Larry Teal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Larry Teal (26 March 1905 - 11 July 1984) is considered by many to be the father of American orchestral saxophone.


Teal earned a Bachelor's degree in Pre-Dentistry from the University of Michigan. While studying there he began playing in jazz bands as a saxophonist. He later earned a Doctor of Music from the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts in 1943.

During the early 1950s he was a flutist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and played occasional alto saxophone solos. He maintained a studio near Wayne University (Later Wayne State) where many high school and collegiate students studied saxophone. Don Sinta was one of those students who was considered a virtuoso in saxophone by many while he was a music major at Wayne. Mr. Teal was highly sought after as a professional musician by both classical and popular musical organizations.

He became the first full-time professor of saxophone at any American university when he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1953. He remained the professor of saxophone there until he retired in 1974, at which time he was given the title "professor emeritus."

During his 21 years at the university, Teal taught over 100 college saxophone students, many of whom went on to become successful teachers and performers. In this way he had an unusual degree of influence over the direction and quality of classical saxophone teaching in America.

His students included:

Teal wrote several books for use by saxophone students and teachers, including:

  • The Art of Saxophone Playing (1963) ISBN 0-87487-057-7
  • Melodies for the Young Saxophonist
  • The Saxophonist's Workbook (need ISBN)