Dr. Allison Adams is the Assistant 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. A versatile performer herself, Adams has been a featured soloist at venues across the country, from the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, to San Diego's Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. She has also performed at the International Saxophone Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, and the International Clarinet Association Conference.
In her recitals, she especially likes to highlight the work of contemporary composers. She has commissioned works from Baljinder Sekhon, Gregory Wanamaker, Dominick DiOrio, and Keane Southard. This summer, she will premiere Andrew Sigler's new piece "Through All Panics" at the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia.
In addition to her solo work, Adams is also the tenor player for the Estrella Consort, a saxophone quartet that has toured both locally and abroad. While the Estrella Consort has performed and worked with students at many high-profile schools around the country, including Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and Arizona State University, they also take pleasure in exposing audiences outside the academic community to contemporary music in an approachable way. This attribute led to them being selected for a residency at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ in 2016.
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. Last year, she and Nief Norf had the opportunity to combine forces with the renowned new music ensemble The Bang on a Can Allstars to present Michael Gordon's Big Space at the 2018 Big Ears 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. Recently, her focus on wellness has expanded to include a presentation on the anatomy of breathing at the 2017 International Saxophone Symposium, and a presentation on how pregnancy affects saxophone performance at the 2018 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.