Sumner Truax

Sumner TruaxHailing from Chicago, Illinois, Sumner Truax has brought the music of today to audiences all over the world. An active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Truax has performed for audiences in North America, Europe, and Africa. He plays regularly with Unmarked Turns, a piano and saxophone duo dedicated to interdisciplinary performances using art, music, and text to create unique and exciting programs. He is also active with Dr. Ax – a drum/saxophone duo combining rock, jazz, free-improvisation, and classical music to deliver contemporary music to new audiences. As a frequent collaborator with composers, Sumner has helped bring many new works for saxophone and saxophone quartet to life. Recently, he participated in the Global Premiere Consortium resulting in Baljinder Sekhon’s Sonata of Puzzles of which he gave the Wisconsin premiere in February. He has also worked closely with award winning French composer Christian Lauba resulting in the concert etude entitled “Bebop” which is dedicated to Sumner and was premiered at the Christian Lauba conference in Houston, TX. In addition to solo repertoire, Sumner along with the Lux Quartet has commissioned and premiered several works by young composers.

A versatile classical and jazz musician, Mr. Truax has performed with the Lux and East End saxophone quartets, the Eastman Saxophone Project, Love Constellation and the Stars, Fatbook, and various large and small jazz ensembles. Twice a winner of Wisconsin Public Radio's Neale-Silva Young Artist Competition, Mr. Truax has performed live on two concerts on WPR.  With the Lux Quartet, he was a winner of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and a Downbeat Student Music Award.

Mr. Truax earned his Master of Music degree in saxophone performance and literature and a certificate in Arts Leadership at the Eastman School of Music. At Eastman, he served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. Mr. Truax also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in saxophone performance and instrumental/general music education from Lawrence University. He has also served as a program advisor at the New York Jazz Academy and maintains a private studio of saxophone, flute, and clarinet students.

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Watch Sumner Truax and Kurt Eric Galván perform William Bolcom's Lillith for alto saxophone and piano.

Listen to Sumner Truax perform Colin Labadie's Strata - Sonder for solo tenor saxophone

Steven Jordheim

Steven Jordheim

Steven Jordheim, Professor of Music, is a winner of two major international performance competitions: the International Competition for Musical Performers (CIEM) in Geneva, Switzerland in 1983 and the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York in 1984. He presented his New York debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1985 and has performed as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras in Italy, China, Switzerland, France, Canada, Taiwan, and the United States. Jordheim holds degrees in music performance from Northwestern University and the University of North Dakota and has studied with Frederick Hemke and Jean-Marie Londeix.

Since joining the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in 1981, Jordheim has taught courses in saxophone, chamber music, music education, instrumental pedagogy, and Freshman Studies. In 2012, Jordheim received the Freshman Studies Teaching Award, and he was awarded the Lawrence University Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. He has been an artist-teacher of saxophone at the Xi'an Conservatory of Music in China, the International Saxophone Chamber Music Festival in Faenza, Italy, the Hsing Tien Kong Festival in Taiwan, and the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. He has served as adjudicator for the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance Classical Saxophone Performance Competitions, the Music Teachers National Association regional and national competitions, and the Hsing Tien Kong Competition in Taiwan. Steven Jordheim's recording of David Maslanka's Song Book for alto saxophone and marimba, and Sonata for alto saxophone and piano is available on the Albany Records label. His performance as conductor of Rodney Rogers’ Two Views for saxophone ensemble, percussion, piano, and double bass with the Lawrence University Saxophone Ensemble is available on the Albany Records label, and his performance of James Chaudoir’s Pentragrams was released on the Capstone label.

Jordheim’s research interests include study of the vocal tract in standard and extended saxophone techniques. Utilizing fiber-optic camera technology, he has conducted a direct observation study of the techniques of saxophone performance, viewing and recording the movements of the structures inside the mouth and throat as saxophonists execute performance techniques. His research website - The Saxophonist's Anatomy - includes video clips with accompanying explanations of all techniques included in the study.

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Listen to Steven Jordheim and Christina Dahl perform the first movement of David Maslanka's Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Watch Steven Jordheim, Sara Kind ('05), Jesse Dochnahl ('05), and Sumner Truax ('12) perform Elliott Carter's Canonic Suite for four alto saxophones.

José Encarnación

José L. Encarnación, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies, leads the jazz improvisation classes, coaches jazz small groups, teaches applied jazz saxophone, and coordinates the jazz performance program at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. He studied saxophone, flute and clarinet at the Free School of Music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated magna cum laude, and received his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music (including the 2002 Schirmer Prize in Jazz Performance). He previously served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music, Instructor of Saxophone, Latin Jazz Performance Workshop, and Youth Saxology for the Eastman Community School, and as Jazz Ensemble Conductor at the Rochester (NY) School of the Arts.

He has performed jazz, salsa, and Latin music with the Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Dave Rivello Ensemble, Gilberto Santarosa, Roberto Rohena, Bobby Valentin, Domingo Quinones, Israel “Cachao" Lopez, Tito Puente, Danilo Perez, Dave Valentin, Giovanni Hidalgo, Batacumbele, Humberto Ramirez, and David Sanchez. His pops performances include appearances with the Temptations, Dianne Reeves, Natalie Cole, Doc Severinsen, Lou Rawls, New York Voices, Brasilia, Ann Hampton Calloway, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Rochester, and Green Bay.

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Watch José Encarnación play "This Thing" with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet:

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