Ian Jeffress serves as saxophonist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and is the alto saxophonist of the Assembly Quartet. He has been a finalist in the MTNA Young Artist competition, a semifinalist in the Fischoff Chamber Music competition, and a recipient of the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts' Teaching Award and the USC School of Music's Nolte Award for excellence in teaching by a graduate student.
As a soloist and member of Assembly, he has performed with ensembles including the Florence Symphony Orchestra, the Motor City Symphony, the Cornell Symphonic Band, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, and the Western Carolina Artist-in-Residence Orchestra and WCU Wind Ensemble. Concert venues have included the Bowling Green New Music Festival, World Saxophone Congress, the International Saxophone Symposium, the College Music Society national conference, Electronic Music Midwest, the Spartanburg Philharmonic's 'Espresso' chamber music series, the Sibyl Center Concert Series, Lake City Concert Series, Treefalls New Music, and numerous meetings of the North American Saxophone Alliance, in addition to giving recitals and clinics at universities and schools throughout the United States.
As a teacher dedicated to providing outstanding early training in addition to collegiate study, Jeffress is a co-founder and faculty member of the Assembly Quartet Saxophone Workshop, and maintains a private studio of secondary school saxophonists in the Asheville area. He has particular interest in helping students develop robust practice strategies and mature tone production practices, and is currently assembling a new multimedia method book centered on these topics.
Dr. Jeffress is a dedicated proponent of the music of our time: his doctoral research focuses on the application of narrative theory to post-tonal music, and he has been consistently involved in commissioning and premiering new music for the instrument by a diverse array of composers, including Marilyn Shrude, Shih-Hui Chen, Susanna Hancock, Robin McLaughlin, Joel Love, and Caleb Burhans. He has additionally encouraged his student performers to explore their own musical interests through new repertoire, leading to commissions from composers including Ian Dicke, Ruby Fulton, Alan Theisen, Brendan Sweeney, and Matthew Quayle.