About Dr. Kocher
Dr. Christopher J. Kocher is Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at the University of South Dakota, where he has taught since 1999. Kocher, who is active as both a performer and educator, has an extensive background in both classical and jazz saxophone. As a classical saxophonist, he regularly performs orchestral literature with saxophone with the South Dakota Symphony and Sioux City Symphony. He has also performed with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and others. Kocher is a member of the Sempre Saxophone Quartet, which released a CD on Centaur Records. He is a member of the Kocher Duo with his wife Stephanie, specializing in literature for flute and saxophone. Kocher has premiered new works at World Saxophone Congresses and other North American Saxophone Alliance events. As a jazz performer, he regularly plays with his own quartet, the Okoboji Jazzed Up Big Band, USD Faculty Jazz, and others. He has toured Japan three times, playing lead alto with the Billy Vaughn Orchestra (big band). He has also played with Frank Mantooth, Steve Wiest, Matt Wilson, Scotty Barnhart, Denis DiBlasio, Al Jarreau, Mercedes Ellington, the Temptations, the Les Brown Orchestra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band. Kocher was featured on NPR playing the Adolphe Sax saxophones from the National Music Museum. He completed the Doctor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado and also holds degrees from Wichita State University (M.M., Saxophone Performance) and Washburn University (B.M., Music Education & Saxophone Performance). He has studied the saxophone and jazz with top performers and educators such as Roger Greenberg, Eugene Rousseau, Jean Lansing, Ken Ticknor, Gene Aitken, Chuck Tumlinson, Tom Fowler, and Dan Haerle.