Duo Bio

SaxVonix is an experimental duo group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Members include mezzo-soprano and pianist Alexia Benson and saxophonist Jeremy Howell. Currently focused on electroacoustic works, they have recently premiered new pieces with heavy emphasis on improvisation. To further utilize their creative performance potential while promoting up-and-coming composers, SaxVonix is hosting a yearly competition for new works written for voice and saxophone.


Both members are currently pursuing their Master’s in Composition at the University of Michigan where they study with composer Kristin Kuster. Alexia holds a Bachelor Degree in Composition and Voice Performance from the University of Redlands, where she studied with Marco Schindelmann and Anthony Suter. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Saxophone Performance from the Eastman School of Music and completed his Master’s in Saxophone Performance with Timothy McAllister at the University of Michigan. 

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Alexia Benson

composer and mezzo-soprano

Alexia Benson is a composer and mezzo-soprano whose works have been performed both internationally and in the United States. Her music has been described as both “emotionally intense” and “structurally compelling.” Upcoming performances include the premiere of her composition titled “Fractals of Emotion” for pierrot ensemble, as well as the recording and premiere of her composition titled “The Cage” for mezzo, horn, and piano. Formerly, her work “Rebirth of the Phoenix” was recorded by L.A. based studio musician and flutist Sara Andon. Alexia is an avid collaborator who enjoys performing the works of other composers. 


She received her Bachelor’s of Music in Composition and Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands and received a full scholarship to pursue her Master’s Degree in Composition at the University of Michigan. During her junior year, she studied abroad at IES Vienna in Austria with composer Gabriel Proy. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, she studied composition under the tutelage of Dr. Anthony Suter and Dr. Andre Myers. This past year, she studied with Judd Greenstein, director of the NOW Ensemble, and is currently studying under the tutelage of Kristin Kuster at the University of Michigan.

 

Jeremy Howell

composer and saxophonist

Jeremy Howell (b. 1997) is an up-and-coming composer and saxophonist with an interest in all effective music, regardless of medium. As a performer, Jeremy has concertized in eleven countries in classical, jazz, funk, and rock ensembles. His rich and diversified performance background has bolstered his eclectic compositional style. His works have been performed by ensembles ranging from the Eastman Saxophone Project to Big Wy’s Brass Band. Jeremy has received multiple prizes in various national and state-wide competitions including MTNA, Empire, and the Coltman Competition.


Jeremy is a current Master's student of Dr. Timothy McAllister at the University of Michigan, and holds a BM in Saxophone Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has studied saxophone with Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin, Dr. Stephen Page, and Harvey Pittel.


Participation in masterclasses include the PRISM Quartet, Zzyzx Quartet, James Umble, Kuninobu Bando, Stephen Page, Griffin Campbell, Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, and Zach Shemon.

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