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Ian Jeffress


School of Music
Assistant Professor, Saxophone

Phone: 828-227-3974
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D.M.A., Saxophone Performance, University of South Carolina, 2013

M.M., Saxophone Performance, Ithaca College, 2004

B.M., Music Theory, Furman University, 2002


Dr. Ian Jeffress is assistant professor of saxophone at Western Carolina University, where he teaches applied saxophone and coaches chamber ensembles, as well as teaching courses in musicianship.

Additionally, Dr. Jeffress serves as saxophonist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and is the alto saxophonist of the award-winning Assembly Quartet, whose debut album In Search of Stillness was recently released on the AMP Recordings label. 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 Carolina Saxophone Camp, and maintains a private studio of secondary school saxophonists in the Asheville area.

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, including works by Marilyn Shrude, James Matheson, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Frank Wiley, Benjamin Dean Taylor, Kurt Isaacson, Andrew Hannon and Shawn Allison. 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.

Prior to his appointment at Western Carolina, Jeffress served on the faculties of Allen University and the Palmetto Center for the Arts, and served as a graduate teaching assistant at both USC and Ithaca College. His principal teachers have included Clifford Leaman and Steven Mauk, and he has participated in masterclasses with renowned saxophonists including Arno Bornkamp, James Umble, Aleksey Volkov, and the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet.


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