JON SAWYER

Email: jonathon.sawyer@colorado.edu

Degree(s): Non-traditional educational path.
As a high school student, I studied the saxophone with Carrie Koffman between the years of 1995 - 1998, and as a Music Education student at the University of New Mexico in 2000-2001. While I live and work in Colorado, I am an adult learner remotely pursuing the completion of a BAAS with concentrations in history and philosophy, with a music minor at the University of North Texas - where I was previously working toward a BM in Saxophone Performance (2010 - 2013).

Current Employment/Employer(s): The University of Colorado Boulder-Office of Admissions (2014 - present). Admissions Service Center Supervisor, managing a team of 25 work-study students who assist in CU Boulder's recruitment efforts.

Former Employment/Employer(s): Hotel Management (2002 - 2010), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Westin); Saxophone Instructor, The Independent School Districts of Frisco, Denton, and Celina, TX (2010 - 2013)

Current and/or Former Creative Projects/Performance Opportunities: I am not currently performing or teaching private lessons, but the following are a few highlights of my music education and performance opportunities over the years: Winner of the University of New Mexico Concerto Competition (2000-2001); Saxophone Soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (2001); Finalist in the University of North Texas Concerto Competition (2013); Master Class Performances with Jean-Marie Londeix (2001), and Christopher Creviston, Clifford Leaman, Dan Goble, and Anna Marie Wytko (2010 - 2013); Guest Artist with the Albuquerque Concert Band (2014); Section Coordinator and Saxophonist with the University of North Texas Wind Symphony (2011 - 2013); Saxophone Soloist with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and UNT Concert Orchestra (2010-2013); Saxophone Substitute with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra (2012-2013)

Advice for Current Students: My advice for current students would echo the advice that I would offer my younger self. If I had the opportunity to wind my way back through the circuitous educational and vocational path that I have taken - looking the passionate and idealistic young man with sandy blonde hair into his bright hazel eyes, I would gently offer this advice:

"You won't always have stellar performances or grades. You won't always win competitions or jobs. You won't always get pats on the back, nor will your work always be recognized. That's okay, because you are okay just as you are in this moment. Learn from your mistakes, but don't apologize for making them. Look for opportunities to enjoy the life you are experiencing right now - even the difficult parts. There is beauty to be found and gratitude to be cultivated in both the peaks and the valleys. Be ambitious and have goals - but keep in mind that goals can actually be thwarted when you are convinced that satisfaction and contentment are entirely dependent upon reaching them. Challenge your thoughts and embrace your emotions as valid, yet impermanent experiences of being human. Not every story that tickers through your mind is true, and the strong emotions of happiness and joy, sorrow and despair, indifference and numbness, are transitory. Be kind to yourself."

Anything else you want to add regarding your current life? My life has been greatly enriched through my study and performance of music, especially through the teaching and friendship of Carrie Koffman.