Vince Gnojek

Professor, Saxophone
Primary office:
202 Murphy Hall


M.A. University of New York and Mannes College of Music; B.M. The University of Colorado

As a performer of both classical and jazz styles on all of the saxophones, Vince Gnojek has performed in almost every conceivable musical setting.  As a classical saxophone soloist he has appeared with orchestras and wind ensembles, and has been a solo recitalist in Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and throughout the United States.  As a jazz soloist he has been featured with the University of Kansas Jazz Ensemble I on several occasions, including a tour in Switzerland (The Montreux Jazz Festival) and Germany.  He has performed in forty-two states and in Mexico, Canada, Portugal, and Thailand as the alto saxophonist with the highly acclaimed Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet.  As the saxophonist with the Kansas Woodwinds, a faculty chamber music ensemble in residence at the University of Kansas, he has performed regionally and at national conferences in Washington D.C., Chicago and Kansas City.  Gnojek has also been a member of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, and the Topeka Symphony Orchestra.  In 2007 he was the recipient of the 12th Annual Phoenix Award for outstanding artistic achievement in Performing Arts presented by the Lawrence Arts Commission.

A versatile musician, Gnojek has been a freelance musician in New York, Denver and Kansas City, and has appeared with a variety of artists and entertainers.  In addition to his first solo recording, CROSSINGS, he is the featured soloist on John Mackey’s Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Wind Ensemble with the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble on its compact disc WILD NIGHTS! on the NAXOS label, released in April 2009.  He has also recorded on Mark Custom Recording with the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet, on the ECM label as a member of Steve Reich's Contemporary Music Ensemble, on the Sea Breeze label as the lead alto saxophonist with the Kansas City Boulevard Big Band, and as the alto saxophonist with the Kansas Woodwinds.

As a clinician, Gnojek appears frequently at music festivals and conferences, academies and conservatories of music, universities, colleges and secondary schools throughout the world.  A dedicated educator, he has served as an adjudicator for international competitions in Mexico and Costa Rica, and at regional and state contests in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.  His educational affiliations have included the University of Colorado, Boulder; Metropolitan State College, Denver; the University of Colorado, Denver; and Mannes College of Music in New York.  He is currently the Professor of Saxophone at the University of Kansas, where he teaches a studio of 20-25 undergraduate and graduate saxophonists and four saxophone quartets.  The top Saxophone Quartet has been awarded the Best Classical Chamber Music Group throughout the United States and Canada by DownBeat magazine’s Annual Student Music Awards Competition on five different occasions.

Selected Lectures & Presentations

  • Lecture, "Establishing A Successful Practice Routine, Adjusting the Commercial Saxophone Reed", University of Costa Rica, School of Musical Arts, San José, Costa Rica, 10/14-18/02.
  • Lecture demonstrations, "Saxophone Techniques I & II", "Jazz Articulations and Stylistic Considerations", the Colorado Music Educators Association Annual Clinic/Conference, 1/28-9/00.
  • Lecture, "Commercial Saxophone Reed Adjustment", The University of Northern Iowa, School of Music, Cedar Falls, IA, 11/4/97.
  • Lecture demonstration, "Jazz Articulations and Stylistic Considerations", 60th Annual Montana Music Educators Association Conference, Bozeman, MT, 10/16/97.
  • Lecture, "Establishing A Successful Practice Routine", The University of Wyoming, Music Department, Laramie, WY, 10/14/97.
  • Lecture, "Commercial Saxophone Reed Adjustment", The University of Northern Colorado, School of Music, Greeley, CO, 10/8/97.
  • Lecture, "Establishing A Successful Practice Routine, Metropolitan State College, Music Department, Denver, CO, 9/29/97.
  • Lecture, Establishing A Successful Practice Routine", Colby Community College, Music Department, Colby, KS, 9/26/97.
  • Lecture, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sax", 1996 Band Directors Institute, the University of Kansas, 6/28/96.
  • Lecture, "Saxophone Intonation", presentation with the Kansas Woodwinds at the 55th National Biennial In-Service Conference of the Music Educators National Conference, Kansas City, MO, 4/19/96.
  • Lecture, "The Tremendous Versatility of the Saxophone", presented to the Missouri.

Radio Interviews

  • University of Texas Public Radio Station Broadcast, Austin, TX, 11/5/01.
  • KMFA Classical Radio Station Broadcast, Austin, TX, 11/5/01.
  • Kansas Woodwinds Performance Interview, The Rachel Hunter Show, KANU FM, 11/9/00.
  • Solo Performance Interview, The Rachel Hunter Show, KANU FM, Lawrence, KS, 11/12/99.
  • As alto saxophonist with the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet, Rachel Hunter, KANU Public Radio Station, Lawrence, KS, 1/25/95.

Selected Performances

I have performed as a solo recitalist and featured soloist with orchestras and concert bands internationally and throughout the United States. These performances also include appearances with the Kansas Woodwinds faculty woodwind quintet and the following student ensembles at The University of Kansas: Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble I, Chamber Orchestra.

Selected solo appearances include:
  • Esplanade Recital Studio recital; Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Wind Ensemble, Jacomo
  • Bairos, conductor Macau Conservatory of Music, Macau
  • China: Shengyang Music Hall, Shengyang Conservatory of Music
  • Kunming Concert: 60th Celebration of the end of World War II
  • Chengdu Concert at Sichuan Conservatory Music Hall
  • Chengdu Concert: 60th Celebration of the end of World War II
  • Thailand International Saxophone Conference, Bangkok
  • Estonian Academy of Music, Tallin, Estonia
  • Latvian Academy of Music, Riga, Latvia, "Riga" Wind Ensemble, Janis Purins, conductor
  • Lithuanian Academy of Music, Vilnius, Lithuania, "Trimitas" Wind Ensemble, Algirdas Budrys, director, Vytautas Lukocius, conductor
  • Symphonic Band of the University of Costa Rica, School of Musical Arts, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Juan Manuel Arana, conductor
  • Philharmonic Winds, Singapore-An American Portrait concert, Victoria Concert Hall, Leonard Tan, conductor
  • University of Costa Rica, School of Musical Arts, San José, Costa Rica
  • Forty-Eighth Annual Mid-West International Band And Orchestra Clinic, Chicago, IL
  • National MENC Convention, Washington, D.C.
  • University of Nebraska, School of Music, Lincoln, NE
  • Rutgers University Concert Band, Joe Brashier, conductor, New Brunswick, NJ
  • The University of Northern Iowa, School of Music, Russell Hall, Cedar Falls, IA
  • North American Saxophone Alliance Region IV Conference, Manhattan, KS
  • Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX
  • University of Northern Colorado Symphonic Band, Richard Mayne, conductor
  • The North American Saxophone Alliance Region II Conference, Greeley, CO
  • Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, Evergreen, CO, William Morse, conductor
  • Colorado Wind Ensemble, Denver, CO, Martha Cox, conductor

Saxophone Quartet

As the alto saxophonist with the highly acclaimed HARVEY PITTEL SAXOPHONE QUARTET, which performed over 200 concerts in 42 states, Portugal, Thailand, Mexico and Canada. 30 Years of the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet was filmed and recorded in July of 2008 to be released in 2010.
Selected quartet appearances include:

  • Meadowlark Music Festival, Lincoln, NE
  • August to April Concert Series, The International Festival Institute at Round Top, 31st Season, Festival Concert Hall, Round Top, TX
  • Featured artists, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors 50th Anniversary National Symposium, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Spivey Concert Hall Tenth Anniversary Season, Concert Series, Clayton College, Atlanta, GA
  • Grand Valley Music Festival Summer Concert Series, Grand Junction, CO
  • 1995 Music Festival of San Miquel De Allende, San Miquel de Allende, Mexico
  • Forty-Ninth Annual Mid-West International Band And Orchestra Clinic, Special Event Concert, Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom, Chicago, IL
  • Hawaii Public Radio Station Concert, Honolulu, HI, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
  • Royal Academy of Music, Mahidol University, Benefit Concert, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bangkok Cable Television Concert, Felix Arnoma Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Thailand Music Educators Conference, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Featured Artists, Region II Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Greeley, CO
  • American Music Series Recital For Cultergest, Grande Auditorium, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Rochester Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, Jere Lantz, Conductor, Rochester, MN
  • Pops Concert, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Sung Kwak, Conductor, Austin TX
  • Pops Concert, Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, Carter Nice, Conductor, Sacramento, CA


Soprano, alto or tenor saxophonist with the following ensembles:

  • Topeka Symphony Orchestra, John Strickler, conductor
  • Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Michael Stern, Eric Kuensal, Anne Manson, conductors
  • Denver Symphony Orchestra, Denver, CO, Jim Setapen, conductor
  • Denver Chamber Orchestra, Denver, CO, JoAnn Falletta, conductor
  • Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Boulder, CO, Giora Bernstein, conductor
  • Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall, American premiere of Music for a Large Ensemble, New York, NY
  • Carnegie Hall Concert, Peter Schickele Performs the Music of PDQ Bach, New York, NY

Jazz Groups

Free-lance jazz performances on soprano, alto and tenor saxophone with a variety of big bands and jazz/commercial groups.



  • Featured soloist with the University of Kansas Jazz Ensemble I, 2008 European tour, including the Montreux Jazz Festival
  • The University of Kansas Jazz Workshop Faculty Jazz Combo and Big Band Concerts
  • The Capitol City Big Band, Todd Wilkinson, Director
  • The Boulevard Big Band, Michael McGraw, Director
  • The Steve Miller Orchestra
  • Featured Soloist, Hastings College Jazz Festival, Hastings, NE
  • Featured Artist, Rocky Mountain College Jazz Festival, Billings, MT
  • Substitute lead alto saxophonist, Jimmy Dorsey Band, Kansas City, MO


  • Featured Jazz Artist, Closed Door Jam Session, Clarion Hotel
  • Featured Soloist, Jefferson County Honor Jazz Ensemble
  • The Denver Bronco Band, Jess Gerardi, Director
  • The Gordon Dooley Big Band
  • The Dean Bushnell Big Band
  • Applause Music Productions, Ed Stephen
  • The Denver Kicks Jazz Ensemble, Lynn Zorek, Director


  • The New Pulse Jazz Band, Galt MacDermot (composer of Hair), Composer and Leader



  • Wild Nights the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, Scott Weiss, cond. Naxos CD Featuring Concerto for Soprano Saxophone by John Mackey 2009 Vince Gnojek Crossings, CD


  • David and the Ark, CD, Spectrum (in progress), Compositions by Zamir Bavel 2002 Live In Chicago, CD, Mark Records MCD-2106, The Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet 1996 Stellar, CD, Sea Breeze CDSB-2075, The Kansas City Boulevard Big Band 1996 Kansas Woodwinds, CD, CDKU 595


  • It Might As Well Be Spring, CD, HPSQ 0400, The Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet 1994 The Kansas City Boulevard Big Band, CD, Sea Breeze CDSB-2051


  • New Pulse Jazz Band, Kilmarnock Records, Wonish Music Pub. 72008, Galt MacDermot 1980 Music for a Large Ensemble, reissued on CD, ECM New Series 1168, Steve Reich

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.