10. Ball State University – Muncie, IN
Notable Faculty: George Wolfe
A well known professor who is noted for his lyrical musical ability and perfection-expecting attitude, George Wolfe is a noted saxophone professor who has taught many of today’s important saxophonists. An interesting academic who is also a Peace Studies professor at Ball State, George Wolfe is an intriguing prospect for the young saxophonist applying to colleges.
9. Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, OH
Notable Faculty: John Sampen
An accomplished saxophone soloist, John Sampen holds the honor of Distinguished Artist Professor at BGSU, where he mentors a talented generation of emerging professional saxophonists. His students have won a variety of academic and professional honors, including nine students who have won Fulbright scholarships, three Gold Medalists at the annual Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and several 1st prize winners in the National Saxophone Competition, among many other distinctions.
As a performer himself, John Sampen is a master musician and advocate of contemporary music literature, having given premiere performances of music by Milton Babbitt, William Bolcom, and even John Cage. An authority on classical saxophone, his studio is among the most competitive and desirable in the country.
8. Manhattan School of Music – New York, NY
Notable Faculty: Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen, an expert musician who holds joint appointments with a number of institutions, including Rutger University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, William Paterson University, New York University, and Queens College, is one of the most sought-after saxophone professors in the nation. A passionate saxophone historian, Paul Cohen is known for having a “museum” of over 150 saxophones in his home, and has even worked personally with Sigurd Raschèr, a figure who was instrumental in popularizing the classical saxophone in the 20th century.
An inspiring teacher, watch him discuss the art of musical recapitulation below:
7. Peabody Institute – Baltimore, MD
Notable Faculty: Gary Louie
Accepting less than 6 students a year into his prestigious studio, Gary Louie, saxophone professor at the Peabody Institute, is one of the most sought-after teachers of his generation. Gary Louie has had students accepted into top collegiate teaching activities throughout the nation, and has even had some students succeed as classical soloists, a difficult feat for the contemporary saxophone performer. As a msuician, Louie is a noted interpreter of modern styles, having commission works by the likes of Pulitzer-winning composer John Harbison and the late American composer William Albright.
Performance opportunities at the Peabody Institute, as there are many ensembles for saxophone students to participate in, including the Peabody Modern Orchestra, the Peabody Wind Ensemble, the Peabody Jazz Orchestra, and the Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in chamber ensembles, which is where the classical saxophone thrives best.