~Nois Saxophone Quartet member Hunter Bockes

On November 4, 2018 ~Nois Saxophone Quartet will be our special guests for the premiere performance of our 63rd season!


Chicago’s own ~Nois is a professional saxophone quartet of rising stars! Founded in 2016 by graduate students at Northwestern University, ~Nois (pronounced "noise") has quickly emerged as one of the premier young ensembles dedicated to innovative and engaging performances. Known for their “masterclass-level demonstrations of precise articulations and glowing legatos” (I Care if You Listen), “truly innovative musicianship,” and “raw creativity” (Cacophony Magazine), ~Nois has been awarded prizes at prestigious chamber music competitions including the Second Prize in the Open Division of the 2018 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition, the Silver Medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Second Prize at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, and First Prize at the 2016 Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition. ~Nois was invited to be an Ensemble Fellow to the 2018 Blackbird Creative Lab, where they worked closely with fellow Chicago-based ensemble, Eighth Blackbird.*

We asked the members of ~Nois to share with us their journeys in music, musical influences and inspirations, and words of advice that they have for young musicians.


Hunter Bockes is the alto saxophone, a founding member of ~Nois, and their Director of Development. As a soloist, Hunter has performed with the Eastern Music Festival as a guest soloist for their 2017 season and has received First Place at the 2016 Rosen-Schaffel Concerto Competition.*

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life.  Both my parents were musicians (vocalists) and they led a 16 piece a cappella group that rehearsed every week at my house. Growing up I would always be around music either by listening to the rehearsals or by going to concerts that they brought my brother and I to. My private instructor in high school also had a huge role in paving who I am today.

What have been some of your musical influences?  Dennis Brown, Taimur Sullivan, Prism Quartet, Linkin Park, Eminem.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory?  My favorite musical memory would have to be the performance of Julius Eastman’s “Stay On It” during the 2018 Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab. It was the most transformative, memorable, and enjoyable performances I have ever been a part of.

What’s on your iPod?  Top 40’s, Christmas, Post Malone, 00’s alternative

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  Pauline Oliveros because she seems like a very interesting person who could have an amazing conversation about many topics.

What does music mean to you?  Music to me is an avenue in which I can express myself, create new art, and form amazing friendships.

What inspires you?  My past/present mentors, family, other artists of all disciplines, and my fellow quartet mates.

What do you do to relax?  Video games, board games, cooking, beer and good food, TV, and hanging out with friends.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?  It is important to like/do things that others do not not.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  The Northshore Concert Band has been amazing to work with! All the members bring a high level of musicality and professionalism to each rehearsal. They are also very kind people and it has been a pleasure to get to know them.

Learn more about Hunter Bockes and ~Nois here.

*reprinted from noissaxophone.com

Letters from Home

Sunday, November4, 2018, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University

50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois


Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org