Senior Associate Dean for Professional Studies
Director, Institute for Music Leadership
Professor of Saxophone
Affiliate Faculty, Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media
- (585) 274-1113
Ramon Ricker is Senior Associate Dean for Professional Studies, Director of the Institute for Music Leadership and Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, USA. As a senior administrator at Eastman, Dr. Ricker has been instrumental in shaping Eastman’s innovative Institute for Music Leadership, with its Arts Leadership curriculum that offers courses in entrepreneurship, careers, leadership, performance, contemporary orchestral issues and musician’s injury prevention and rehabilitation; and its Center for Music Innovation that helps student’s inventions and ideas become realities. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Polyphonic.org, an Eastman sponsored website for professional orchestra musicians. He has been a full-time Eastman faculty member since 1972 and was the first titled saxophone professor at the School. His former students comprise a virtual who’s who in the saxophone world.
Dr. Ricker received a bachelor of music education degree in clarinet from the University of Denver, a master of music degree in woodwind performance from Michigan State University, and a doctor of musical arts degree in music education and clarinet from the Eastman School. He has been a full-time Eastman faculty member since 1971, and for nine years served as the chair of the Department of Winds, Brass and Percussion (1989-98). His association with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) first began as a clarinet soloist in 1972 and in 1973 he won a position in the RPO as a member of the clarinet section. He continues to play in, and occasionally conduct, the orchestra today. From 1996-2005 he also has served on its board of directors. For eight summers (1993-2000) he was music adviser to the Schlossfestspiele in Heidelberg, Germany, where he directed the participation of the Eastman School Philharmonia in its five-week residency at this well-known German music festival.
Ray first began his musical studies on the clarinet. At age 16, while continuing to study the clarinet, his interest in jazz led him to begin saxophone lessons. Throughout his professional career he has continued to perform on both instruments. Today he often is a featured saxophone and clarinet soloist and chamber musician in venues throughout Europe and North America. He is a Conn-Selmer Artist. His books on jazz improvisation and saxophone technique as well as many of his compositions are viewed as standards in the field with over 140,000 copies sold worldwide and translations in French and Japanese. As a professional musician and music contractor he has performed on hundreds of television commercials and program themes including national accounts for NBC, ABC, Cinemax, HBO and Arts and Entertainment. As a composer and arranger he has been honored by grants from the National Endowment, New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Artist Public Service, Meet the Composer, and ASCAP. His arrangements have been commissioned by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the American, Atlanta, Cincinnati and North Carolina Symphonies, and his works are published by Advance Music (Germany), Alphonse Leduc (Paris), Warner/Chappel (USA) and Jamey Aebersold (USA). His latest book, Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor; What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools (2011, Soundown, Inc.) is fast becoming a must read for music students and was honored as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Business: Entrepreneurship and Small Business category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. (There was no music category.)
Works / Publications