University of Georgia
Now in her third year of teaching at the University of Georgia, Connie Frigo has worn many hats as an accomplished performer, professor, columnist, grant writer and founder/artistic director of numerous festivals. Highlights of Frigo’s career include six years with the premiere U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C., a position she won at 21, as a junior in college, which made her the youngest member of the band for three years; seven years as the baritone saxophonist with the New Century Saxophone Quartet, where she became the first and only woman to join them in their 25-year history; and faculty positions at the Universities of Tennessee and Maryland before accepting a position at the University of Georgia in 2011.
Frigo is a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, where she became the first American to study full-time with Dutch virtuoso Arno Bornkamp, and has since pioneered significant connections between Dutch and American musicians and composers. Most notably, her association with Dutch composer JacobTV remains synonymous with his popularity and success throughout the U.S.
As a saxophone professor for the past eight years, Frigo’s students have won numerous concerto, young artist and chamber music competitions at regional and national levels. While at the University of Tennessee, she founded and chaired the faculty chamber music series and was voted “2008-2009 Distinguished Teacher of the Year” by the student body. At UGA, she is working with the Torrance Center for Creativity to measure the impact creativity and self-efficacy can have on the learning of classical music. She thrives on interdisciplinary work that breaks down the barriers between different habits of thought.
Frigo has commissioned and premiered many solo and chamber works by leading American composers such as Bang on a Can composer David Lang, Ben Johnston, John Fitz Rogers, and Dutch composer JacobTV. She’s known for organizing full-scale events that bring together composers, performers, students and new music. As a grant writer and fund raiser, she has secured over $75,000 from foundations and individuals for community residency and commissioning projects.
During her tenure as Coordinator of Competitions for the North American Saxophone Alliance, the young artist and quartet competitions grew to record numbers and have become the largest saxophone competitions in the U.S. She has been appointed the Program Chair for the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance national conference, hosted by the University of Illinois.
Frigo’s latest venture is the launching of the ROC Ensemble, a 9-piece band with saxophones, trombone, tuba, piano and drums. The group’s unique instrumentation is a reflection of her desire to work with some of her favorite musicians to see what’s possible when they get in the same room. They write their own arrangements that so far include music by Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Leonard Cohen, Daft Punk, Mumford and Sons and Simon and Garfunkel.
Frigo is a Rico artist and has recorded on Basta Records and Alanna Records. She is the first to record the band arrangement of JacobTV’s Tallahatchie concerto. She is the author of the “Entrepreneurship 101” column in the Saxophone Journal magazine. In 2011, she launched the Road of Creativity consulting business dedicated to teaching creativity to businesses and musicians. Her degrees are from Ithaca College (BM), the University of Illinois (MM), the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (performance diploma), and the University of South Carolina (DMA). Her principal teachers are Steven Mauk, Debra Richtmeyer, Arno Bornkamp, Clifford Leaman.