Rich Shanklin

Rich Shanklin

Title: Associate Professor
Dept/Program: Music
Phone: 330/972-6622


Rich Shanklin has had extensive experience in the fields of saxophone performance, jazz education, and composition/arranging. His teachers have included Dr. Eugene Rousseau (saxophone) and David Baker (jazz studies). He taught at St. Joseph's College and Washington State University before coming to the University of Akron in 1982, where he has taught classical and jazz saxophone, as well as courses in Jazz History, Jazz Arranging, Jazz Improvisation, Woodwind Pedagogy, and the Business of Music. He has directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and coaches saxophone quartets.

He is a first call woodwind doubler who has performed in dozens of musical theater productions in the Cleveland and Akron area. Also, he is a founding member of "Iron Toys," a woodwind quartet whose members are practicing professional musicians in the NE Ohio area; this group was invited to perform at the 2006 OMEA Convention. As a classical saxophonist, he has performed concert repertoire with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Akron and Canton Symphonies, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Blossom Concert Band, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.

His jazz saxophone experience is equally varied. Rich has written for and played for several years in the Jazz Unit, a 13-piece ensemble that performs original works. He has been a member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (CJO) since 1988, and joined them in their recent engagement with Joe Lovano at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. His arrangements have been performed and recorded by the CJO at the 1993 International Trumpet Guild, as well as for their CD "Traditions." His commissioned arrangements for the USAF Rhythm in Blue, a jazz ensemble based in Langley, VA, have been recorded on their CD "Eternal Triangle." An original composition of his (performed by the University of North Texas '1:00' Lab Band) was nominated for a Grammy Award.

His work as a clinician has ranged from vocal jazz (Canada MusicFest�Toronto) to college (University of Akron, Edinborough University, and Ashland University) and high school jazz festivals (Hudson/Massillon/Hoover/Akron City and Green High Schools.) He has given workshops at the Ohio Music Education Convention using (and performing in) the saxophone section of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra illustrating correct performance techniques of the saxophone section in a jazz ensemble.