Saxophonist and music educator Dr. Derek Granger is Visiting Assistant Professor of Saxophone the Tarleton State University Department of Performing Arts. Previously, Dr. Granger held positions as Associate Instructor of Saxophone in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Director of Choirs at Flowing Wells High School is Tucson, Arizona.
Dr. Granger has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Hartt Wind Ensemble, and the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble. He has garnered awards at MTNA national and regional competitions, the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Competition, the Hartt Chamber Music Competition, the Paranov Concerto Competition, and the Cyprus International Music Competition. As a chamber musician, Dr. Granger has given recitals and residencies across the American Southwest and Mexico with the Presidio Saxophone Quartet and Catalina Quartet, respectively. He can be heard with Catalina Quartet performing Alaric I or II by Gavin Bryars on America’s Millennium Tribute to Adolphe Sax, Volume XIV, published by Arizona University Recordings. Additionally, as a collaborative woodwind artist, Dr. Granger has a breadth of experience in theater and pit orchestra settings, including two tours of China with Artifact Dance Company, based in Tucson, Arizona.
Dr. Granger is committed to the creation of new solo and chamber works for saxophone, with recent premieres including non-poem 8 by Jonathan Ragonese (solo saxophone), Wood Song by Jenni Brandon (version for soprano saxophone), and Deep State by Robert Rankin (saxophone and mixed percussion). His 2020 collaboration with poet Patrick Kindig, The Quarantine Variations, comprises thirty poems (by Kindig) with newly composed musical responses (by Granger) created during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Additionally, Dr. Granger’s professionally and self-published online catalog features saxophone arrangements of older works by Mozart, Respighi, Magnard, Wolf, and more.
As an educator, Dr. Granger blends his varied experiences as choral director and saxophonist in research that pursues an evidence-based approach to saxophone pedagogy modeled on modern voice pedagogy. His private students have been accepted into regional and all-state groups as well as collegiate programs. While teaching at Flowing Wells High School, Dr. Granger’s four choirs earned superior and excellent ratings at Arizona ACDA State Festival and NAU Jazz and Madrigal Festival (among others) and were selected to perform alongside the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Maintaining his commitment to secondary education, Dr. Granger serves on the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in northern Michigan during the summer months.
Dr. Granger holds degrees from The Hartt School (DMA), Indiana University (MM), and the University of Arizona (BM). His primary teachers include Carrie Koffman, Otis Murphy, Kelland Thomas, and Timothy McAllister.