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Within Dr. Kendra Wheeler’s artistry, she aims to promote, advocate and perform new repertoire that embraces a multitude of cultures and perspectives. This can be seen in her modern and diverse programming and commissioning. She has appeared at major venues and festivals in Italy, Croatia, Greece, England and across the United States including Chicago Symphony Center (Chicago, IL), Ordway Center for Performing Arts (St. Paul, MN), The Seasons Performance Hall (Yakima, WA), Muzička akademija u Zagrebu (Croatia), New Music Gathering (Portland), Gruss Music Center (Hartford, CT, SPLICE Festival (Detroit, MI), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM (Mexico City, Mexico), among others. Dr. Wheeler’s work has been recognized by awards and grants from Vandoren Emerging Artist, DOWNBEAT Magazine, PanAmerican International Saxophone Competition, North International Music Competition, and Thursday Musical. In 2021, she was selected as a Future of Music Faculty Fellow through the Cleveland Institute of Music.
As an educator, she supports and advocates for sustainably inclusive pedagogical practices that affirm the presence of all diverse peoples. Specifically, she uses the theories and concepts of intersectionality, identity, and privilege to explore how artistry and musicianship works in tandem with the many intersections of our identity. She has been invited to give guest lectures and present her work at major conferences and universities across North America and Europe including the University of Hartford, Hart School of Music (Hartford, CT), the International Alliance for Women in Music (Eugene, Oregon), International Conference on Society and the Arts (Zaragoza, Spain), Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland), among others. For more information regarding Dr. Wheeler’s DEIBA and scholarship work, click here.
As an advocate for innovation through performance, Dr. Wheeler embraces exploring new mediums for the saxophone through interdisciplinary collaborations. Since 2018 she has been 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.
Dr. Wheeler holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance from Michigan State University where she was a student of Joseph Lulloff. She also holds a Master of Music in saxophone performance and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Dr. Wheeler is thankful for her mentors that have guided her passion for music and artistry. Among them are Eugene Rousseau and Preston Duncan.
Dr. Kendra Wheeler serves as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Central Washington University where she teaches applied classical saxophone, music theory, aural skills, as well as courses within the music education curriculum. Prior to her appointment at CWU, she served on the music faculty of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam
(NY). Dr. Wheeler is a Silverstein Works, Légère, and Key Leaves Artist.
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