Debra Richtmeyer, internationally renowned soloist and pedagogue has performed throughout North America and in China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Thailand. Professor of Saxophone at the University of Illinois since 1991, she has performed as concerto soloist with numerous bands and orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak Radio Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Washington D.C. United States Navy Band and was principal saxophonist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (1981-1991) and the St. Louis Symphony (1992-2002). She has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions and was the first woman to perform a featured concerto with orchestra and to give a master class at a World Saxophone Congress. Twice a Grammy List Nominee, Richtmeyer’s solo CDs have received reviews such as "flawless...an extraordinary album" by the American Record Guide and “first-class solo playing” by the Dallas Morning News. She has adjudicated state, national and international competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, and is the recipient of prestigious awards including the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Honorary Life Member Award and the University of Illinois’ Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Richtmeyer’s students have won numerous national and international prizes and are teaching and performing in the United States, Europe and Asia. Previously on the faculty at the University of North Texas and Lawrence Conservatory, she received her degrees from Northwestern University and was a student and Teaching Assistant for Dr. Frederick Hemke. Richtmeyer is a Selmer Artist/Clinician, Past President of the North American Saxophone Alliance and Elected Member of the International Saxophone Committee. Her book, Between the Notes: A Saxophonist’s Guide to Practice, Performance and Pedagogy is in press with the Theodore Presser Co. and will be released soon.
Susan Fancher is an internationally-recognized concert saxophonist known for her expressive tone and poetic musical interpretations. In addition to her solo performances, she has performed as the member of many chamber music ensembles, including the Red Clay, Amherst, Vienna, and Rollin’ Phones saxophone quartets. A much sought-after performer of new music, Susan Fancher has inspired and premiered over 100 new works for saxophone. Most recent premiere performances include Scott Lindroth’s Quintet for soprano saxophone and string quartet with Duke University’s resident Ciompi String Quartet, and a concerto for soprano saxophone by Charles Nichols.
Susan Fancher is an active recitalist, performing frequently with pianist Ināra Zandmane, and presenting master classes as an artist clinician for the Selmer and Vandoren/DANSR companies. She has performed in many of the world’s leading venues including Sala São Paulo, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Filharmonia Hall in Warsaw, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Tours have taken her to Albania, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and throughout the US.
Over the past decade, Susan Fancher has championed a growing repertoire of concertos for soprano saxophone, including concertos by Mark Engebretson, David Kirkland Garner, Hilary Tann, and Michael Torke. She premiered Mark Engebretson’s Concerto for soprano saxophone and orchestra in Sala São Paulo under the baton of Ligia Amadio. The version with wind ensemble was performed with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble, conducted by Steve Squires, and with the State University of New York at Fredonia Wind Ensemble, conducted by Paula Holcomb. Susan Fancher gave the premiere performance of David Kirkland Garner's Concerto, based on Celtic themes, with the Duke University Wind Symphony under the direction of Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, and more recently performed it at the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Region 7 conference with the Western Carolina Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Margaret Underwood. Together with a consortium of wind ensembles, Susan Fancher commissioned and premiered the wind ensemble version of Michael Torke's Concerto for soprano saxophone.
Susan Fancher’s discography lists over twenty CDs on Arizona University Records, Philips, New World, Lotus Records Salzburg, Parma, Mark Records, Extraplatte, and Innova Records. Her CD release “Of Erthe and Air: Susan Fancher and friends play music of Hilary Tann” on Arizona University Records features a live performance of Tann’s soprano saxophone concerto Shakkei with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, performed in 2009 in Bangkok at the World Saxophone Congress.
Susan Fancher earned her Doctor of Music from Northwestern University, where she was a student of Dr. Frederick Hemke, and the Médaille d'Or from the conservatory in Bordeaux, France, where she studied with Monsieur Jean-Marie Londeix. She teaches saxophone and coaches chamber music at Duke University and at Wake Forest University.
For more information, visit susanfancher.com
Masahito Sugihara is the associate professor of saxophone at Sam Houston State University. Mas has appeared as recitalist and clinician in Brazil, Canada, England, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Japan, Scotland, and United States. He is a member of Awea Duo (flute & saxophone) and Amethyst Saxophone Quartet, and has performed in the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, Grant Park Orchestra, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Network for New Music, New York City Ballet, and Reading Symphony. As an avid arranger, Mas has transcribed a wide range of compositions for flute/sax duo, reed quartet, saxophone quartet, and larger saxophone ensembles. He earned the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University as a student of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. Previously, he was the assistant professor of saxophone at Morehead State University and has taught saxophone and chamber music in the Chicago area at Northwestern University, Roosevelt University and Trinity Christian College. Mas is a Conn-Selmer/Selmer Paris and D’Addario Performing Artist.
Saxophonist Nathan Nabb maintains an active and multifaceted concert schedule, with numerous performances in solo, chamber and orchestral settings throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. As an orchestral musician, Nathan performs with the St. Louis Symphony and the Houston Symphony, and has also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, New World Symphony, IRIS Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Recent orchestral highlights include concerto performances with St. Louis and Houston Symphonies, as well as European tours with both orchestras, featuring concerts at the BBC Proms, Berlin Musikfest, the Klara Festival and in some of the most vaunted concert spaces, including Royal Albert Hall, Salle Pleyel, Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Elbphilharmonie, among others.
Dr. Nabb makes regular appearances as a soloist and clinician. Recent invited solo recitals include performances across North America, and Asia. He was featured as concerto soloist at the Region IV North American Saxophone Alliance conference in 2015 and has performed solos at World Saxophone Congress, North American Saxophone Alliance, Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, as well as prominent schools of music and saxophone studios throughout the United States, France, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, Greece, Norway, Canada and China. He can be heard on the BIS, Innova, Myrios Classics, Pentatone, Teal Creek, and AMP record labels.
Nathan is the soprano saxophonist in Oasis Quartet, an ensemble that enjoys an international performance agenda as recitalists, concerto soloists, and clinicians. Oasis Quartet has performed with numerous orchestras and bands in the United States, and given performances and clinics throughout the North America, Asia, and Europe. Their self-titled album was released in 2009 and features the music of Glass, Gotkovsky and Escaich. As supporters of contemporary music, Oasis has been a part of numerous commissions and premieres in addition to performing staples of the repertoire and artistic adaptations from other chamber music genres.
Dr. Nabb holds teaching positions at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is Professor of Saxophone and an Associate Director of the School of Music, and at Chongqing Normal University, where he is Distinguished Professor of Saxophone. Nathan’s students have won many competitions in solo and chamber music settings, and have been featured in performances and master classes at North American Saxophone Alliance regional and national conferences, as well as other venues around the United States.
Nathan received his Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees in saxophone performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Frederick Hemke. His Bachelor of Music degree is from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Professor Debra Richtmeyer.
Nathan proudly endorses D’Addario and Selmer products and performs on D’Addario reeds and Selmer Paris Saxophones.
Frederick L Hemke Saxophone Institute; Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University
Frederick L. Hemke has appeared as a recitalist and soloist with symphony orchestras and wind ensembles in the United States and around the world. He has presented master classes and lectures throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Scandinavian countries, and the Far East.
A native of Western Massachusetts, Dr. Gail B. Levinsky serves as Professor of Music at Susquehanna University, where her responsibilities include teaching applied studies in saxophone, chamber music, instrumental pedagogy, and woodwind methods. As a solo performer, her presentations include performances at the North American Saxophone Alliance, World Saxophone Congress, British Saxophone Congress, US Navy Saxophone Symposium, and Festival of Women Composers. She has commissioned numerous compositions, including works by Marilyn Shrude, Erin Graham, Miho Sasaki, Matthew Quayle, Andrea Clearfield, Douglas McConnell, Frank Ferko. Her CD recording Tipping Point: Music Saxophone & Other Voices explores the saxophone in a variety of chamber music settings.
In addition to her performance schedule, Dr. Levinsky regularly presents clinics at state music education symposiums, including the MENC Eastern Region Conference, PMEA, NJMEA DMEA, and the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic. Her publications are varied and consist of an updated edition of Rosemary Lang’s “Beginning Altissimo Method” (Ensemble Publications); Music for Saxophone & Organ (Lyceum Publications), and the saxophone chapters “Teaching Woodwinds: A Guide for Students and Teachers” (Mountain Peak Music), and a saxophone choir arrangement of Tomás Victorria’s “O Vos Omnes”.
Dr. Levinsky completed her graduate degrees (DM, Artist Diploma, MM) from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Music from Butler University. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, and Kappa Delta Pi honor fraternities. Dr. Levinsky has served as Treasurer, Secretary, and Region 8 director for the North American Saxophone Alliance. During the summer months, Dr. Levinsky serves as Program Director for the Snow Pond Music Festival, and on the faculty of the Frederick L. Hemke Saxophone Institute and the New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine.
Dr. Levinsky plays exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and ligatures.
As one of America’s leading concert saxophonists, John Sampen is particularly recognized as a distinguished artist in contemporary literature. He has commissioned over 125 new works, including compositions by Adler, Babbitt, Bolcom, Cage, Rzewski, Rands and Shrude and has premiered saxophone versions of music by Lutosławski, Stockhausen and Tower.
In 1970, Sampen was recitalist and certificate winner at the prestigious International Geneva Concours in Switzerland. He has soloed with ensembles from all over the world, including the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Internazionale d’Italy, New Mexico Symphony and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
Sean Hurlburt received his bachelors and masters degrees in saxophone performance at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. As co-founder of the Amethyst Quartet, he continually works to promote and legitimize saxophone quartet in the chamber music world.
Pianist for the Chicago Symphony Chorus since auditioning as a North Park College, (now University,) student in 1978, Sharon R. Peterson continues as Accompanist for the CSC, the trombone studio at Northwestern University, and the saxophone studios at DePaul and Roosevelt Universities, as well as North Park University’s School of Music, and the North Shore Choral Society.