Saxophone Professor, Woodwind Area Head, University of Florida;
Past-President, North American Saxophone Alliance
Artist's BiographyConcert saxophonist Jonathan Helton has been heard in performance throughout the United States, Canada, in Europe and the Far East, appearing with orchestras and wind ensembles, in recital, and in numerous chamber concerts. He has performed in Chicago, Montreal, Paris, London, Beijing, Singapore, Taipei, Washington, D.C., Miami, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Minneapolis, and New York City’s Lincoln Center. His performance credits include concerto appearances with the New Philharmonia of Riverside in New York City, Winston-Salem (NC) Symphony, the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Center for New Music (Iowa), the North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, the University of Florida Wind Symphony, the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Harper Symphony Orchestra, the United States Air Force Tactical Air Command Band, and the Twelfth World Saxophone Congress Wind Orchestra.
His orchestral experience includes performances with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Helton has performed at the New Music Chicago Spring Festival and has been a resident artist at the Music for the Inner City festival in Washington, DC. He has appeared in concerts sponsored by the Chicago Composers’ Consortium, the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the World Saxophone Congress, the Wisconsin Alliance of Composers, the Society of Composers Incorporated, and the College Music Society. In addition, his performances have been heard on North Carolina Public Radio, on WFMT in Chicago, and in national syndication. He is featured in solo and chamber music performances on compact discs from Elf/Ludwig, Innova, Mark Records, and Music from Northwestern labels.
Helton is currently Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance. He serves on the Editorial Board for The Saxophone Symposium. He has served as Membership Director, Director of Scholarly Publications, and Listserv Manager for the North American Saxophone Alliance and as Illinois State Chair for the Music Teachers’ National Association Collegiate Artists Performance Competitions and the MTNA Collegiate Chamber Music Performance Competition. He has also served as a member of the Governing Board of the Illinois State Music Teachers’ Association. His analytical articles and music and book reviews have appeared in The Saxophone Symposium, Saxophone Journal, and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal.
Dr. Helton received his Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees from Northwestern University. Helton’s principal teachers included Frederick Hemke and James Houlik. As a two-time recipient of the prestigious Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, he spent two years in France where he studied with Daniel Deffayet, professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and with Jean-Marie Londeix, professor at the Conservatoire National de Région de Bordeaux.
He developed and presented over 300 performances, demonstrations, master classes and lectures to diverse audiences during a two-year residency with the North Carolina Arts Council’s Visiting Artist Program. From 1992 to 1999, he served on the faculty at Northwestern University teaching saxophone and chamber music, and held an administrative appointment as Coordinator of the Wind and Percussion Program. Dr. Helton is currently on the faculty of the School of Music of the University of Florida where he teaches saxophone, chamber music and conducts the New Music Ensemble.
Dr. Helton is an Artist/Clinician for The Selmer Company.