Kendra Wheeler is a Chicago born saxophonist, chamber musician, and educator, with academic emphases in musicology and music theory. She has been an active advocate for music education, as well as, for the inclusion, visibility, and engagement of the underrepresented within the composition, performance, and academic disciplines within classical music. Moreover, she is passionate about exploring and applying the concepts of intersectionality, critical race theory, and identity to herself as an artist and within her artistry and teaching. Her work, while often political in nature, focuses on creating, promoting, advocating, and performing new works from a multitude of cultures and perspectives, while also working in close collaboration with composers, performers, and interdisciplinary artists.
Wheeler is also a part of Alecto Duo, along with Kakia Gkoudina (composer, electronics, visuals). Alecto Duo’s work is audiovisual consisting of elements of contemporary music and cinematic tradition. The audiovisual nature of our work, as well as the way that we try to form our narratives - on the meeting point of musical and extra musical traditions - is a core part of who we are. The duo was formed in 2018 and since has performed in Croatia at the World Saxophone Congress, Cincinnati Ohio and the 2018 Biennial NASA Conference, and The Women Composers Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. Please visit the Alecto Duo website or YouTube page.
Kendra has a Master of Music degree in saxophone performance under Preston Duncan from the University of Minnesota where she also received her Bachelor of Music Education degree under Eugene Rousseau. Wheeler 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.
As of Fall 2018, Wheeler is completing her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree and second masters in Music Theory at Michigan State University under the study of Joseph Lulloff. For the Fall semester of 2020, Wheeler was the Visiting Instructor of Saxophone at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.