Category Archives: Saxophone

Ben Schmidt-Swartz

  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies, Western Michigan University
  • Master of Fine Arts, Saxophone Performance, Western Michigan University

Ben did his undergraduate work in saxophone at Western Michigan University. Where he had the opportunity to play with some of the world’s leading jazz musicians including Paquito D’Rivera, Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Billy Hart, Bob Mintzer, Stefon Harris, and Donny McCaslin. Also through WMU, Ben had the opportunity to perform at the Detroit International Jazz Festival, The Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, and at the Jazz Educators Network (JEN).

After graduating from WMU with his undergraduate degree, Schmidt-Swartz released his first record “Mastermind”, co-lead by drummer Nelson Oliva. Schmidt-Swartz and Oliva went on tour with “Mastermind,” performing for enthusiastic audiences. Schmidt-Swartz later released a duo recording with drummer Vincent Davis, “Live at Grace.”

Ben lives and studies in Kalamazoo again and is currently working on his Master’s degree. He is delighted to have the opportunity to work with such fantastic teachers and staff at Crescendo!

You can see Ben in action here or here.

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Scott Robbins

  • Master of Music, Music Education, VanderCook School of Music, Chicago
  • Bachelor of Music, Music Education, Western Michigan University

Scott Robbins has nearly 30 years as a music teacher at Kalamazoo Public Schools. He has also taught at Chamber Music Workshop, Birch Creek Music Performance Camp, and KPS Summer Band and Orchestra. He has performed with the WMU Symphonic Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Orchestra; the Otsego Jazz Ensemble; the St. Joseph Community Band; West Shore Symphony; and Grand Rapid Symphony.

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Brent Decker

  • Bachelor of Arts, Woodwind Performance, Western Michigan University

Brent teaches saxophone and piano for Crescendo, as well as accompanying students at recitals. Brent has worked as a freelance accompanist and pit orchestra musician throughout the Kalamazoo area. He also has experience as a Stage and Musical Director for Community Theater productions.

Also posted in Accompanist, Faculty, Piano | Tagged , , , | Comments closed
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