On any day, Roosevelt University percussionist Logan Fox can be seen moving like lightning among his instruments, creating catchy melodies on the xylophone, thundering booms on drums, and even more nuanced rhythms using mallets, sticks and sometimes even his hands.
A graduate student in percussion at Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), Fox is the latest winner of CCPA’s Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist competition, which is paving the way for him to do solo performances in Chicago and beyond and to make his own solo CD.
“I feel humble and excited, not only to win this award, but to be able to reap the benefits as Aeolian’s new emerging artist winner,” said Fox, who won the coveted award this spring after a stringent competition among a broad spectrum of student musicians at CCPA. “I will get a professional recording that will be on iTunes and Amazon and that is very exciting to me,” said Fox, whose performances already have been livestreamed on Facebook.
The CCPA student survived two grueling rounds of competitive performances before his selection as one of five finalists from CCPA’s Music Conservatory. Each finalist presented an hour-long recital before a team of judges.
“It was very competitive,” said Edward Harrison, CCPA’s head of percussion and principal timpanist for Lyric Opera of Chicago. “You wouldn’t expect the award to go to a percussionist. You would imagine the winner to be a violinist, pianist, or wind player. For a percussionist to win this award, he had to really impress the judges,” Harrison said.
“The judges chose Logan for his developed artistic voice, compelling interpretations of a variety of challenging works, and an infectious spirit of joy that shines through all of his performances,” said Adam Neiman, assistant professor of piano at Roosevelt University, CEO of Aeolian Classics, LLC and founder of Aeolian’s annual Emerging Artist Award.
Only the second winner of the award, Fox, 23, will work on production of a solo CD with Neiman, with a release scheduled for later this year. Recording co-producers will be Harrison and Vadim Karpinos, a CCPA artist faculty member in percussion and assistant timpanist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
“This award is important for the bridge it can offer between two important stages of artistic growth that can be daunting for many young musicians: that of a talented student and that of a concert artist,” said Neiman.
Last year’s winner of the Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist Award was Pablo Suaste, a Roosevelt music major and aspiring concert pianist who graduated in 2017. Suaste recorded a disc, which is now available in the Americas, Europe and the Far East, and which has begun receiving accolades from critics, according to Neiman.
As an Aeolian winner, Suaste performed his music throughout the United States and Mexico, putting the pianist on track to establish himself as an emerging international concert pianist. “The CD will help push Suaste’s career to the next level,” Neiman said.
As the new Aeolian Classics winner, Fox already has given recitals throughout Chicagoland, including PianoForte Chicago, the Steinway Piano Galleries in Chicago and the suburbs, and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Fox’s repertoire for the competition included pieces he began performing as an undergraduate percussion student at the University of Indianapolis. He joined CCPA’s Music Conservatory in September 2017, and has been growing as a performer ever since.
“I chose Roosevelt because it has one of the best music conservatories in the world,” said Fox. “The faculty has spent a lot of one-on-one time with me, which has really helped me progress as a musician. From where I was before, compared to where I am right now at Roosevelt, is a night and day difference,” Fox said.
“We are very proud of Logan. He has a competitive and passionate spirit about his music, and also has the ability to shine at the right moment,” said Karpinos, who is one of Fox’s teachers. “Our goal is to prepare him for every possible situation that he could face starting out as a professional performer. This is something we do for every music student at CCPA.”
Fox began playing drums at six years of age. Today, he plays the full spectrum of percussion instruments, including timpani, xylophone, marimba, snare drum, congas, bongo drums, tom-tom drums, bass drum, and bells. “I like to do it all, to be able to play a little bit of everything. That’s why I became a percussionist,” said Fox.
The Roosevelt student, who graduates in May 2019, plans to devote the next year to auditions with professional orchestras and competitions – a plan he is fully prepared to execute thanks to his mentors at CCPA.
“They say that our campus is the city of Chicago, and that’s 100 percent coming through. I get to do all of these recitals around Chicago, just because the faculty feels strongly about getting their students out there,” Fox recently told his hometown newspaper, the Daily Journal, in Johnson County, Indiana.
“That’s humbling and gratifying to know that they want that for me as an artist,” Fox told the Daily Journal.