Rhett Bender

Rhett Bender's Biography

Rhett Bender, DMA, is a Professor of Music at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate saxophone performance and chamber music. In the summers, he is the Director of the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop and the Siskiyou Saxophone Workshop. Bender is a founding member and soprano saxophonist with the Mazama Quartet and Globe Saxophone Quartet; the Artistic Director for the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra (SSO); and saxophonist with the Rogue Valley and Britt Festival Symphony Orchestras. He is the Region One Director of the North American Saxophone Alliance (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming). Bender travels to China as Guest Artist-Teacher at the Sichuan Conservatory of Classical Music, Honorary Advisor to the Chengdu Saxophone Society, Visiting Professor at the College of Arts of Yantai University, and Guest Artist for the Yantai Children's Palace of Music and Art. Bender earned degrees from Iowa State University (Bachelor of Music) and the University of Georgia (Master of Music, Doctorate of Musical Arts) where he was a student of Kenneth Fischer.

As a saxophone artist-teacher, Bender was the featured cover interview for the May/June 2011 issue of Saxophone Journal. As the director of the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop, he was featured in the March 2012 issue of Strings magazine for the innovative approach to chamber music education in "An Intensive Chamber Program That Can Keep You Guessing." His book, An Annotated Bibliography of American Saxophone Quartets, is published by Lambert Academic Publishers. An active soloist and clinician, Bender has performed or presented master classes at the XIII, XIV, and XVII World Saxophone Congresses, Chengdu China International Contemporary Music Festival, Chengdu Saxophone Forum, Montana Saxophone Festival, the College Music Society, the Kentucky Music Teachers Association Conference, the Iowa Band Master's Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the North American Saxophone Alliance, and the Southeastern Composers' League. In 1998, he won a first prize in the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Debut Tour Solo Competition. As a member of the Athens Saxophone Quartet (now the Globe Saxophone Quartet), Bender was a first prize winner in 1995 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Symposium Chamber Music Competition, and twice competed in the semi-final round of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In 2007, the SSO was honored with sponsorship by Mercury Saxophones LTD to perform at the Shanghai China Music Trade Show. In 2009, the SSO was selected for performance at the XV World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, and again for the 2012 XVI World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland.

In the spring of 2013, Bender premiered Carleton Macy's concerto Duality for alto saxophone and wind ensemble dedicated to Bender and the Southern Oregon University Wind Ensemble. His live performances have been broadcast over KING-FM in Seattle, Peach State Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio, and Jefferson Public Radio. He is one of the featured saxophonists on Arizona University Recording's America's Millennium Tribute to Adolphe Sax. His solo saxophone albums are Transformations and Meldings.

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