Dr. Kendra Wheeler serves as Lecturer of Saxophone and Music Theory at Central Washington University. In this position, 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).
Within Dr. Wheeler’s teaching and artistry, she aims to promote, advocate, and perform new repertoire that embrace a multitude of cultures and perspectives. As an educator, she has presented masterclasses and lectures throughout the United States and abroad, most recently the International Alliance for Women in Music and the International Conference on Society and the Arts.
As a performer, she has performed across North America, South America, and Europe. Recent engagements include performances at the 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. Dr. Wheeler has been the recipient of numerous scholarships, grants, and awards including prizes 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 at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
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.
Her doctoral dissertation, “Working at the Intersection of Music and Identity to Build Inclusive Communities,” focuses on how the intersections of identity inform and work to create sustainable and inclusive classrooms. She 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. Wheeler is a professional member of the Black Classical Music Educators (BCME) and International Society for Black Musicians (ISBM) as well as a Silverstein Works and Légère Performing Artist.