Saxophone Workshop Faculty

An internationally acclaimed performer and educator based out of Minneapolis, Preston Duncan has been hailed as displaying his saxophone mastery” (The Indianapolis Star) with “virtuosic brilliance” (the Muncie Start/Press) as a “terrific talent (Marvin Hamlisch).  

He has appeared as soloist in Paris, Berlin, Austria, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Costa Rica, Mexico and Taiwan. He has performed on over 65 occasions as soloist with large ensembles including The Indianapolis Symphony Orcehstra, La Grande Orchestre des Alpes de la Mer of Nice, the Bowling Green State University Philharmonic, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and many others. He regularly performs as an orchestral member with The Minnesota Orchestra.  He has also performed with the Indianapolis Pops, The Minnesota Pops, Rosemary Clooney and Jeremy Denk.  

Duncan was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, France where he studied with Jean-Yves Fourmeau.  He has won numerous awards and prizes including 1st prize in the MTNA National Collegiate Woodwind Competition and was a finalist in 2014 for the prestigious McKnight fellowship. He was the featured performer and educator at the 1st Annual Taiwanese National Saxophone Festival and the 12th Annual  Encuentro Universitario Internacional de Saxofón in Mexico City.  This March he has been invited to be a featured performer and educator at Saxfest Costa Rica International.  

Duncan currently teaches saxophone at the University of Minnesota.  During the summer he teaches on the faculty at Ticino Musica International in Lugano Switzerland and Shell Lake Arts Center.  He received his Bachelor of Saxophone Performance from Indiana University where he was a student of. Eugene Rousseau. He continued his studies at Bowling Green State University with Dr. John Sampen where he received his Masters of Music in Saxophone Performance. In 2002 he completed an Artist Diploma at The Boston Conservatory with Kenneth Radnofsky.  He has premiered works by Bernard Rands, Ernesto Pellegrini, Joseph Dangerfield and Kenneth Fuchs and many others.  Duncan performs exclusively on Eugene Rousseau mouthpieces.

Saxophonist Michael Shults has been praised for his “strong, imaginative” improvisations (Downbeat Magazine) and “fresh and intelligent musical ideas” (The Pitch). As a graduate student at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michael was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He was a featured soloist on Bobby Watson’s 2010 release “The Gates BBQ Suite” which reached as high as #4 on the Jazzweek National Radio Airplay Charts. A first-call musician on the Kansas City jazz scene for nearly a decade, Shults remains an active performer with Forward (a contemporary original jazz quintet), the New Jazz Order Big Band, his own quartets and quintets, and the Kansas City Generations Sextet - who recently released their debut album “Acknowledgement”, celebrating the music of Kansas City jazz icons Pat Metheny, Bobby Watson, and Ahmad Aladeen. "Acknowledgement" reached as high as #8 on the CMJ Jazz Charts.

Equally adept as a concert saxophonist, Shults has been praised for his “jaw-dropping” and “authoritative” technique (Bill Brownlee of the Kansas City Star) and has performed by invitation at the College Band Director's National Association conference, the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference and the University of Iowa Festival for New Music. As a doctoral student, Michael was the saxophone studio TA at UMKC under the tutelage of Zach Shemon, alto saxophone chair of the world-famous PRISM quartet. 

Michael's debut album, "Pathetiques", featuring original jazz compositions and the music of Ida Gotkovsky, is scheduled for a  2016 release.

Dr. Shults is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he teaches applied jazz and classical saxophone, saxophone quartets, jazz combos and jazz improvisation.  Dr. Shults is a Yamaha and D’Addario Performing Artist and performs on their instruments and reeds exclusively.

Praised as a “passionate and gifted soloist” (Libby Larsen) with “flawless technique and intuitive musicianship” (Craig Kirchhoff), Dr. Benjamin Cold is currently Professor of Saxophone at Bemidji State University, where he teaches applied saxophone, instructs saxophone quartets and directs the BSU contemporary music ensemble. As a passionate advocate of new music, he has been involved in the commissions and premieres of dozens of compositions for solo and chamber saxophone, most of which were dedicated to him. His specialty is electroacoustic saxophone, and he works diligently to find creative and unique ways of performing and improvising using live electronics, loop pedals, distortion effects and pre-recorded synthesizer. His work has been performed and recorded on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Dr. Cold's current album, flux-mirror, is planned for release in August 2018.
As a devoted saxophonist, pedagogue and scholar, Dr. Cold maintains an active teaching and performing schedule throughout the United States and Internationally. Throughout his professional career, he has held residencies, taught master classes and given guest recitals and performances across the country at many of the Nation’s top academic institutions including, but not limited to the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Texas.
Dr. Cold completed his D.M.A. in saxophone performance and pedagogy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with Eugene Rousseau. There he was a recipient of the prestigious Berneking Fellowship, the Cohen Fellowship and instructed undergraduate and graduate saxophone quartets. Benjamin Cold received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and his M.M. from Kansas State University in saxophone performance and pedagogy. During his graduate education, Dr. Cold expanded his studies to include private instruction in conducting, teaching strategies and score study with KSU – Director of Bands, Frank Tracz, and jazz band rehearsal techniques with KSU Director of Graduate Studies, Frederick Burrack. His previous teachers include Anna Wytko, Nancy Mcmillan and Greg Keel.
Benjamin Cold is a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist and plays on Selmer Series III saxophones. He is also an E-Rousseau Mouthpieces and Legere Reeds Performing Artist and Clinician.