The Schmitt Music Sax Shop maintains a close relationship with some of the top professional players and most respected educators in the area. This Advisory Board of esteemed saxophonists reports on current saxophone trends, helps advise what we should carry in the shop, and is always available to make recommendations for all players, beginner and pro.
Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist David Milne is an accomplished and versatile performer, composer, and arranger in musical settings ranging from creative jazz, modern big band, and progressive popular styles to symphonic/orchestral, chamber music, and contemporary classical styles. Originally from Rochester NY, he earned a DMA in Saxophone Performance at the Eastman School of Music, an MM in Woodwind Performance and a BA in Music from the Indiana University School of Music. He serves as Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Programs at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he teaches applied saxophone, directs the UW-River Falls Jazz Ensembles, and teaches jazz-related courses. David Milne is a Conn-Selmer Saxophone Artist-Clinician.
David Milne has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, JazzMN Big Band, Phil Woods, Doc Severinsen, Gordon Goodwin, Bob Florence, Rob McConnell, Bob Mintzer, Bobby McFerrin, Ray Charles, Jack McDuff, Lou Rawls, Ernestine Anderson, Terry Gibbs, Smokey Robinson, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, among others. Dedicated to the performance of new music, he has fostered, commissioned, and premiered dozens of works for saxophone quartet and chamber music ensembles with The Ancia Saxophone Quartet, The JAZZAX Saxophone Quartet, and the contemporary music ensemble Zeitgeist. As a performer, he has received awards, grants, and commissions for new works from The American Composers Forum, The Jerome Foundation, THE Commission Project, and Downbeat jazz journal. His compositions for saxophone ensembles have been performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance and World Saxophone Congress conventions. Davidís compositions for saxophone ensemble and jazz ensemble are published by Really Good Music LLC and BIT Musikverlag, Berlin, Germany.
At UW-River Falls, David Milne teaches Applied Saxophone, directs the UW-River Falls Jazz Ensembles, and teaches jazz-related courses. In addition, he has taught master classes and workshops at the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University School of Music, MacPhail Center for Music, McNally Smith College of Music, Shell Lake Arts Center, Norwich Center for Arts and Education (UK), Minnesota All-State Jazz Ensemble, and at high schools and colleges throughout the US. He was an artist teacher from 1996-2002 at the Frei Kunst Schule Summer Jazz Workshop in Berlin, Germany. David is a Selmer Saxophone Artist-Clinician, and his performances and educational appearances are supported in part by the Conn-Selmer Company.
Greg Keel is a performer and clinician in concert and jazz saxophone. He is on the faculty at MacPhail Center for the Arts and Normandale College in Minneapolis, the UW-Green Bay summer jazz program and the University of Wisconsin Indianhead Arts Center Summer Jazz Camps in Shell Lake. Greg has been a visiting artist/conductor in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Studies Department, and created the jazz composition and improvisation workshop at the annual UW-Eau Claire High Potential Summer Institute for junior and senior high school students.
Greg attended the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and Madison, and Concordia College in St. Paul. He studied privately with Harry Miedema, Brian Grivna, Ruben Haugen, Richard Fletcher and Bill Grahn, and is a regular participant in masterclass workshops with saxophonist Eugene Rousseau. Greg has performed with Anthony Cox, Geoff Keezer, The Temptations, Mel Torme, Bobby Vinton, Andy Williams, Bob Hope, The O’Jays, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and blues artist Luther Allison.
Greg’s private students have been members of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Honors Jazz Ensembles and Concert Bands, the McDonald’s All-American High School Jazz Ensemble, the Disney World and Disneyland Jazz Bands and Indianhead Honors Band. Many have gone on to many successful music careers including recordings, tours and studio productions with Doc Severinson, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Sting, and several of Greg’s students have received awards through Down Beat and JazzTimes magazines.
Greg is an artist/clinician for the Selmer Company and has been a contributing writer for Saxophone Journal magazine. He is also a studio education consultant for Schmitt Music Centers, a member of MENC, WSMA, MMEA, IAJE, and an alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. Greg is also coordinator of the annual MacPhail Saxophone Day held each November, one of the largest woodwind events in the country.
Kenni Holmen is one of the most active recording and touring musicians from the Twin Cities area. Kenni has performed and recorded with many local, national and international artists over his twenty year career.
Kenni has performed with Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, T.C. Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Donny Osmond, The Rev. Billy Graham Crusade, The Glen Miller Orchestra, Doc Severinson, Garrison Keilor, The Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra just to name a few. Kenni has recorded with Janet Jackson, Rod Stewart, Prince, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Ben Sidran, Baby Face, Mandy Moore, and many others.
In addition to recording album projects and jingles, Kenni also writes, co-produces and has performed with New Age artist Lorie Line since 1993. This includes a performance at The White House in the fall of 2000. Kenni was voted ìBest Tenor Sax Playerî by Twin Cities Reader magazine. Kenni is also featured with Princeís horn section called ìThe HornHeadsî who have toured throughout the United States and Europe since 1992.
Pete Whitman is a saxophonist, composer and arranger based in Minneapolis, MN. He has toured the US, Japan, and Brazil with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and has also performed with such distinguished ensembles and musicians as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the JazzMN Orchestra, JAZZAX Saxophone Quartet, Laura Caviani, Andres Prado and is the leader of the Pete Whitman’s X-tet. Whitman has also recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CDs out under his name: Departure Point on Igmod Records, The Sound of Water, and Where’s When both on the Artegra label.
Whitman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from North Texas State University, majoring in jazz studies and minoring in flute performance. A dedicated teacher, Whitman heads the Brass & Woodwinds Department at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
An internationally acclaimed performer and educator based out of Minneapolis, Preston Duncan has been hailed as ìdisplaying his saxophone masteryî (The Indianapolis Star) with ìvirtuosic brillianceî (the Muncie Start/Press) as a ìterrific talentî (Marvin Hamlisch).
He has appeared as soloist throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. He has performed on over 65 occasions as soloist with large ensembles including The Indianapolis Symphony Orchesta, La Grande Orchestre des Alpes de la Mer of Nice, the Bowling Green State University Philharmonic, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and many others. He has performed internationally in such prestigious venues as the Salle Verdi (Milan), the American Embassy (Paris), The Royal Conservatory (Brussels), Circle Theater (Indianapolis), UNAM Hall (Mexico City), the National University (Taipei), Salle Verdi (Montevideo), the National Conservatory (Zagreb), the National Conservatory (San Jose), and Disneyland (Los Angeles).
As a chamber musician he has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Indianapolis Pops, The Minnesota Pops, The Indianapolis Symphony and with such acclaimed artists as Rosemary Clooney, Azmira-Woodward-Page, Marvin Hamlisch and Jeremy Denk.
Duncan was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, France. He has won numerous awards and prizes including 1st prize in the MTNA National Woodwind Competition. He was the featured performer and educator at the 1st Annual Taiwanese National Saxophone Festival, the 12th Annual Encuentro Universitario Internacional de SaxofÛn in Mexico City and Saxfest Costa Rica in 2015. This summer he will be the featured performer at the 4th International Festival of Saxophones in Montevideo Uruguay.
Duncan currently teaches saxophone at the University of Minnesota. During the summer he teaches on the faculty at Ticino Musica International in Lugano Switzerland and Shell Lake Arts Center. He has premiered works by Bernard Rands, Ernesto Pellegrini, Joseph Dangerfield, Kenneth Fuchs and many others. Duncan performs exclusively on the Buffet Senzo saxophone and the Eugene Rousseau RC4 Mouthpiece.
Eugene Rousseau has performed across North America and on five continents since his Carnegie Hall debut. The legendary saxophonist Marcel Mule described Rousseau as “a brilliant saxophonist and distinguished artist,” and critics the world over have echoed Mule’s praise.
Rousseau’s artistry has inspired many “firsts.” He gave the first solo saxophone recitals in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London and Amsterdam. He has given a yearly master course at the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg during 1991-2001, marking the first time that the saxophone was included at that institution. He has premiered numerous works written for him, including the Partita by Juan Orrego-Salas (with the Haydn Trio of Vienna), Jindrich Feld’s Sonata for alto saxophone and piano, and Concerto for saxophones and orchestra, Bernhard Heiden’s Fantasia Concertante for alto saxophone and winds, Hear Again in Memory, by Frederick Fox, Don Freund’s Skyscrapings for alto saxophone and piano, and Concertos by Libby Larsen, Claude Baker, and David DeBoor Canfield.
Rousseau has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Pan-American Festival Orchestra under Lukas Foss, the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard and Phillipe Entremont, the BBC Orchestra in London, the Jan·cek Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Prague Symphony, the Kansai Philharmonic (Osaka), the Santiago Philharmonic (Chile), the recitals and master classes throughout the world on a variety of topics related to his instrument. His solo performances include appearances with the U.S. Army Band at Kennedy Center, the Budapest Strings in Hungary, and the Tokyo Bach Band, as well as the Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Festival in Japan.
The Chicago-born Rousseau’s service to the saxophone community is of long standing. Since 1972, he has been the Yamaha Corporation’s chief consultant for saxophone research, contributing to the development of acoustic improvements in saxophones and mouthpieces. In 1985, he recorded a video program for Yamaha, Steps to Excellence. Rousseau co-founded the World Saxophone Congress in 1969 and has been President of both the North American Saxophone Alliance (1979-80) and the ComitÈ International du Saxophone (1982-85). In May 1998, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Iowa, at which institution he earned the Ph.D. degree, his principal teacher being Himie Voxman. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University, having served on the IU faculty from 1964 to 2000. Dr. Rousseau joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music in fall 2000. In 1993, Eugene Rousseau was designated an honorary faculty member of the Prague Conservatory. In 2003, Rousseau and the University of Minnesota School of Music hosted the 13th World Saxophone Congress Convention.