Rocky Mountain Saxophone Summit

The day long event features clinics, performances, and master classes by professionals and professors from all along the Front Range, with special guest Debra Richtmeyer from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and jazz guest Sam Newsome.

The event is geared towards all ages, with afternoon masterclasses involving a performance by college students from CSU, UNC, CU, DU, MSU, and UW, as well as morning and afternoon presentations and clinics with "audience participation." Bring your instrument for the opportunity to play along!

All events, including the concerts are open to the public and Tim Glessman from Sax Alley will also have horns on display to try out.

Summit Potpourri Concert: 7:30 p.m., Organ Recital Hall



9 a.m. - Andy Dahlke: Interpreting and Performing the Cello Suites of J.S. Bach for Saxophone: Artistry and Endurance for Life!

10 a.m. - Tom Myer: BeBop Language Thru Transcriptions (bring your instrument)

11 a.m. - Mark Harris: Panel Discussion


1:15 p.m. - Masterclass #1 with Debra Richtmeyer, featuring students from Front Range universities

2:30 p.m. - Clinic with Sam Newsome, special jazz guest

3:45 .p.m - Masterclass #2 with Debra Richtmeyer, featuring students from Front Range universities

5 p.m. - FREE CONCERT - Special guest Sam Newsome, solo performance


7:30pm - Potpourri Concert featuring Special guest Debra Richtmeyer and CO/WYO professors

Feature Artists

Debra Richtmeyer

Debra RichtmeyerDebra Richtmeyer, an internationally renowned saxophonist and pedagogue, has been Professor of Saxophone at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1991 and has performed as a soloist and clinician in North America, Europe, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Thailand and China. She has performed or recorded as a concerto soloist with numerous bands and orchestras, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak Radio Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Washington D.C. United States Navy Band. She was principal saxophonist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1991 and with the St. Louis Symphony from 1992-2002. She is Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance and an Artist/Clinician for Conn-Selmer Incorporated.

Professor Richtmeyer has won numerous awards and prizes and has been an invited Juror for music competitions at all levels, including prestigious competitions such as the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana in 2010 and the 3rd Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011.  She has premiered commissioned works at eight World Saxophone Congresses and four North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. In 1997 in Valencia, Spain Richtmeyer became the first woman to be invited to perform a concerto with orchestra at a World Saxophone Congress. In 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, she became the first woman to be invited to give a master class at a World Saxophone Congress.  In July 2012 she performed the Lee Actor Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for the Final Gala concert at the World Saxophone Congress held in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Sam Newsome

Sam NewsomeSaxophonist Sam Newsome first came into prominence on the N.Y. jazz scene as a member of the Terence Blanchard Quintet in the early 1990s. The group toured the world and recorded several CDs for the Columbia/Sony label, including the critically-acclaimed “Malcolm X Jazz Suite.”

Newsome found hope and inspiration in the sound of the soprano saxophone, which, in 1996, resulted in him trading in his tenor saxophone, for a soprano. When asked why he made the switch, Newsome said, “The sound of the soprano allowed me to play with the freedom of not having to carry on my shoulders, decades of the great tenor saxophone legacy. I felt that the sound that I was producing was my own. That was very liberating.”

Newsome began to broaden his sonic palette, studying music from North Africa, Japan, and the Middle East and incorporating non-Western scales into his musical vocabulary. He soon formed Global Unity, which was to become his working band for the next seven years. They released two CDs: Sam Newsome & Global Unity (Columbia/Sony) in 1999, and Global Unity (Palmetto) in 2001.

After a seven-years Newsome took a hiatus from performing as a leader to develop a musical concept specific to the soprano saxophone, studying the solo works of Steve Lacy, Evan Parker, Sonny Rollins, and Anthony Braxton, where he learned how to approach solo saxophone as a concept, and not just sound like one person minus a band.

The fruits of his labor culminated with the 2007 release of his critically acclaimed solo saxophone CD, Monk Abstractions (Some New Music) and 2010's, Blue Soliloquy (Some New Music). Jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote, "Sam Newsome's Blue Soliloquy is music of significant yet subtle accomplishment." This CD was also given the distinguished five star (masterpiece) rating by DownBeat Magazine.

In 2016, in addition to being associate professor of jazz studies at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, Newsome continues to tour, record and develop new ways to explore the soprano saxophone's sonic terrain. His fifth solo saxophone outing, titled The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to LiberationThe Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2 (Some New Music), has been described by Ed Enright, DownBeat Magazine has described as “a modern masterpiece.”

Newsome is also a frequent collaborator with many creative musicians on the New York jazz scene and is a member of the new project by The Bad Plus: Science Fiction: The Music of Ornette Coleman.

Guest Artists

Art BoutonUniversity of Denver
Andy DahlkeUniversity of Northern Colorado
Dan GobleColorado State University
Mark HarrisMetropolitan State University, Denver
Tom MyerUniversity of Colorado
Peter SommerColorado State University
Wil SwindlerColorado State University
Scott TurpenUniversity of Wyoming


March 26, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Organ Recital Hall, Runyan Rehearsal Hall, and Instrumental Rehearsal Hall


Peter Sommer

Coordinator of Jazz Studies
Coordinator of Woodwinds
Associate Professor of Saxophone
Director of Jazz Bands

(970) 491-3010

Previous Guests

2014 - Zach Shemon, University of Missouri - Kansas City