Biography

Kendra Wheeler is a saxophonist, educator, chamber musician, and collaborator, with academic emphases in musicology and music theory. Within Kendra’s artistry and teaching she aims to promote, advocate, teach and perform new works that embrace a multitude of cultures and perspectives. Her doctoral dissertation, “Working at the Intersection of Music and Identity to Build Inclusive Communities” explains how identity is expressed in every aspect of our musical outputs and that, more specifically, it is our understanding of the intersections of identity that will inform and enable us to create truly sustainable, inclusive classrooms.

Kendra has performed across North America, South America, and Europe, at venues and festivals such as Ordway Center for Performing Arts (St. Paul, MN), Women Composers Festival (Hartford, CT), Muzička akademija u Zagrebu (Croatia), New Music Gathering (Portland), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM (Mexico City, Mexico), among others. Kendra has been the recipient of numerous scholarships, grants, and awards including prizes from PanAmerican International Saxophone Competition, North International Music Competition, Thursday Musical, Vandoren Emerging Artist, and Downbeat Magazine.

In addition, Kendra embraces finding new mediums for the saxophone through interdisciplinary collaborations. To this end, she is a member of Alecto Duo, along with Kakia Gkoudina (composer, electronics, visuals). While often political in nature, Alecto Duo’s work is audiovisual, consisting of elements of contemporary music and cinematic tradition. While the audiovisual nature is an essential part of Alecto, we also value the way in which we form our narratives—on the meeting point of musical and extra musical traditions. The duo was formed in 2018 and since has performed nationally and internationally. Visit Alecto Duo’s YouTube page. 

As an educator, Kendra has presented masterclasses and lectures at major institutions throughout the United States and abroad, and has been invited to present pedagogical clinics and workshops at conferences such as College Music Society and the International Conference on Society in the Arts.​ Kendra is Lecturer of Saxophone and Music Theory at Central Washington University where she teaches classical saxophone, saxophone quartet, music theory, aural skills, and single reed methods.

Kendra has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Music and Bachelors of Music Education degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her teachers include Joseph Lulloff, Eugene Rousseau, and Preston Duncan. 

​Kendra is a Silverstein Works and Légère Performing Artist and a CIM Future of Music Faculty Fellow.

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