Harmony Music House

Saxophone Lessons

Clark Smith - All levels

Clark Smith is a saxophonist, composer, producer and educator based in Boulder, Colorado. Clark began playing saxophone at age nine in Portland, Maine. He started performing professionally at age 14, and in high school was a member of the Maine All State High School Jazz Band. In 2006, Clark moved to Colorado where he began his studies at the prestigious Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver where he earned a Bachelors of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music. While in school, he played lead tenor sax in the Lamont Jazz Orchestra led by Lynn Baker and the Contemporary Combo coached by Eric Gunnison along with numerous other groups. Clark was also a two time winner of the Lamont Made Jazz Composition Contest, and in 2010 was invited to play with his jazz quartet, The Clark Smith Quartet, in Villard De Lans, France at the Jazz en Vercors Festival. It was also at Lamont that Clark began learning to produce electronic music which led to the birth of his Livetronica trio DYNOHUNTER, now a nationally touring project which fuses live instruments with electronic dance music. Since graduating college, Clark has become and in demand studio musician and freelance saxophonist on the front range. He has performed with the Michal Menert Big Band, Casey Russel's Soul Shack, Tiger Party, Late Night Radio, Jaden Carlson Band, Bass Physics, Funkifino, The New Mastersounds, Yamn, Analog Son, The Malah, Zoogma, and Stratosphere All Stars. Clark has also performed with Jason Hahn & Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident), David Murphy (Sound Tribe Sector Nine), Garrett Sayers & Gabe Mervine (The Motet), Mark Brownstein and Allen Aucoin (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield (Lotus), Tom Hamilton, Steve Molitz and Todd Stoops. In addition to performing, Clark is a passionate educator with over 5 years of teaching experience. His wide range of knowledge, and diverse musical experiences give him a well rounded approach to teaching for all age and skill levels.

 

Ryan Mihaly - All levels

Ryan started playing the saxophone in the fourth grade and hasn't stopped. When he was a teenager he moved to Tokyo with his family and played the sax in a ska band. Then he moved back to the States and played in funk, punk, jazz, and marching bands. 

He graduated from Hampshire College in 2012, where he wrote a 10-movement composition for sax trio, string trio, and vocalist. He studied with woodwind player Marty Ehrlich. After college, he toured and recorded with Who'Da Funk It?, an 8-piece funk band, and k'enekt, an experimental folk trio, both based in Western Massachusetts. He was a member of the Open Music Ensemble in Brattleboro, VT, where he played the music of Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and others. In recent years, he has collaborated with Dave Mihaly's Shimmering Leaves Ensemble, based in San Francisco, and the performance artist Gabrielle Civil. He has played live improvised music to film, collaborated with dancers, and written music for film.

As a teacher, Ryan applies methods of collaboration, improvisation, muscle memory, rhythmic emphasis, theory, free play, deep listening, and technique. He believes that everyone has an innate sense of music, and his lessons are tailored toward each students' specific abilities.

He is currently a graduate student at Naropa University's writing program, where he working on a novel about a 100-year old pianist, and frequently collaborates with poets. 

 

Dave Laub - All levels

 

Born and raised in Western New York, Dave Laub began his musical career as a saxophonist at age nine. Two years later, he started his jazz studies with Dave Manth, a prominent saxophonist and teacher, who now performs with the Amherst Saxophone Quartet, in the Buffalo, NY area. By the time Dave finished high school, he was actively playing in jazz ensembles and had his own private teaching studio at a local music store. 

In 1990, Dave began his performance studies with Dr. John Sampen at Bowling Green State University of Ohio. While there, he performed with the University's Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Lab Band I, Jazz Combo, and the Ridge Street Sax Quartet. Dave's jazz experience grew under the direction of saxophonist Dave Melle, bassist Jeff Halsey, and saxophonist Gene Parker. Bowling Green supplied several opportunities to perform with great jazz musicians such as Anthony Braxton and Slide Hampton.

Dave moved to Colorado in 1995 and began his teaching career at Battle Mountain High School (Avon, CO) in 1997. After six years of running the music program there, he accepted a position as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Department Chair at Vail Mountain School. At the end of his sixth year at VMS, he had developed four concert bands and a jazz ensemble with over 100 students participating spanning grades six through twelve. 

In addition to his teaching career, Dave is an active studio musician, freelance saxophonist, and band leader. After leading the Dave Laub Quartet and jazz/funk band, Flux5 for more than five years, he recently began a new funk-rock project, Fried Grease. He has performed and recorded with many bands during the last 15 years, including Colorado mountain-based Little Hercules and the Tony G. All-Stars, Aspen's Jes Grew, Boulder's Funkiphino and Sucker, as well as nationally touring ska band, Warsaw and Salt Lake's Pink Floyd tribute band, Sons of Nothing. 

Dave has also shared the stage with Stanton Moore (Galactic), Melvin Sparks, Henry Butler, Eric Lindell, Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Great American Taxi, Tishamingo, Eric McFadden (P-Funk), P'Nut Daniels, Papa Grows Funk, E.T. and Terrence Higgins (Dirty Dozen Brass Band).