Lois Hicks-Wozniak, www.loishickswozniak.com, is an active concert saxophonist and educator in the New York Metropolitan and the Hudson Valley region, committed to community engagement through new music and Global Music styles. A D’Addario Woodwinds Artist, her many awards include winning the Special Presentation Winners Recital Series, sponsored by Artists International Presentations; earning her a New York Recital Debut at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. She is described in performance as having “tremendous technique and fidelity to tone without sacrificing musical line,” and a “beautiful soprano saxophone sound...preserving the beauty and consistency of her sound regardless of the technical or musical demands of the moment” (Saxophone Symposium).
From 1996-2004 she served active duty in the U.S. Army as a saxophonist with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, the West Point Saxophone Quartet and as a featured soloist at the World Saxophone Congress 2000 in Montreal, where she performed the Glazunov Concerto with the West Point Concert Band. She resigned her position in the Army to take on her most prized role as proud mom of four terrific children. (two sets of twins!)
She can be heard on her recording Playback: Music for Saxophone and Bass Trombone with Matthew Wozniak, bass trombone and Nadine Shank, piano and on the West Point Saxophone Quartet CD, Fault Lines. Her performances have been broadcast on New York public radio and she has an educational YouTube channel called “TheSaxophoneLady,” featuring frequent audition material for elementary and junior high students.
As a subscription series soloist with the New Jersey Wind Symphony, she presented the east coast premiere of the Concerto for Soprano Sax and Wind Ensemble by John Mackey. An artist-in-residence at Mississippi State University, she performed the Mississippi premiere of Dream Dancer for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble by Michael Colgrass, and she has been a guest of the Ithaca College Saxophone Society. She served as principal saxophonist with the New Jersey Wind Symphony from 2005-2018, and has performed and recorded with the Albany Symphony; along with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Greater Newburgh Symphony, the Lawton Philharmonic, the Pone New Music Ensemble and the Dallas Wind Symphony, to include their recording, Fiesta! She maintains an active schedule as a performer and clinician, appearing as guest soloist with high school, university and community ensembles. As a freelance musician, she has shared the stage with diverse acts from Manhattan Transfer to Milton Berle. She has commissioned and championed many new works for saxophone.
With a passion for World Music, Ethnomusicology, and Diversity, she has studied South Asian Carnatic percussion and has recorded with Pat Waing master, Kyaw-Kyaw Naing and the first Burmese-American Hsiang Waing ensemble. She is a featured professor in the textbook, World Music Pedagogy Vol VII: Teaching World Music in Higher Education (Routledge 2020), holds a certification in Smithsonian Folkways World Music Pedagogy, and teaches classroom courses in Global Music Studies.
An advocate of new chamber music, she and her husband, Matt Wozniak, comprise the saxophone and bass trombone duo, The Wozniak Duo. During the 2020 pandemic, Lois and Matt created “Music Tells a Story,” a recorded local library program for children and care-givers featuring story-telling, enactive music involvement, global music and incorporation of new music. Championing new works for this unique ensemble, they have commissioned and premiered works by Kevin Ames, Rob Deemer, Zae Munn, Carter Pann, and Gregory Wanamaker, most recently presenting the world premiere of Zae Munn’s Gnashing of Teeth at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, March 2020. They premiered Pann’s Duo for alto saxophone and bass trombone in 2011 in Washington D.C. at the Eastern Trombone Workshop and were featured performers at the International Trombone Association Conference, held at the Eastman School of Music in June 2014. Their CD, Playback, with Nadine Shank, piano, was released in 2015.
A featured soloist at the Caramoor Music Festival with the Westchester Symphonic Winds, she was also a guest soloist along with internationally acclaimed saxophonist, Kenneth Tse for the New Jersey Wind Symphony’s “Saxophone Spectacular.” Presenting a preview performance of David Kirkland Garner’s Concerto for soprano saxophone and wind ensemble,she gave encore performances of this tour de force at the 2014 New Jersey Music Educators Association Convention and the 2014 Association of Concert Bands Convention.
Currently an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, Marist College and the State University of New York at New Paltz, she spent several summers as artist teaching faculty at the New England Music Camp and was a former visiting saxophone instructor at Susquehanna University. With studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of North Texas, Florida State University, and Montclair State University, her teachers include Dr. Frederick L. Hemke, Patrick Meighan, Debra Richtmeyer and Stacy Wilson. She maintains a private saxophone studio and teaches Spinning and other exercise classes at her local gym.