Retiring jazz director Dan Yoder to perform final saxophone recital

April 05, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's retiring director of jazz studies, Dan Yoder, will present his final saxophone recital as a faculty member at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, in Esber Recital Hall at University Park. The program will include a jazz quartet led by Yoder and featuring Mac Himes, guitar; Jim Robinson, bass; and Marko Marcinko, drums. The quartet will play an arrangement of Frank Loesser's "On A Slow Boat to China," "Don't Blame Me," Neal Hefti's "Repetition," and Dexter Gordon's "Montmartre." The second half will include musical tributes to Yoder by colleagues and alumni.

Admission is free. The recital will also be available via livestream video on the Penn State School of Music website.

Yoder has served as Penn State’s director of jazz studies for more than 30 years. Centre Dimensions, Penn State's top jazz band, has achieved acclaim at jazz festivals throughout the Midwest and East Coast. In addition to directing Centre Dimensions, Yoder also advises the jazz combos and teaches courses in improvisation, harmony and arranging, jazz pedagogy, as well as a jazz history course for non-music majors. Prior to his Penn State appointment, he held a similar position at the University of Iowa. 

Yoder is active as a guest conductor and clinician. He conducts district and regional jazz bands throughout the state of Pennsylvania, and he has conducted all-state jazz ensembles in six states. He is in demand as an adjudicator at jazz festivals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. 

As a performer, Yoder has been saxophone soloist with the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., as well as lead alto saxophonist with the U.S. Army Blues. He remains active as a guest soloist and freelance performer. Recent performances include the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.

Yoder has written more than 75 compositions and arrangements for jazz ensemble. In addition, he has published articles in the Jazz Journal, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association News, and Westwind. His textbook, "Beginning Improvisation," is published by Prentice Hall. He is past president of the Pennsylvania unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators.


  • Dan Yoder

    Dan Yoder

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 05, 2016