Fred Hemke is an assistant professor of music at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. Since his appointment in 2003, he has taught woodwind methods, orchestration and arranging, jazz history, jazz pedagogy, and applied lessons in the areas of saxophone, flute, oboe, and bassoon. He has led saxophone quartets, a woodwind quintet, a flute ensemble, a saxophone jazz ensemble, the jazz ensemble, a Dixieland combo, and a jazz combo. He was the Director of the South Dakota Jazz Festival from 2003 to 2007.
From 1993-2003, Mr. Hemke was an assistant professor and the Director of Jazz Performance Studies and saxophone at the University of Missouri-Columbia. At that institution, he directed several jazz ensembles, jazz combos, and saxophone quartets. He also taught applied saxophone, jazz improvisation courses, jazz pedagogy, and was the director of the annual jazz festival.
Nationally, he has adjudicated many music competitions, performed as a guest artist and clinician at several festivals, and played professionally in a variety of settings. He was on the faculty of the Red Lodge Music Festival in Red Lodge, MT, and also at the Rushmore National Music Camp in Keystone, SD. He has been featured as a soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance and was the first call saxophonist for the Kansas City Symphony.
As an international artist, he was featured with the Amazonia Jazz Ensemble at The International Festival of Music of Para in Belem, Brazil. He premiered new music commissioned for him in Poland with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and was a guest artist at the Athens International Jazz Festival with the Athens Big Band. He has taught as a visiting scholar in jazz at the Franz Liszt College of Music in Budapest Hungary and soloed at a jazz festival in that city. Mr. Hemke received his bachelor and master of music degrees from Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Honorary Music Society, Pi Kappa Lambda and several professional music organizations.