Saxophone Studio



Welcome to the Ohio State University Saxophone Studio! The Buckeye Saxophone Studio is more than a studio — we are family. I am passionate about teaching saxophone and using the instrument as a tool to help students grow as musicians and citizens. I believe in hard work and strive to create an environment of positivity, collaboration, and collegiality. My students are held to the highest standards of professionalism and I approach teaching in a manner which encourages them to participate through discussion and debate. I draw upon my experiences as a former middle school band director to consider multiple learning styles and to guide students to discover answers on their own. The Buckeye saxophone students are encouraged to think beyond the sheet music — to become artists and educators who are problem-solvers and creative 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
Lecturer 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.

To learn more about how to apply to both the university and the School of Music, or to schedule an appointment to visit the School of Music, contact Tanya Sparks, School of Music Admissions Coordinator, at or 614-688-0372.

Prospective undergraduate music majors, consider attending these exciting events:

Performance Opportunities

Saxophone students have the opportunity to participate in numerous learning opportunities and performances, both on and off campus:

  • Collaborations with composers, resulting in world premiere performances
  • Group classical improvisation workshops
  • Chamber music opportunities with typically 4 saxophone quartets/year
  • Saxophone Ensemble
  • Guest artist master classes and recitals

The studio often performs at regional and national conferences as well as at various venues in the rich Columbus arts scene:

  • 2018 NASA Biennial Conference (Cincinnati, OH)
  • 2019 & 2017 NASA Region V Conference
  • 2019 & 2016 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium (Fairfax, VA)
  • 2016–2019 Ohio University Saxophone Quartet Summits (Athens, OH)
  • The Pizzuti Collection Gallery as part of the 2017 VIVO Music Festival (Downtown Columbus)

Application and Audition Information

Prospective undergraduate and graduate students should visit Future Students for application and audition details. Here are some additional tips for your audition.

  • Selections for auditions should demonstrate the candidate’s present level of development in tone, technique, and musicianship.
  • 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.

Contact Tanya Sparks, School of Music Admissions Coordinator, at with questions about the university or School of Music admissions process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are in the studio?

The studio size ranges 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.

Does the studio perform off-campus?

In addition to numerous on-campus performances each semester, the studio has recently performed at the 2019 & 2016 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium (Fairfax, VA), the 2018 NASA Biennial Conference (Cincinnati, OH), the 2017 NASA Region V Conference (Fort Wayne, IN), the 2016–2019 Ohio University Saxophone Quartet Summits (Athens, OH), and the Pizzuti Collection as part of the 2017 VIVO Music Festival (downtown Columbus).

Do undergraduate students study with a graduate teaching associate?

No. Each student has a 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 adjustments demonstraions, extended technique tutorials, saxophone history presentations, etc.

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.

What is the size of the School of Music?

The Ohio State School of Music has approximately 300 undergraduate and 100 graduate music majors, as well as hundreds of non-music majors who are pursuing music minors, taking classes or participating in one of our many performance ensembles. Read more about the School of Music.

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

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

Saxophone Studio Guest Artists

2019 — Duo Corcra (Dr. J. Adam Briggs, saxophone)
2018 — Dr. Kyle Hutchins
2018 — Duo Hevans (Eleri Ann Evans, saxophone)
2017 — Akropolis Reed Quintet (Matt Landry, saxophone)
2016 — Coalescent Saxophone Quartet
2016 — David Maslanka (composer)
2010 — Joseph Lulloff

Hear Us

Visit the Saxophone Studio on The Ohio State University School of Music YouTube channel.