Michael Sawzin was born and raised in the city of Wilmington, Ohio. He began his musical training at the age of 11 in the Wilmington Public School System. Before attending college, Michael earned the chair of principal saxophonist for the 2004 Sound of America Band, performing in six different countries throughout Europe.
After graduating as Salutatorian from Wilmington High School in 2005, he continued his studies at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. While a student at WSU, he completed a dual Bachelor of Music degree with Honors in Music Education and Saxophone Performance (2009) under his advisor, Dr. Shelley Jagow. Michael was a winner of the WSU Concerto Competition (2007) and Honors Recital (2009).
As a member of the Avion Saxophone Quartet, Michael received the Edgar Hardy Early Impact Scholarship, the Dayton Chamber Music Scholarship, and the Chamber Music Fellowship at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2006, 2007) where they studied with the Chiara String Quartet. Avion was also chosen to perform at the International Symposium for Music Education in Bologna, Italy (2008). Avion released their first CD in 2009 featuring two world premieres: Stop is the New Go by A.J. McCaffrey and Green No. 26 by Chris Serena.
After graduating from WSU, Michael attended the Eastman School of Music. He completed a dual Master of Music degree (2013) in Saxophone Performance and Literature under the tutelage of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and Music Education under Dr. Richard Grunow. As a member of the Eastman Saxophone Studio, he was a founding member of the Eastman Saxophone Project (2010) and performer in the Eastman Wind Ensemble's tour to Toronto, Canada (2013).
Michael is a founding member of Project Fusion. He has been awarded top prizes in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (AZ), the 2012 Coleman Chamber Music Competition (CA), and the 2012 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition (CT). In 2013, the quartet also received 1st prize in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition, grand prize and audience award at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and Gold Medal at the 40th anniversary Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The quartet has expanded the saxophone quartet repertoire collaborating with composers Stephen Dankner, A.J. McCaffrey, and Marc Mellits.
While a resident in Chestertown, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, he was Director of Youth Programming for OuterArts Maryland Inc. As director for the Fiddlesticks! music program, which offers tuition free string instruction for students in Kent County, he conducted the Fiddlesticks! Orchestra, taught group classes and private lessons and coordinated logistics with parents, students, and Kent County Public Schools. Also, Michael was the Personnel Manager for the National Music Festival Orchestra (2013-2018).
While a resident of Southern California (2013-2016), he was the Instructor of Saxophone at the University of California Riverside, Instructor of Woodwinds at Fountain Valley High School, The Southwest Conservatory, and Trabuco Hills High School.
Michael currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, where he manages a private studio offering music lessons to beginning and advanced students of all ages. He is also the Saxophone Instructor at the Spring Valley Academy, Centerville High School, and Beavercreek High School. When he is not teaching or performing, Michael enjoys working with plants and spending time with his three cats, Drusk, Fiona, and Morty.
You can contact Michael directly: firstname.lastname@example.org