Vanessa Sielert is Associate Professor of Saxophone and Associate Director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho. She has also served as professor of saxophone on the faculties of Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Vanessa received a Bachelor of Music in music education and saxophone performance from the University of Idaho, a Master of Music in saxophone performance from Baylor University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance from the University of Illinois. She has studied saxophone with Robert Miller, Michael Jacobson and Debra Richtmeyer.
Vanessa has performed with a wide range of performing groups including the Palouse Jazz Project, the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, the Bob Curnow Big Band, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, the Federal Way Symphony, Orchestra Seattle and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As a member of the Millennium Saxophone Quartet, she was a medal winner at the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. She has performed as a soloist and quartet member at conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance and at meetings of the World Saxophone Congress.
In 2006, she founded the Free Range Saxophone Quartet. Their first CD, Fireflies, was released on Origin Classical Records in 2011. The Palouse Jazz Project, the faculty sextet of the University of Idaho, released their first CD in 2015. She can be heard on several other recent recordings, including The Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, Vol. 2 with the Bob Curnow Big Band, Come Rain or Come Shine with the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, In Progress with the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, From There to Here with the Vern Sielert Dektet, and America’s Tribute to Adolphe Sax, Vol XII and XIV. As an advocate of new music, she has commissioned numerous compositions for the saxophone, including a concerto by composer Kenneth Fuchs, premiered in 2013. One of her most recent collaborations is duality with pianist Kristin Elgersma. The duo will premiere two new works for saxophone and piano in 2016. In addition to her performance schedule, Vanessa is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the northwest.