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Hylton Baker, flute

Hylton BakerHylton Baker (flute) is a junior from Lexington, North Carolina. Hylton has played the flute since the 6th grade and has studied under Lissie Shanahan since the 8th grade. He has played in many ensembles including the Winston Salem Youth Symphony, Central Davidson High School Wind Ensemble, N.C All-State Band, and NCMEA All-State Orchestra. He was also selected to be a member in the NAFME All-National Honors Ensembles Concert Band. Hylton attended the Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University in N.C. where he studied under Dr. Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham for two summers. Hylton is majoring in Music and Biology and he is very excited to be a Kenan Scholar. Hylton is a student of Laura Stevens.

Anant Malpani, violin

AAnant Malpaninant Malpani (violin) is a junior from Austin, Texas. He has studied the violin since age 5 and has spent time under the tutelage of William Fedkenheur and Anna Choi. After being named a prize winner of the American Protege International Competition for Piano and Strings, Anant made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 15. Additionally, Anant has served as Concertmaster of his school’s Symphony Orchestra, and in that role performed as a soloist with orchestra at the 2020 International Midwest Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Other honors include being named Concertmaster of the TMEA Region 26 Orchestra in 2018, and placing in the TMEA All State Orchestras for three years. An avid chamber musician, Anant has been an active participant in the CHAMPS (Chamber Music in Public Schools) program since 2016. His ensemble, the Sarian Trio, was named a semifinalist in the National Coltman Chamber Music Competition. He has performed in masterclasses for renowned artists and pedagogues such as Danielle Belen, Desiree Ruhstrat, Cornelia Heard, Phillip Lewis, the Miro Quartet, and the Cordova Quartet, among others. Anant is a student of Nicholas DiEugenio.

Jordan Shirtz, trombone

Jordan Shirtz

Jordan Shirtz (trombone), a junior from Cary, NC, studies with Professor Mike Kris. Jordan began his journey with the trombone in 2014. Notable engagements include performances with the Watson Brass Band, Governor’s School West Orchestra, National Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, and various jazz and classical ensembles at UNC-Chapel Hill. In the fall of 2023, Jordan studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, through the IES program. While in Austria he collaborated with faculty from the Vienna Conservatory on chamber music and solo repertoire. He also studied with Walter Voglmayr, the principal trombonist of the Vienna Symphony. Additionally, he benefited from the mentorship of esteemed artists and clinicians including Eric Kushner, William McElheney, Mikael Rudolfsson, David Bruchez-Lalli, and Branimir Slokar. After UNC Jordan plans to pursue a master’s degree in trombone performance. He attributes much of his musical growth to his experiences abroad and the invaluable direction provided by David Robinson, Jesse Rackley, and Michael Kris.

Cindy Xu, double bass

Cindy Xu

Cindy Xu (double bass) is a junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Cindy started playing the double bass her freshman year of high school under the guidance of Yung-Chiao Wei. Prior to switching to the double bass, Cindy studied the piano and violin, making the switch in high school due to a lack of double bass players in her orchestra. Since then, she has placed in numerous competitions, including placing as a gold-medalist in the LMEA State Solo Assessment. Throughout the summers, Cindy further committed to her passion for the double bass by attending programs such as the Master Players Festival and the Interlochen Arts Camp. Cindy was also principal bassist of seven different orchestras, including the LMEA All-State Orchestra and Louisiana Youth Orchestra. Additionally, she was the founder of her school’s National Federation of Music Club and co-founded Bassically United, a virtual concert series that has helped raise thousands of dollars for underprivileged musicians across the United States. Outside of her musical passions, Cindy hopes to pursue a career in pharmacy.