- Professor Emeritus of Saxophone
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.