TTU's Eternal Quartet advances to quarterfinals of Fischoff Chamber Music Competition

Four Tennessee Tech University saxophone students have a really good reason for tooting their horns.

They are members of a group called the Eternal Quartet that is one of only a dozen ensembles from the United States and Canada selected for round two of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition to be held at the University of Notre Dame on May 9.

The Eternal Quartet is made up of Andrew Allen of Gainesboro, Nick Dearing of Knoxville, Ben Elsberry of Nashville and Dan Worthington of St. Joseph, Mich. The four are students of TTU saxophone professor Phillip Barham.

“Tennessee Tech University can take pride in this moment of international recognition for the four members of the Eternal Quartet and their teacher, professor Phillip Barham,” said Arthur LaBar, chairperson of TTU’s music and art department.

From the dozen ensembles competing in the quarterfinal round, six winners will advance to the final round, where the top three ensembles will be selected. Last year’s winners in this category were from Michigan State University, Yale School of Music and Boston University.

In its 34th year, Fischoff is the largest national chamber music competition and the only one with both senior and junior divisions. While any musician up to the age of 39 from the United States and Canada is eligible to compete, the junior division recognizes musicians age 18 and younger.

Gold medal winners of the Fischoff competition often go on to lucrative professional careers.

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