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Dr. J. Michael Holmes is a talented solo and chamber musician who “…is emerging as one of America’s stars in the world of the concert saxophone” (states saxophonist John Sampen). Professor Holmes’ active playing career has seen him performing at some of the most prestigious venues in the United States, Taiwan, and throughout Europe (including a 2012 European tour with the renown St. Louis Symphony Orchestra).

Holmes has shared the stage with artists ranging from Ben Folds to The Temptations – Manahattan Transfer to Idina Menzel… just to name a few. Dr. Holmes is currently Clinical Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois School of Music as well as the Enrollment Management Director for the School of Music. Prior to his appointment at the University of Illinois, Dr. Holmes held positions as the Director of Marketing for Reed Instruments at Conn-Selmer, Inc., Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist with the Vandoren Corporation, and Guest Instructor of Music at the University of Notre Dame. Holmes has also presented clinics, masterclasses, and given performances at some of the most prestigious saxophone programs in the United States.

Holmes holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Saxophone Performance, a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University where he was a student of Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen, and a Masters degree in Saxophone Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois where he was the graduate saxophone teaching assistant for Professor Debra Richtmeyer.

He has had additional studies with saxophonists Jean-Marie Londeix, Claude Delangle, Griffin Campbell, Daniel Kientzy, and Eugene Rousseau.Dr. Holmes is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed in many of the national and regional conferences, as-well-as at the World Saxophone Congress. Dr. Holmes will be co-hosting the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference along with Professor Debra Richtmeyer at the University of Illinois.

Holmes is an active soloist of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered numerous works for the saxophone. His performances have received great accolades and can be heard on the Mark, SEAMUS and Klavier Record labels; a forthcoming recording of Percy Grainger’s music for saxophone will be released later in 2013 on NAXOS records. Holmes has performed as principal saxophonist with numerous orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Dr. Holmes was recently a featured artist in the “We Are Vandoren” international ad campaign, appeared on the cover of the Saxophone Journal, and is a Selmer Artist/Clinician as well as Vandoren Performing Artist.