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The Emotions of Fencing Captured by Landon Kroon: En Garde. Prêts? Allez!

08/31/2023, 12:00pm CDT
By Nicole Kirk

Y-12 Men’s Saber medalist Landon Kroon is the only international guest in over 10 years at the Yamaha Gala Concert, where he will be performing his piece live.

Photo by Yamaha Corporate of America

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -  Stepping onto the strip, you can feel a range of emotions — excitement, anxiety, calm and focus. That is exactly what inspired 12-year-old Landon Kroon (South Bay Fencing Academy) in writing his piano piece En Garde. Prêts? Allez!.

Kroon, who finished with a Top 8 at the March NAC in 2022, started playing piano at the young age of 4 at the Yamaha Music School and started fencing at 7 years old with the South Bay Fencing Academy. His love for fencing comes from being able to train with all of his club mates, and getting on the strip to see his hard work pay off.

Photo by South Bay Fencing Academy

With two very different interests, Kroon has found that they overlap more than one would think, and it all comes back to the simple concept of keeping in rhythm. 

My sense of rhythm from piano helps me with the rhythm of my footwork,” he says. “I try to calm down and not overthink it. I focus on one touch at a time in fencing, just like I focus on one part at a time in piano.”

Kroon had fully composed his first piece at 7 years old, and finding the overlap in fencing and piano led Kroon to compose his original piece, En Garde. Prêts? Allez!. Kroon wanted to “document the range of emotions” he feels when fencing at tournaments. 

“I go to each tournament feeling a little bit anxious and a little bit excited,” he says, “but I have to stay calm and focused at the same time.”

Encapsulating all of those emotions and creating this piece has landed Kroon as the only international guest performer for the Yamaha Gala Concert in over 10 years hosted in Tokyo. Kroon explained that he had been selected in 2020 and in 2021 but due to COVID, his performances were recorded rather than live. Now, he gets to perform live. 

Photo by Yamaha Corporate of America

“I’m very excited and honored for this opportunity, and I hope other fencers can feel the emotions I try to convey in this piece,” he says.

As for Kroon’s musical and fencing future, he is hoping to become a national gold medalist. In his musical future, he is hoping to have one of his pieces in a movie or TV show. 

“I want to become a movie composer one day,” he says. 

Balancing such an impressive musical career along with reaching his goals in fencing, Kroon had some advice for other kids pursuing multiple interests. 

“Prioritize and always put your best effort into everything you do since you have a busy schedule,” he says. “Also, put more focus on quality over quantity. In my case they are schoolwork, piano practice, and fencing training.”

So to all our fencing community, be on the lookout in the future for movie credits featuring a fellow fencer, and give Landon Kroon the biggest round of applause for his performance in Tokyo!

Tag(s): Updates