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Debra Richtmeyer

Professor of Saxophone

B.M. (music education) and M.M. (saxophone performance), Northwestern University; student of Fred Hemke; additional study with Larry Combs

Debra Richtmeyer, an internationally renowned saxophonist and pedagogue, has been Professor of Saxophone at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1991 and has performed as a soloist and clinician in North America, Europe, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Thailand and China. She has performed or recorded as a 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. She was principal saxophonist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1991 and with the St. Louis Symphony from 1992-2002. She is Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance and an Artist/Clinician for Conn-Selmer Incorporated.

Professor Richtmeyer has won numerous awards and prizes and has been an invited Juror for music competitions at all levels, including prestigious competitions such as the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana in 2010 and the 3rd Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011.  She has premiered commissioned works at eight World Saxophone Congresses and four North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. In 1997 in Valencia, Spain Richtmeyer became the first woman to be invited to perform a concerto with orchestra at a World Saxophone Congress. In 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, she became the first woman to be invited to give a master class at a World Saxophone Congress.  In July 2012 she performed the Lee Actor Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for the Final Gala concert at the World Saxophone Congress held in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Her solo CD, Extravaganza for Saxophone and Orchestra, (Albany Records 2003) was reviewed by the American Record Guide as "…flawless...an extraordinary album..."  Her CD, World Without Words, Debra Richtmeyer and the 2008-2009 University of Illinois Saxophone Studio (Mark Records), was selected for the 2011 Grammy Entry List and was reviewed by internationally renowned French saxophonist, Jean-Marie Londeix as, “Remarkable…exemplary… Impeccable playing… It is proof one more time of her talents (including that of the conductor) and of the excellence of her teaching. Her university and students are very lucky to have her.” In 2010 Professor Richtmeyer recorded the Lee Actor Concerto for Saxophone for his "Concertos" CD (Navona 2011) reviewed by the American Record Guide as "...a terrific piece…Richtmeyer gives it a wonderful reading.  She has the requisite technical skills and a flair for the dramatic, and she expertly walks the classical saxophone's timbre tightrope..."

Richtmeyer’s students and former students are leaders in the next generation of classical saxophonists and teachers. They have won numerous prizes and awards at the local, state, national and international levels, including two Winners, 3rd place and Semi-Finalist in 2011 and 2012 international music competitions. Many have gone on to become saxophone professors, band directors and members of elite U.S. military bands. Others are teaching and performing throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. In 1997 Richtmeyer received the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts Award for Outstanding Faculty. In 2002 she was named a recipient of the University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. She was the first of only two faculty members in the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts to have received this award.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Illinois Professor Richtmeyer was a saxophone professor at the University of North Texas and an instructor at Lawrence Conservatory. She received her degrees are from Northwestern University where she was aTeaching Assistant and student of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke.

NOTABLE FORMER STUDENTS  - Illinois and UNT

University Professors/ Professionals

Chris Anderson, Instructor of Music, Richland Community College, IL. (ABD DMA, Illinois)

Greg Ball, Instructor of Woodwinds and Jazz Studies, Tarleton State University, President-elect of Texas Jazz Educators Association, Texas All-state Jazz Coordinator. (MM, UNT)

Michael Bovenzi, Associate Professor of Saxophone/Theory/Area Coordinator, University of North Florida (DMA, Illinois)

Will Campbell, Associate Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies, University of  North Carolina at Charlotte, former saxophonist in Harry Connick Jr. Band (DMA, Illinois)

Jeff Collins, Free-Lance Saxophonist and Teacher, Winner of Artist Presentation Society competition in St. Louis, Missouri, Semi-Finalist in Geneva International Saxophone Competition, Member of Illinois Grad Qt, Winner of Coleman Chamber Music National Competition (MM, Illinois)

Kenneth Coons, Baritone Saxophonist, Rascher Saxophone Quartet (MM, UNT)

David Dees, Associate Professor of Saxophone, Texas Tech University, 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance Competition Director (BM, UNT)

Jesse Dochnahl, Instructor of Saxophone, Lawrence Conservatory, Appleton, WI (MM, Illinois)

Noa Even, Assistant Professor, Kent State, Saxophonist, Ogni-Suono Duo, Third Prize, 3rd Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, Thailand, ABD DMA Bowling Green State University (MM, TA, Illinois)

Karen Finnson, Professor of Saxophone, University of Regina, Winner of UNT Concerto Competition (MM, UNT)         

Dave Fivecoate, Instructor of Saxophone and Clarinet, Music Institute of Chicago (MM, UNT)

Connie Frigo, Assistant Professor of Saxophone, University Georgia at Athens, Illinois Fulbright Scholar (Netherlands), 2007-2010 Competition Director, North American Saxophone Alliance, former Baritone Saxophonist, New Century Saxophone Quartet (MM, Illinois)

Joyce Griggs, Associate Director, School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (BME, Illinois, DMA, Illinois)

Randy Hamm, Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies and Coordinator of Woodwinds, Missouri State University (BME, MM UNT)

Keitaro Harada, Music Director and Conductor, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Associate Conductor, Arizona Opera, Principal Guest Conductor, Sierra Vista Symphony Orch. (BM, Illinois)

J. Michael Holmes, Enrollment Management Director || Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Music, University of Illinois; co-host of 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, Winner of the Illinois Concerto Competition, Saxophonist w/ Chicago Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony (MM, TA, Illinois, DMA Illinois, sabbatical replacement)

Adrianne Honnold, Lecturer in Saxophone, Washington University St. Louis and University of Missouri- St. Louis, Saxophonist with St. Louis Symphony (BME, MM, Illinois)

Tim Ishii, Associate Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies, University of Texas at Arlington (BME, UNT)

Richard Kelley, Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (DMA Jazz, Classical cognate, TA, Illinois)

Jeremy Koch, Principal Saxophonist, The Washington D.C. United States Air Force Band and Saxophone Quartet, Saxophone Instructor, Shephard University (MM, TA, Illinois)

Glenn Kostur, Director of Jazz Studies, University of New Mexico; Former Saxophonist, Composer/Arranger and Music Director for Maynard Ferguson Band, (BME, UNT)

Jackie Lamar, Professor of Saxophone, University of Central Arkansas (DMA, TA, UNT)

Brad Leali, Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone, University of North Texas, Lead Alto Saxophonist for Harry Connick Jr. Band (BME, UNT)

Ryan Leatherman, Principal Saxophonist, Band of the West, United States Air Force (MM, DMA ABD, TA, Illinois)

Nathan Nabb, Associate Professor of Saxophone, Stephen F. Austin State University, Saxophonist with Saint Louis Symphony (BM, Sabbatical Replacement, Illinois)

Matt Olson, Professor of Saxophone, Director of Jazz Studies, Furman University (DMA, Illinois)

Phil Pierick,Saxophonist, Ogni-Suono Duo, 2011 Vandoren Emerging Artist, Winner of 2009-2010 Frank Huntington Beebe Fund National Competition for Musicians; Winner of University of Illinois Armstrong Award; UI Presser Scholar; Illinois Concerto Competition Winner; Semi-Finalist at 3rd Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, 3rd Place ISSAC International Saxophone Competition, 2nd year DMA student, Eastman School of Music (BM, MM, TA Illinois)

Perry Rask, Professor of Saxophone, Millikin University (MM, UNT)

James Romain, Associate Professor of Saxophone, Drake University; Winner of Illinois Concerto Competition; Membership Director, North American Saxophone Alliance (DMA, TA, Illinois)

Rob Rose, Free-lance musician, composer, teacher, Dallas, TX, Grand Prize Winner of the National Young Artist Competition, Winner of the North American Saxophonist Alliance Region 7 Young Artist Competition, Winner of UNT Concerto Competition, (BM, MM TA, UNT)

Henning Schröder, Assistant Professor of Music, Northern Ohio University (DMA, TA, Illinois)

Heidi Radtke Siberz, Assistant Professor and Music Librarian, University of Miami Frost School of Music 2006-2008. Music cataloger, Cook Music Library and Associate Instructor of Saxophone, Indiana University 2010-present (BM, MM Illinois)

Vanessa Hasbrook Sielert, Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies, University of Idaho (DMA, Illinois)

Scotty Stepp, Associate Professor of Saxophone, Depauw University; Winner of the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Saxophone competition; Illinois Fulbright Scholar (Paris, France) (DMA ABD, TA, Illinois)

Taimur Sullivan, Saxophone Professor, North Carolina School of the Arts; Baritone Saxophonist, Prism Saxophone Quartet, Winner of Illinois Armstrong Award (BM, Illinois)

Joseph Tomasso, Tenor Saxophonist, Onyx Saxophone Quartet, 2nd Clarinet, Saxophone, Gainsville Orchestra, Winner of the 2011 9th International Music Competition Premio "Citta di Padova" and Winner of the 2011 9th International Edition of "Premio Virtuoso" Competition (BM, Illinois)

Paul Tucker, Saxophonist, The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Washington D.C. (BM, Illinois)

Kenneth Tse, Professor of Saxophone, University of Iowa; President-Elect, North American Saxophone Alliance, Member, International Saxophone Committee, Yamaha Solo Artist (DMA, Illinois)

Drew Whiting, Assistant Professor of Saxohone, University of Wisconsin at Oschkosh (DMA, Illinois)

Collin Wilson, Instructor of Saxophone, Central Washington University; Winner Illinois Concerto Competition (MM, ABD DMA, TA, Illinois)

Richard Wyman, Chief Warrant Officer, Assistant Director, United States Coast Guard Band, former member of USCG Band and Saxophone Quartet, (MM, TA, Illinois)

Junior High/High School Band Directors

Jennifer Klauda Anderson, General Music Teacher, Prairieview-Ogden Schools, IL (MM, Illinois)

Tara Blocki, Band Director, West Aurora School District, IL. (BME, Illinois)

John Currey, Director of Bands, Central High School, Champaign, VP IMEA Jazz Division, Illinois Concerto Winner (MM, Illinois)

Angela Englishharden, Orchestra Director, Urbana Middle School, IL (BME, Illinois)

Brian Everson, Band Director, South Berwyn School District, IL (BME, Illinois)

Jacquelyn Evers, Music Instructor at St. Joseph-Ogden High School, St. Joseph, IL (BME, Illinois)

Kurt Gros, Associate Director of Bands, Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL (BME, Illinois)

Cody Halberstadt, Director of Bands, Woodstock High School, IL (BME, Illinois)

Claire Hallmark, English and saxophone teacher in JET program, Japan (BME, Illinois)

Jeff Johnson, Band Director, St. Joseph High School, Manhattan, IL (BME, Illinois)

Matt Johnson, Assistant Director of Bands, Cloverleaf Local Schools, Ohio (BME, Illinois)

Marty Kalas, Band Director, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Chicago, IL (BME, Illinois)

Jenna Lake, Director of Bands, Hart Junior High, Homewood, IL. (BME, Illinois)

David Lee, Band Director, Liberty Junior High School, Burbank, IL (BME, Illinois)

Mike Lehman, Director of Bands, Edison Middle School, Champaign, IL (BME, Illinois)

Elisa Lieb, Director of Bands, New Berlin CUSD #16, IL. (BME, Illinois)

Brian Lotter, Director of Bands, Staunton High School, IL (BME, Illinois)

Nathan Mandel, Director of Bands, Countryside School, Champaign, IL (DMA, Illinois)

Bill Rank, Band Director/Music Technology, Will County School District 92, IL (BME, MME, Illinois)

Lis Troyer Schurman, Band Director 5-12 Somonauk CUSD 432, IL. (BME, Illinois)

Anthony Svejda, Director of Bands, Waubonsie High School, IL (BME, Illinois)

Amanda Sylvester-Allen, Jazz Ensemble Director, Monticello Junior High, IL (BME, Illinois)

Kyle Thonn, Music Director, Southbury Elementary in Oswego, IL. (BME, Illinois)

David Tribley, Band Director, Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL. (BME, MM, Illinois)