Allison Adams
Tenor Saxophone

Allison Adams is Associate Professor of Saxophone at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville and a member of the contemporary music organization Nief Norf.

Dr. Allison Adams is Associate Professor of Saxophone at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she shares her excitement for music with the next generation of music educators and performers.

To this end, Adams recently co-authored a saxophone method, titled Playing and Teaching the Saxophone: A Modern Approach, with saxophonist Brian Horner. This book focuses on saxophone pedagogy for collegiate method class students and band directors and was released in Summer 2023, through Oxford University Press.

A versatile performer in addition to a pedagogue, Adams has been a featured concerto soloist at The International Saxophone Festival Bellas Artes Cali in Cali, Colombia and the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 7 Conference. She performs with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and been a featured soloist at venues across the country, from the Dallas Latino Cultural Center to San Diego's Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. She has also a frequent performer at conferences such as The World Saxophone Congress, The International Saxophone Symposium, and The North American Saxophone Biennial Conference, and the International Clarinet Association Conference.

Adams' love of contemporary music is further explored in her collaborations with Nief Norf, a mixed chamber ensemble that focuses on the avant-garde work of living composers. As the saxophonist of the group, she has been featured on numerous concerts and also serves on the faculty of the Nief Norf Summer Festival.

Besides her study of the saxophone, Adams’ main area of research centers around performance injuries, wellness for musicians, and the integration of yoga into music performance. A chapter on her recovery from focal dystonia is available in the collection Notes of Hope, published by Mountain Peak Music. She has also authored an essay on yoga for musicians, which can be found in the multi-media resource Cross Training for Musicians (available through Mountain Peak Music as well). She has taught several “Yoga for Musicians” courses for students ranging from high school to college. Her focus on wellness has also expanded to include a presentation on the anatomy of breathing at the International Saxophone Symposium, and a presentation on how pregnancy affects saxophone performance at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference.

Adams has previously served on the faculties of Ithaca College and Cornell University. She holds a B.M. in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, a M.M. in Music Performance from the University of Minnesota, and a D.M.A. from Arizona State University. Her main saxophone teachers have included Steven Mauk, Eugene Rousseau, and Timothy McAllister.

Adams is a performing artist for both the Selmer and D'Addario companies.