Dochnahl hits the big time

Liz Tubman

Last month, Jesse Dochnahl, a senior majoring in music education and saxophone performance, competed in a Young Artist competition sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association. Dochnahl’s performance in the regional competition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 15 earned him a trip to the national competition in Seattle this April. Dochnahl was one of the five state champions from his division who are eligible to compete in the regional competition.
The MTNA Young Artist competition is open to students ages 19-26. Participants are required to play 40 minutes of music consisting of contrasting pieces from two different periods. Dochnahl performed four different pieces that included “In Friendship” by Karl Stockhausen, C.P.E. Bach’s Flute Sonata in A Minor, “Scara Mouche” by Darius Milhaud, and “The Nature of This Whirling Wheel” by former Lawrence University professor Rodney Rogers. At the national competition in Seattle, division winners will receive a $3,000 prize and second place winners will receive a $1,500 prize.
Dochnahl is a member of Professor Steven Jordheim’s studio, and Dochnahl credits Jordheim with at least part of his musical accomplishments. “I sincerely owe my success to Prof. Jordheim’s patience and support and to my fellow Lawrence folks for the encouragement as they helped me prepare.” Dochnahl says he is looking forward to his upcoming performance at the nationals in Seattle because it will give his parents an opportunity to come hear him play, and perhaps more importantly, because it will give him a chance to see the world outside of Appleton.
The biggest reward for Dochnahl isn’t the money or fame that can come from success, but the effect his success has on other musicians. “The greatest satisfaction I get from the success is the inspiration it gives my own sax students here and at home in Montana. That’s easily the most valuable aspect; seeing a young musician’s excitement for music intensify – including my own.

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