Director of Jazz Studies
& Professor of Saxophone
Eastern Illinois University
As the Director of Jazz Studies at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois, Dr. Sam Fagaly conducts the EIU Jazz Ensemble. Under his direction, the EIU Jazz Ensemble has performed at IAJE and IMEA. Numerous guest artists such as Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Grace Kelly, Bobby Shew, and Jeff Hamilton have joined the EIU Jazz Ensemble over the years. Additionally, the EIU Jazz Ensemble has released several albums including their most recent entitled, 61920, under Dr. Fagaly’s leadership.
In addition to conducting the EIU Jazz Ensemble, Dr. Fagaly is also a Professor of Saxophone and teaches Jazz Theory, Jazz History, and Jazz Band Techniques. His saxophone students have been accepted to graduate schools and furthered their education at prestigious universities including The Eastman School of Music, Michigan State University, The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, The Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Ohio State University, and William Patterson University among others.
Clinician & Performer
Dr. Fagaly has served as a clinician throughout the nation, including presentations at the Illinois Music Education Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Topics include Jazz Improvisation, Big Band Rehearsal Techniques, Saxophone Pedagogy (classical and jazz), and Jazz Phrasing and Articulation. He has been a featured classical and jazz performer at the Region V North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, as well as a featured soloist. Dr. Fagaly has performed with many distinguished jazz artists including J.J. Johnson, Bobby Shew, and Sarah Vaughan. Prior to his time at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Fagaly was a member of the United States Air Force Band of the West in which he served as principal alto saxophonist in the Wind Symphony and 1st tenor in the jazz ensemble, Dimensions in Blue.
Dr. Fagaly began his higher education studies at the University of Florida, in which he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He went on to Louisiana State University to earn his Master of Music degree.
After graduating with his masters, Dr. Fagaly continued his education at the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned his Doctorate of Arts degree. There, he had the privilege to study under American saxophonist and Professor Emeritus Roger Greenberg and Grammy-nominated Dr. Gene Aitken, both of whom became influential in his educator and performance roles.