Kendra Wheeler

Assistant Professor of Saxophone



Dr. Kendra Wheeler, a trailblazer in the field of saxophone performance, has distinguished herself through her innovative and passionate approach. Composer Ziv Slama has lauded her unique style, which combines technical prowess with unparalleled expression and interpretation. She strongly advocates for new repertoire, evidenced by her diverse and modern programming and commissioning.

Dr. Wheeler's influence extends far beyond national borders. Her performances have graced major venues and festivals across North America, South America, and Europe, including the Chicago Symphony Center, the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, and the Muzička akademija u Zagrebu. Her work has been recognized by esteemed organizations and competitions such as the Concert Artist Guild, Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, DOWNBEAT Magazine, and Pan-American International Saxophone Competition. She also contributes to the saxophone community as an active competition adjudicator.

As an advocate for innovation through performance, Dr. Wheeler embraces new mediums for the saxophone through interdisciplinary collaborations and chamber music. She is in a contemporary saxophone duo that explores multimedia and modern works with Dr. Kyle Hutchins and is the alto saxophonist in the Medusa Saxophone Quartet, whose mission is to support young, historically excluded saxophonists and composers using performance, educational outreach, and advocacy through the saxophone quartet.

Dr. Wheeler's pedagogy is rooted in the belief that music education should be inclusive and empowering. She incorporates theories of identity, agency, and intersectionality into her teaching, providing students with a critical perspective that informs their musical practice and instruction. She has shared her insights on the importance of understanding the intersection of music and identity for inclusive musicianship and pedagogy at major venues and conferences across North America and Europe.

In addition to a performance and conference itinerary that has covered North America, Latin America, and Europe, Dr. Wheeler has established a thriving teaching career. Starting in Fall 2024, Dr. Wheeler will join the LSU School of Music Faculty as the Assistant Professor of Saxophone. She previously served as the Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Central Washington University, where she taught applied classical saxophone, music theory, and aural skills and courses within the music education curriculum. Prior appointments include serving on the faculty of SUNY Potsdam, in Potsdam, NY, as an adjunct saxophone instructor.

Hailing from Chicago, where she attended the Merit School of Music, studying with Shawn Tracy and Bryan Polacek, Dr. Wheeler earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota under Eugene Rousseau. She subsequently received a Master of Music from the University of Minnesota, studying with Preston Duncan. She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance at Michigan State University under Joseph Lulloff.

Kendra is an Eastman Artist, playing the EAS 850 Rue Saint Georges, and a Légère Reeds, Silverstein Works, and Key Leaves performing artist.


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102 School of Music Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504




DMA, Saxophone Performance
Graduate Certificate, Music Theory

Michigan State University, MI

MM, Performance
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MN

BM, Music Education
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MN