My teaching experience spans 14 years of private instruction and 4 years in the classroom. When I teach, I'm always thinking about what I can to do to inspire the student, to push the student to practice more and be creative.
For 4 years, I taught Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level Band Programs for over 12 private schools in the D/FW area, which included learning-different students. I have also taught a yearly Band Camp in Oklahoma and have served as Clinician and Guest Artist worldwide, in Texas, Seattle, New York, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, and Bangkok, Thailand.
In back-to-back years, had two students make the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Jazz Ensemble on tenor saxophone. These students and many others received scholarships to many world-renowned music schools, including Eastman, NYU, Berklee College of Music, University of North Texas and Texas Christian University.
Multiple classical saxophone students of mine have made All-Region and All-Area and achieved 1st Division medals at Solo and Ensemble competitions. My College-level jazz saxophone students have had great success, such as making the world-renowned One and Two O'clock Lab Bands and performing regularly in top-notch jazz scenes all over the world.
Education / Training
I attended The University of North Texas and received a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies, specializing in saxophone performance.
While a student at UNT, I performed for four years (2003-2007) in the world-renowned One O'Clock Lab Band under the direction of Neil Slater on both alto and tenor saxophones, recording four studio albums with the group (Lab 2004-2007) and two live albums, Live From Thailand (2004) and Live At Blues Alley (2007). The One O'clock Lab Band was invited to perform with and for His Majesty The King of Thailand in 2004, as well as performing at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) Conference in both 2004 and 2006, opening up for Chick Corea in 2006. We shared the stage with Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Pete Christleib, Jimmy Heath, Nicholas Payton, Rufus Reid, Lou Marini, Ed Soph and many others, and also performed clinics and concerts at festivals in Poland, Canada, the Pacific Northwest, New York, Maryland and Boston, and Thailand.
My group, The Matt Sawyer Orchestra, was selected to perform as a student group at the 2006 North Sea Jazz Festival and my arrangement of "Dear Lord" by John Coltrane was Downbeat Winner in 2006. I was also a Finalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Jazz Soloist Competition in both 2004 and 2006, receiving 3rd Place in 2006.
I have been fortunate enough to have been a saxophone and jazz improvisation student of James (Jim) Riggs (2003-2008), Tom Luer (2002-2003), David Lown (2002), Dave Chael (2001) and Andrew Dahlke (2000). I have also studied classical saxophone with Roy Allen, Jr. (1997-2000) and flute with Dr. Mary Karen Clardy (2004-2005) and Jen Smith (2003), Arranging with Paris Rutherford (2004) and Jazz Improvisation from Michael Steinel (2002).
Dear Lord (John Coltrane/arr. Matt Sawyer)
Matt Sawyer Woodwind Demo
I am considering taking lessons. Please contact me with further information. Thank you.
Shenandoah Conservatory is a performing arts community located near Washington DC with a comprehensive unit of 750 students and 120 faculty in music, theater and dance. In 2008-09, resident and visiting artists include the Audubon Quartet, pianist John O'Conor and trumpet artist Jens Lindemann.