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Playing to win

Okemos musician wins Lansing Concert Band competition


Alto saxophonist Jordan Lulloff says he doesn’t mind a little musical back-up.

“I’ve always liked playing, and I love performing,” Lulloff said. “I especially like performing with an ensemble or a band behind me.”

He’ll get his wish: On March 28, Lulloff won the Lansing Concert Band’s first Young Artist Competition with his performance of Bernard Heiden’s Diversion for Alto Saxophone and Band. The Okemos High School senior will receive $1,000 and a solo spot with the LCB at its April 30 concert at Dart Auditorium.

The nine applicants in the LCB competition had to submit a recording of themselves playing. Lulloff won the Ann Arbor Concert Band’s Young Artist Competition with Diversion and had a good recording from that event to submit to the LCB.

“(The committee) focused on musicianship, technique, intonation and style,” said Jerry Mattson, publicist for the LCB. “They also judged the level of difficulty of the applicant’s selections.”

The $1,000 prize will go toward his education, although Lulloff says he doesn’t know where he wants to go. Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan have offered Lulloff scholarships.

Lulloff has been playing the alto saxophone since 4th grade; his father, Joe Lulloff, is an alto saxophone professor in MSU’s College of Music.

One of the biggest competitions Lulloff has won so far is the Air Force Band’s Young Artist Competition. His band teacher told him about the competition, and out of the 50 applicants, five were chosen and flown to Washington, D.C.

“They flew me back out in mid-March with one chaperone and gave us base housing,” Lulloff said. “The weekend ended with a performance at the Daughters of the American Revolution Concert Hall.”

Lulloff admits it was nerve-wracking, playing a concerto in front of the Air Force band, but says as long as he does as well as he can, he doesn’t care if he wins.

Lulloff, who plays in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at Okemos High School, will perform in the pit orchestra for Okemos’ spring musical, "Curtains." He has also played in the jazz band since 6th grade.


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