Merit School of Music
Russell Kerns, Saxophonist and Educator based in Chicago is known for his “willingness to tackle any challenge in music thrown his way” (composer Baldwin Giang). Russell Holds teaching positions at the Merit School of Music as well as being the band director at Burley Elementary. He has appeared as a soloist with The Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Merit School of Music Orchestra, University of Michigan’s Symphony Band, and Midwest Community Band. He has had recent successes in competitions both as a soloist and a chamber musician winning the State round of Michigan for MTNA in both the Young artist and Chamber division, and also made it to the national round with Adamas Quartet. Russell was also a prize winner in the 2014 Vandoren USA Emerging Artists Competition, a finalist in the 2014 ISSAC competition, finalist at the Northwestern University Concerto Competition, Winner of the Hans Schube award, and Finalist at Classics Alive Artists Competition.
Russell is also passionate about expanding the repertoire of the saxophone, and has been part of the premiere of many chamber and solo works for saxophone. He has worked with composers such as James Stephenson, Christian Fisher-Lochhead, Mattias Kruger, Michael Daugherty, among many others. In addition, he lead the consortium for a Concerto, Mobius Trip, by James Stephenson, and will premiere said Concerto with the Saratoga High School Band.
Russell Kerns recently received his Master’s Degree studying saxophone with Timothy McAllister at University of Michigan. Russell holds degrees in Music Education and Performance from Northwestern University, studying with both Frederick Hemke and Timothy McAllister. Russell has also worked with Chien-Kwan Lin, John Sampen, and Masato Kumoi.