The woodwinds program of Northwestern University has a long and distinguished history.

Since its beginnings in the 1950s, the program focal point has been an outstanding faculty, many of whom have also been affiliated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Each member is dedicated not only to the development of each student, but also to post-graduation success. Graduates of the program can be found in the New York Philharmonic, the Boston, San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as in orchestras worldwide and in important positions in higher education.

All DMA students receive a full-tuition scholarship, stipend, and fully subsidized health insurance.

Notable Alumni


  • Louise Dixon, Chicago Symphony (retired)

  • Zart Dombourian-Eby, Seattle Symphony


  • Michael Henoch, Chicago Symphony

  • Robert Sheena, Boston Symphony

  • Sherry Sylar, New York Philharmonic

  • Russ Deluna, San Francisco Symphony


  • Mark Nuccio, Houston Symphony

  • Craig Nordstrom, Boston Symphony

  • Gregory Smith, Chicago Symphony


  • Jonathan Sherwin, Cleveland Orchestra

  • Gareth Thomas, Cleveland Orchestra

  • Felicia Foland, St. Louis Symphony

  • Chris Marshall, Minnesota Orchestra

  • Peter Grenier, Dallas Symphony Orchestra

  • Samuel Banks, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

  • James T. Berkenstock, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra

  • John Pederson, North Carolina Symphony

  • Michael Muszynski, Indianapolis Symphony  

  • Susan Nigro, Contrabassoonist


  • Debra Richtmeyer, University of Illinois

  • David Sanborn, international performing and recording artist

  • John Sampen, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

  • Kyle Horch, Royal College of Music, London, England

  • Ron Blake, International Jazz Performing and Recording Artist, Saturday Night Live, NY

  • Masato Kumoi, Masato Kumoi Saxophone Quartet, Aichi University of Fine Arts and Music, Japan

  • Lars Mlekusch, University of Vienna, Vienna Saxophone Quartet, Austria

  • Marcus Weiss, Conservatoire de Musique, Basel, Switzerland

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