Teaching Fellows

Gus Arnold

Teahing Fellow, Jazz Saxophone

Gus Arnold is a 22-year old jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist, composer, and music educator from Huntsville, Alabama. Gus began studying classical saxophone in the Fall of 2009 but soon realized that his true passion was in jazz and improvisation when he was introduced to the music of Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, and many others by his middle school band director who studied at the Berklee College of Music.  Hence, throughout middle school and high school, Gus began to focus on jazz saxophone which led him to gigs with local musicians of many genres as well as playing in the Alabama All State Jazz Band for four years and placing as an alternate for the Jazz Band of America in 2014 and 2015. 

During the Fall of 2015, Gus began attending the University of North Texas to further his jazz studies.  During his undergraduate studies at UNT, Gus studied jazz saxophone with Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, Brad Leali, and jazz composition with Grammy-nominated composer and arranger, Richard DeRosa.  Gus also played in several of the jazz lab bands and combos there including the renowned Three o’ Clock (in which he performed with renowned vocalist, Carmen Bradford), Two o’ Clock, and Latin Jazz Lab Bands.

In April 2019, Gus won the BMI Foundation's Future Jazz Master Scholarship for his composition, “Waltz for Denton.” This led him to attend and receive the scholarship at the NEA Jazz Master's Induction Banquet in Washington D.C. where jazz greats Maria Schneider, Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Stanley Crouch were inducted.

Gus graduated from the University of North Texas in May of 2019 Summa Cum Laude with a BM in Jazz Studies Saxophone and is currently continuing graduate studies at the University of North Texas where he is playing lead alto saxophone in the Grammy-nominated One O' Clock Lab Band under the direction of Alan Baylock and serving as a full-time teaching assistant for the jazz saxophone studio at UNT. In the Fall of 2019, Gus has performed with Maria Schneider and Gary Smulyan as a member of the One O’ Clock Lab Band in the Murchison Performing Arts Center. Furthermore, he will soon be competing at the inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championship held by Jazz at Lincoln Center with the One O’ Clock Lab Band against nine other prestigious college big bands in January of 2020. 

Tanner Deters

Teaching Fellow, Jazz Saxophone

Michael Davis

Teaching Fellow, Classical Saxophone 

Michael Davis is a saxophonist who began his saxophone career at the University of Iowa where he studied with Dr. Kenneth Tse. Michael graduated from Iowa with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree with high distinction. After graduating from Iowa, Michael participated in the Iowa Saxophonists’ Workshop Saxophone Ensemble’s East Asia tour in July 2016. The ensemble performed multiple times in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium and in Chengdu, China, at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Michael went on to study with Dr. Eric Nestler at the University of North Texas where he completed his Master’s of Music in saxophone performance with a related field in music theory in 2017. During this time Michael was a member of the saxophone section in the renowned UNT Wind Symphony. Currently, Michael is a DMA student and saxophone teaching fellow at UNT. Michael teaches private lessons in the DFW metroplex and conducts research on saxophone related occupational health problems.



Christa Heimann

Teaching Fellow, Classical Saxophone

Christa Heimann graduated from Missouri State University in 2015 with her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. While studying at Missouri State, she was the principle saxophonist in the university Wind Ensemble and awarded several performance scholarships throughout her undergraduate degree. In 2014, she was a winner of the university concerto competition where she performed the Dubois Saxophone Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduating, she was appointed the position of Per Course Saxophone Instructor at Missouri State, and held a large studio of middle and high school students in the Springfield area. In 2017 Christa began her Master’s degree in Saxophone Performance at the University of North Texas (UNT) where she was an active performer and section manager of the renowned North Texas Wind Symphony. In the Spring of 2019 she made her Carnegie Hall debut as a first prize winner of the Golden Classical Music Awards, and also performed at the Region IV North American Saxophone Alliance Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Currently, Christa is pursuing her doctorate in saxophone performance at UNT where she is a teaching fellow in the saxophone studio. Along with school, she teaches a large studio of middle and high school students in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. Her teachers include Mr. Randy Hamm and Dr. Eric Nestler. 




Brandon Kelley

Teaching Fellow, Classical Saxophone 

Brandon Kelley was a first prize winner in the 2019 American Protege Concerto Competition, performing at Weill Recital Hall in May, and a gold medalist in the 2019 Manhattan International Music Competition. He is a Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas and Saxophone Instructor at Richland College in Dallas, TX. He has studied with Dr. Eric Nestler, Dr. Steven Mauk, Nancy Boone, Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin and Dr. Roger Eckers. While in Dallas, he has performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Emerald City party bands, and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony. Before attending UNT he was a music teacher in Rochester, NY, specializing in the instruction of beginning bands and young jazz ensembles. While teaching he performed frequently with entertainment groups, jazz orchestras, and pit bands as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler. Between 2008 and 2012 he traveled the world performing for Holland America and Cunard cruise lines.



Matthew Stookey

Teaching Fellow, Classical Saxophone