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, Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo
Lars Mlekusch, University of Vienna, Vienna Saxophone Quartet, Austria
Marcus Weiss, Conservatoire de Musique, Basel, Switzerland