Inspired by the sax playing of his older brother, Pindar Chen ’25 began playing sax in the fourth grade. Since then, he has taken his musicianship very seriously and continually raises the bar for himself. Former Chair of the Performing Arts Department, Todd Millen, recognized the hard work and expressiveness of Chen’s playing, so he awarded him The Giamalis Family Music Merit Scholarship, established by Christine and Stephen Giamalis.
Chen practices the sax at least one hour a day and finds the experience enjoyable. He appreciates the instrument’s tone, which he described as balanced, not as high as a flute, and not as low as a trombone. Last year, Chen advanced to the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) regionals but failed to make it to the All-States. Rather than sit with this disappointment, Chen used the experience as an incentive to apply for the Giamalis scholarship and work harder to reach All-States this year.
“I was grateful that they chose me to be the recipient because I feel that I worked very hard for it,” Chen said. “It allowed me to express my music. ” Chen enjoys the camaraderie of playing with his peers at KO, especially when working on marches. The rhythm and melody make it a fun piece to play, he shared.
Chen credits Millen for cultivating his talent. “My band teacher at KO has helped elevate my playing. He gives me constructive feedback and knows he can give me some criticism to get better. He exudes positivity.”