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Saxophone studio


Welcome to the saxophone studio at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music! Following is an overview of the saxophone program, as well as information about degree offerings and ensembles.

The saxophone studio comprises 13-17 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing BM, BME, BA, MM and DMA degrees. In an intense, creative and safe environment, students are encouraged to discover and pursue their own voice and its place within the music industry. Students have weekly one-on-one lessons with the major professor and attend weekly studio classes which provide opportunities for students to share their progress, host guest artists, present lectures on a variety of topics and saxophone ensemble rehearsals. All students participate in large ensembles and have many opportunities for chamber music. The saxophone studio also benefits tremendously from the incredible collaborative piano program.

In pursuit of inclusive excellence and a unique musical identity, the College of Music is dedicated to developing multiskilled, multifacted universal musicians. Our Entrepreneurship Center for Music and Musicians’ Wellness Program ensure that our students benefit from a holistic education. In addition to their degree(s), students have the opportunity to add certificates in music technology, music theory, music entrepreneurship and arts administration. And while students are expected to balance academic and instrumental excellence, we also strongly encourage their participation in a range of diverse programs and activities at CU Boulder! 


We’re proud of our saxophone alumni, including those who have gone on to teach at Cameron University, Colorado State University, Cornell University, Los Medanos College, Shepherd University, SUNY Plattsburgh, Tarleton State University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; other alumni now teach at the Denver School for the Arts and Interlochen Arts Academy. Still others boast diverse careers with the U.S. Army Band; P. Mauriat Saxophones in Taipei, Taiwan; and music production engineering for MakeMusic. Of note, alumna Tia Fuller is saxophonist in Beyoncé’s band; and alumnus Marcello Sbrocca went on to study at the Peabody Conservatory after pursuing graduate studies with Vincent David at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles. Check out our alumni class notes for more alumni accomplishments and follow our ongoing alumni highlights on Instagram.

Nathan MertensNathan Mertens

U.S.-based saxophonist, Nathan Mertens (he/him) is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Colorado Boulder. As an active soloist and chamber musician, he has performed recitals in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Bolivia, the United Kingdom and throughout the United States. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra and the University of Arkansas Saxophone Ensemble. Mertens’ orchestral experience includes performances with the San Antonio Symphony and the Omaha Symphony. In competition, he was awarded Third Prize in the 14th Kurashiki International Saxophone Competition, Second Grand Prize in the North International Music Competition in Sweden and has been a finalist for many national competitions. MORE