Welcome to The Ohio State University Saxophone Studio!
The Buckeye Saxophone Studio is a community of artists, leaders and creative thinkers who use the saxophone as a tool to grow as musicians and citizens. I strive to create an environment of positivity, collaboration and collegiality; my students are held to the highest standards of professionalism and work ethic. I approach teaching in a manner which encourages participation through discussion and debate, and the Buckeye saxophone students are taught to think beyond the sheet music — to become artists and educators who are problem-solvers and critical thinkers.
Read below to learn more about the Ohio State Saxophone Studio, and you can follow the Buckeye Saxos on Facebook and Instagram. Go Buckeyes!
Michael Rene Torres
Assistant Teaching Professor of Saxophone
Plan a Visit
Choosing where to study is an important decision. Having the opportunity to meet a teacher, learn about their teaching style, meet current students, and ask questions in person can be very helpful. I am happy to offer (when available) one complimentary lesson to prospective undergraduate and graduate students. You might also wish to visit our studio class. Please contact me to make a special appointment.
You can also schedule an appointment to Visit the School of Music.
Prospective undergraduate music majors, consider attending these exciting events:
- Practice Audition Day — for high school juniors and seniors who would like to learn how to better prepare a college audition (October)
- High school students — ask your band directors to consider nominating you for our annual honor band event:
- High School Honor Band Weekend (January)
- Spring Visit Day — for all high school students considering majoring in music (April)
- Saxophone Camp (June)
Questions? Email Tanya Sparks, School of Music Admissions Coordinator,.
The Saxophone Studio often performs at events including North American Saxophone Alliance regional and national conferences and the U. S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, as well as at various venues in the rich Columbus arts scene. Saxophone students also have the opportunity to participate in numerous learning and performance experiences both on and off campus, including:
- Chamber music opportunities with typically 4 saxophone quartets/year
- Saxophone quartets regularly perform at high schools and middle schools throughout the State of Ohio
- Saxophone Ensemble
- Guest artist master classes
- Group classical improvisation workshops
- Collaborations with composers, resulting in world premiere performances
- Events such as the Ohio State Contemporary Music Festival, Celebration concerts, the HalleBOOia! concert, and visits by distinguished guest composers
Application and Audition Information
Prospective undergraduate and graduate students, here are some additional tips for your audition.
- Selections for auditions should demonstrate the candidate’s present level of development in tone, technique, fundamentals and musicianship. For undergraduate applicants, this could be selections of recent solo and ensemble repertoire as well as saxophone etudes. For graduate applicants this could be repertoire representative of a capstone degree recital.
- A sight-reading evaluation is included in all auditions with the level of difficulty no greater than the required solo material.
- Memorization is optional.
- Students may play the audition on alto or tenor saxophone.
- Accompaniment is not required.
Contact Professor Torres with questions about audition content.
How to Apply
Prospective undergraduate students, visit How To Apply — Undergraduates
Prospective graduate students, visit How To Apply — Graduate Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
How many students are in the studio?
The size of the studio fluctuates between 16–22 undergraduate and graduate music majors.
How many students are accepted into the studio each year?
Annually, the studio accepts between 3–5 undergraduates and 1–2 master’s students. The studio holds one doctoral position at a time.
Do undergraduate students study with a graduate teaching associate?
All majors have one hour-long lesson per week with Dr. Torres, exclusively.
How much are students expected to practice?
Undergraduate music/music education students are expected to practice 2–3 hours per day, 5–6 days a week. Graduate students are expected to practice 3–4 hours per day, 6 days per week.
Are there chamber music opportunities?
All majors participate in saxophone quartets — typically 4 quartets per year. The experience provides an opportunity to independently practice the skills learned from lessons in a laboratory style environment. This reinforces saxophone fundamentals and teaches rehearsal strategy, communication and leadership skills. Quartets perform each semester at various campus events, and also have performed at regional and national conferences across the country.
Do majors play all the saxophones or specialize in one?
While individual saxophone lessons focus primarily on the alto saxophone (for which the majority of repertoire is written), students are expected to play all the saxophones at some point during their education. Students may be assigned to play soprano, alto, tenor and/or baritone in their band, quartet and saxophone ensemble placement each semester in order to gain experience on each horn. The School of Music has soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones available (as well as mouthpieces for each) for those assigned to play these instruments. Reeds are the responsibility of the student.
What is saxophone studio class like?
Studio class meets twice per week, and provides an opportunity for students to perform for each other in a comfortable environment and receive educational direction from their peers and Dr. Torres. Each student is expected to perform at least twice per semester. Non-performing students are required to provide constructive verbal comments. Studio class may also be used to host guest performers for master classes and recitals, and for lectures such as reed adjustment demonstrations, extended technique tutorials, saxophone history presentations, etc.
What do saxophone students do after graduating?
Graduates from the saxophone studio are successful across the nation as secondary music educators, arts administrators, college professors, and military band musicians.
Can non-majors participate in the Saxophone Studio?
Several non-majors, music minors and double majors have participated in the saxophone studio. An audition is required for all saxophone students.
How many band participation opportunities are available?
Ohio State has a rich history and tradition of concert bands with a national reputation of excellence. There are four concert bands — Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Collegiate Winds, and University Band. Read more about the Bands.
Saxophone Studio Concerto Competition Winners
2023 — Sean Bauman, BME – Legende, op. 66, Schmitt
2018 — Francesca Wantuch, MM – Concerto by Dubois
2017 — Jordan Reed, DMA – Legende, op. 66, Schmitt
2015 — Aaron Dvorak, BME – Concerto, op. 109, Glazunov
2011 — Michael Rene Torres, DMA – Concerto, op. 109, Glazunov
2010 — Casey Grev, BME – Legende, op. 66, Schmitt
Check out what the Saxos were up to last year
Visit the Saxophone Studio on The Ohio State University School of Music YouTube channel.