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The Art of Classical Saxophone



Guided by world-class performers, composers, and arrangers, acquire the tools and knowledge to transition into your career as a professional classical saxophonist.

  • Develop and improve technical and performance skills.
  • Gain insight into the collaboration process between composers or arrangers.
  • Familiarize yourself with recording session best practices.
  • Learn about the business aspects of the profession including artist branding and marketing strategy.
  • Explore leading saxophone brand manufacturers and accessories.
  • This course will culminate in a public performance of student work.


Undergraduate: MUSIC 424, 3 units
Graduate/Post-baccalaureate: MUSIC 624, 3 units




All people with college-level saxophone playing skills (undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate), exceptional high school players, or advanced adult recreational players are encouraged to apply. If you are looking to enhance your performance abilities and knowledge about classical saxophone, this is the course for you!


  1. Submit a brief biography (500 words or less), statement of interest (no more than one page) and links to video recordings of two contrasting character pieces from any historical period. Two distinctive movements of the same piece are allowed. Do not submit audio files; just include link​s to YouTube or Vimeo sites where we can see your videos. See video submission guidelines below.
  2. Submit/upload the materials listed in step one when you apply online by May 10, 2021.

    • The total performance time of two pieces must not exceed 15 minutes.
    • Video must be recorded within the last 12 months prior to the submission date
    • Edited video and audio recordings will no​t be accepted.
    • The applicant’s face and​ hands must be clearly visible.
    • Recording must be of reasonable video and audio quality (at least 720p) with minimal background noise.
    • Accompaniment is desired but not required.


Professor Chika Inoue

Guest Artists

Yasuto Tanaka

Yasuto Tanaka –

Yasuto Tanaka was born in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. During his enrolment at the Kunitachi College of Music, Tanaka won the first prize for saxophone in the 4th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition and made a sensational debut. His musicianship was lauded as “a great talent with inner poetry,” impressing even Marcel Mule, the great classical saxophonist acclaimed as the ‘Le patron’ of the saxophone. After graduating Kunitachi College of Music with the Yatabe Award, Tanaka showcased his sophisticated techniques and unique, humane music as a soloist. He enjoyed numerous successful recitals with rave reviews and the sweeping acclaim of the audiences. In 1991 his first CD Wind and Percussion Solo Masterpieces: Saxophone was released. Additionally, Tanaka has been an active member of the Trouvère Quartet, a world-renowned saxophone quartet as well as the concert master of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra.

Rodrigo Vila

Rodrigo Vila

Born in Vigo, Spain, in 1977, Rodrigo Villa began his official musical studies at the Conservatory in his hometown when he was only 8. He continued his training, with scholarships from both the French Ministry of Education and the Pontevedra Provincial Council, at the Jacques Thibaud Conservatory in Bordeaux, and attended the renowned Saxophone International Class, where he was taught by the masters Jean-Marie Londeix and Marie- Bernardette Charrier. He is the saxophone professor at the Higher Music and Dance Conservatory of the Balearic Islands (Spain) since 2004. Throughout his academic career, his students have excelled, both individually and in different chamber groups, in the most renowned national and international music competitions. Since the Mallorca Saxophone Studio was created, this pedagogical project has won more than 45 awards, thus becoming one of the current models in saxophone teaching. Additionally, he has recorded for the national broadcasting networks France Television and Radio Televisión Española, as well as the public radio stations Catalunya Ràdio, Radio Galega and IB3 Ràdio. He is currently finalizing the launch of this first solo album with the label Ona Digital.

Benjamin Boone

Benjamin Boone –

Benjamin Boone is a saxophonist, composer, and Professor of Music at California State University Fresno. He has served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Ghana (2017-18) and a U.S. Fulbright Senior Specialist to the Republic of Moldova (2005). As a classical composer, Boone’s compositions have been performed in 35 countries, appear on 28 recordings, and have been the subject of several National NPR and Bayerischer Rundfunk (German Radio) stories. The past several years Boone has focused on writing music that addresses relevant cultural and environmental issues, music that aspires to speak to listeners on a level that touches their soul and instigates a greater sense of empathy and understanding. His ethnohistorical opera Ascencion, about Native American cultural genocide, co-written with Helene Joesph Weill, was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” and his orchestral work Waterless Music: A Drought Symphony, premiered at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, and was featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” His compositions are published by Latham Music, Lorenz, Alry Publications, Sentinel Dome, Eighth Note Publications (Canada), GPG Music, and VR Music. Boone received his two undergraduate degrees in Music Theory and Applied Music/Jazz Saxophone from The University of Tennessee, his Masters of Music in Composition from Boston University (where he was awarded their composition prize two consecutive years), Post-Graduate Studies in Jazz at Manhattan School of Music (while he was completing his Thesis from Boston University), and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of South Carolina. His primary teachers have included Bernard Rands, Charles Fussell, Jerry Coker, John A. Lennon, and Gordon “Dick” Goodwin.

John Hallberg

John Hallberg –

John Hallberg is a native of Southern California, a saxophone performer, and educator currently based in Southern California. He has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia in venues such as Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Segerstrom Hall, Mozart Concert Hall of Zuhai, McCormick Place, Bovard Auditorium, and at numerous university campuses around the world. John is currently on faculty at California State University-Fullerton, The Colburn School, and the Orange County School of the Arts. Additionally, he has previously taught applied saxophone at the University of S​outhern California. John is currently on faculty at California State University-Fullerton, The Colburn School, and the Orange County School of the Arts. Additionally, he has previously taught applied saxophone at the University of Southern California.

Ricardo Martinez

Ricardo Martinez

A highly evolved saxophone player,​ American saxophonist Ricardo Martinez has performed concerts internationally in France, Scotland, and Japan. An avid chamber musician, Martinez was Grand Prize Winner in the 2019 9th Plowman Chamber Music Competition. While in France, Martinez performed frequent chamber concerts in Paris at the Korean Cultural Center, Maison de la Culture du Japon, Maison Heinrich Heine, and Temple ​du Saint Esprit. As an orchestral musician, Martinez has performed with several symphonies, including the California Symphony, Eva​nsville Philharmonic, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and University Orchestra at Jacobs, as well as the San Jose Wind Symphony. Martinez has been invited to teach and perform at San José State University, Stanford University, and the Indiana Universi​ty Summer Saxophone Academy. He has served as a clinician in the California Bay Area and to members of the California Youth Symphony Wind Ensemble.

Martinez studied under acclaimed saxophone virtuoso Eugene Rousseau at the University of Minnesota, as well as Jean-Yves Fourmeau, and Philippe Braquart in France, where he obtained the Medaille d​'Or in saxophone and chamber music with honors at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Cergy-Pontoise. Additional teachers ​include David Henderson and William Trimble. Martinez earned a Master of Music and is completing a Doctor of Music with minors in Music Education and Wind Conducting at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the guidance of Otis Murphy, where he held the position of associate instructor in saxophone from 2016-2019. He currently teaches at University of the Pacific.

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