Posting Date: February 8, 2010
Meet Noah Vece: Humility and grace
By Tabatha Wahlquist
Photo by Linda Tincher
Like many students who participate in band activities, Kennesaw State University junior Noah Vece came into the activity organically. He was introduced to his middle school’s band program during 6th grade orientation, and the rest just fell into place. “My parents really wanted me to do band,” Noah remembers. “They wanted me to participate in something.” It turns out band was the perfect fit. Next year Noah will be graduating from Kennesaw State with a music performance degree.
Noah was practical when it came time to decide on an instrument. “My brother played the clarinet, so of course I had to be different,” jokes Noah. “So I picked the saxophone. It’s unlike the other woodwinds—it has a unique sound.” Noah refers to the saxophone as a hybrid instrument in that it’s designed and played much like a typical woodwind, but it has attributes similar to the brass instruments. This characteristic was the primary factor in Noah’s decision.
A graduate of Kennesaw Mountain High School, Noah knows what it’s like to come from a program that demands excellence from its members. He marched saxophone in the school’s marching band for its top-ranked performances at several Bands of America competitions. Entering KSU’s music program, Noah was prepared for the challenge. “The department has incredible faculty. They make you work for it. Everyone is really qualified for their position, and you learn that more and more along the way.”
Noah is pleased with the education and training he has received from the KSU School of Music. In particular, he appreciates Director of Jazz Studies and Lecturer in Saxophone Sam Skelton, who inspired Noah to complete his music education at KSU. “Skelton is a friend as well as a professor, and he makes it fun to do hard work. Skelton is the best saxophonist in the south,” Noah praises. And the admiration is mutual. “Noah is an absolute joy to teach,” says Skelton. “He is always prepared, and I have thoroughly enjoyed our lessons. I can’t say enough about him.”
When Noah is not diligently practicing his instrument, which is rare, he enjoys listening to Beethoven and jazz—his biggest musical influences—and he is a member of the KSU Jazz Ensemble. His hard work paid off last year when he won the KSU Concerto Competition, being the first saxophone player to claim the title. “I was very proud of him,” says Skelton. “And he was so humble about it.”
Noah is currently preparing for the spring jazz ensemble concert as well as his junior recital, in which he will perform a 30-minute repertoire of his choice. After graduation next year, Noah would like to teach and continue performing while preparing for graduate school. His dream is to join the master's program in music performance at the Boston Conservatory.