansas City based music organizations: newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and Classical Revolution Kansas City. 




Jared Cummings is a first-year Master’s student studying under the tutelage of Professor Zachary Shemon. Originally from New York, Jared started playing the saxophone at the age of 9 and continued his studies when his family moved to Georgia. It was there that he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music and majored in Music Education at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

Jared has enjoyed many opportunities at CSU performing in the Schwob Wind Ensemble, the Schwob Jazz Orchestra, and saxophone quartets. As an educator, he has presented clinics and performances at several schools in Georgia, including McEachern High School, Double Churches Middle School, and St. Luke Elementary. He also regularly returns to his alma mater, Ola High School, to teach the saxophone sections in the Marching Band and Wind Symphony. As a performer Jared has most recently performed Marc Mellits’s Tachycardia with Dr. Joseph Girard at the 2019 Schwob Music Festival, as well as performed on masterclasses led by leading saxophonists, including Chien-Kwan Lin, Robert Young, and the Donald Sinta Quartet. Jared was also a participant of the 2016 European University of Saxophone in Gap, France, where he received instruction from world-class pedagogues, including Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, and Vincent David. Previous accomplishments include Honorable Mention in the 2018 Georgia MTNA Young Artists Chamber Winds Competition, finalist in the 2016 Schwob Concerto Competition, and finalist in the 2015 LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition.

Jared’s primary teachers and mentors include Joseph Girard, Jamie Nix, Amy Griffiths, Sam Skelton and Travis Tingle.

John Wardlaw

John Wardlaw is a second year master’s student at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, studying saxophone with Professor Zach Shemon. John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Saxophone Performance from Baylor University where he studied with Dr. Michael Jacobson, Ricardo Chaves, and Jessica Voigt-Page. Other primary teachers include Dan Gelok of the University of Houston and David Hardin. Additional studies include work with Dr. Eric Wilson, Dr. Nathan Nabb, Dr. Stephen Page, Dr. Nathan Mertens, and Joey Resendez. Some of John’s recent achievements include a finalist appearance in the 2017 edition of Baylor University’s Concerto Competition, an awarding of 1st alternate for the Texas MTNA Chamber Music competition with the Parallax Quartet, commissions from composers Patrick W. Lenz and Benjamin C. Hudson, and a self-organized tour of the state of Texas with the Paradosis Quartet. Described as “spectacular” by Robert Dvorak (composer of the West Point Symphony), John’s work with the Paradosis Quartet has reached a diverse audience and is one of his biggest joys. Aside from playing the saxophone, he also enjoys long-distance running and cooking. John is a native of Beasley, Texas.



Chase Shumsky is a currently a music major at University of Missouri Kansas City pursuing a dual major in both saxophone performance and music education. As a chamber musician, Chase has regularly performed with the Southpaw saxophone quartet which has participated in the Fischoff National Chamber competition, were national finalists in the MTNA chamber music competition, and received multiple awards in the North American Saxophone Alliance quartet competitions. Southpaw has also performed in numerous masterclasses led by members of the PRISM saxophone quartet, Joel Diegert, and Michael Stern. As a soloist, Chase has been a finalist in the Chancellor’s Concerto Competition at UMKC and has performed with the UMKC Wind Symphony as the baritone saxophonist in Michael Colgrass’ Urban Requiem.

After receiving both a music performance and education degree from UMKC, Chase looks to be vigorously involved in the public education system and share his passion for music with his students.


Jared Marble is currently a senior working toward degrees in saxophone performance and music education. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where his teachers included Ron Jones, Don Fabian, Mark Alewine and Roy Allen. He was a member of the Southpaw Saxophone Quartet which has placed in many competitions across the country, including two top three placements at NASA competitions, advancing to the national level for the MTNA Chamber Competition, playing in the quarter final round in the Fischoff Chamber Competition among many others. As a soloist, Jared placed in the semi-final round of the 2018 NASA solo competition.

Jared’s goal is to teach at the collegiate level, whether it be in wind band conducting or as a saxophone professor.


Abigail Forlina, originally from Aurora, Colorado, is currently a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance, with a minor in Psychology. She attended Denver School of the Arts, where she studied with Luis Zuñiga and Grant Larson. She has performed in master classes with Geoffrey Deibel, Joel Diegert, and Steven Banks. She is currently a student of Zach Shemon.


Caleb Allen is currently a junior at UMKC pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance. Originally from West Virginia, Caleb began playing saxophone in the seventh grade while taking saxophone lessons from his grandfather, Rick Allen. He began participating in honor bands, the WV Solo and Ensemble, and the WV All-State Band. He has studied at summer events including the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen saxophone institute, and the Eastman saxophone institute. He attended and graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy starting in his junior year of high school. During his junior year, he performed with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial celebration at Lincoln Center. Throughout the years, Caleb has had the opportunity to study or play in masterclasses with many talented teachers including Taimur Sullivan, Timothy McAllister, Zach Shemon, Matthew Schlomer, Bill Sears, Michael Ibrahim, Steven Jordheim, Paul Cohen, Joseph Lulloff and Chien-Kwan Lin.


 Colton James is currently a  sophomore pursuing a Bachelors degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. From just north of KC, Colton is and has been an active member in the arts community. While in high school, he was a member of the 2017 Missouri All State Band, and the 2016 All State Honorable Mention Band. He was also a member of his District band all four years of high school, three State Solo and Ensemble superior ratings with both solos and small ensembles. Colton was appointed drum major his Junior and Senior year and was a heavily active performer in his school’s color and winter guard. He is one of the Tenor Saxophonists in the UMKC Wind Ensemble and the Tenor Saxophonist in the Giocoso Quartet.


Jared Gutzmer is from St. Joseph, Missouri, and is currently a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory pursuing a degree in saxophone performance. Jared is a graduate of St. Joseph Central High School, and has performed in ensembles under the direction of Roy Maxwell, Joel Fischer, Chad Lippincott, and Lynnea Wootten. Jared recently attended Interlochen Arts Camp where he studied with Timothy McAllister, Eddie Goodman, and Zachary Shemon. Jared was premiered with the Kansas City Symphony in 2018 when he was awarded second place in the Kansas City Symphony Young Arts Competition. In addition to studying privately with Zachary Shemon before becoming a student at UMKC, he has also studied with Bob Long. Jared dedicates all of his musical endeavors to his friend and mentor, Steve Hall.


Noah Stoker is from Columbia, Missouri, and is currently a freshman at UMKC majoring in saxophone performance with Professor Zach Shemon, as well as music education . During high school, Noah was a member of the 2019 Missouri All-State band, as well as alternate in 2017 and 2018. Noah was a two year member of the University of Missouri saxophone studio, under the direction of Leo Saguiguit, where he performed as a member of the Mizzou Saxophone Ensemble at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance conference. He attended the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop and the Indiana University Saxophone Academy in the summer of 2018, and the Interlochen Saxophone Institute and Wind Symphony camps in the summer of 2019. During these camps, Noah performed in masterclasses and took lessons with professors around the nation such as Michael Shults, Heidi Radtke, Otis Murphy, and Timothy McAllister.


Chase Wolters is originally from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory. He graduated from Broken Arrow High School where he performed in ensembles under the direction of Darrin Davis, James Morrison, and Adam Wienken. In high school Chase participated in local all district and all state bands, as well as solo and ensemble competitions, earning superior ratings. He was involved in The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band and earned numerous state, super regional, and national championships as well as marching in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. Prior to joining the saxophone studio, Chase studied under Dr. Kelli Pence.

Chase is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Saxophone Performance, and hopes to perform and teach saxophone in the future.


Cooper Smith is currently a freshman pursuing a bachelors degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance. Cooper is familiar with Kansas City as he is a native of the city and a graduate of Liberty North High School. While in high school, Cooper was selected to play in the Missouri All State Band three times. During his junior year, Cooper won the North Winds Symphonic Band Solo Competition and performed with the ensemble in the same year. During his senior year, he won second place for the regional round of the MTNA woodwind performance competition. Cooper also won the KCMTA Concerto Competition his senior year and performed with the Heritage Philharmonic. 

Cooper has also performed as a soloist at the Interlochen Saxophone Institute, as well as the Indiana University Saxophone Academy. He has studied with Professor Zach Shemon since this sophomore year of high school, and has had the opportunity to study and play in masterclasses with artists such as Timothy McAllister, Otis Murphy, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy, and Jonathan Yanik. Cooper hopes to eventually become a band director and conductor at the collegiate level.