UT Tyler


Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts

Title: Assistant Professor of Music
Department: Music
Building: FAC 2216 (Center for the Musical Arts)
Email: sroberts@uttyler.edu
Phone: 903.566.7387


  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance (2015), University of North Texas; Related field: Music Education
  • Master of Music in Saxophone Performance (2008), Master of Music in Jazz Studies (2008), University of North Texas; Related field: Conducting

  • Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance (2004), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies (2004), University of Michigan


A native of Fort Madison, Iowa, SARAH ROBERTS made her soloist debut at the age of seventeen with the Southeast Iowa Symphony performing Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for saxophone and orchestra. The following year she was a featured soloist with the Des Moines Symphony in Des Moines, Iowa; and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan.  

In 2008, Dr. Roberts made her European debut after she was invited to perform with the Juilliard School’s AXIOM Ensemble on their Beyond the Machine 7.0 – The Eye/Ear Collaboration concert at the Tanhalle in Zurch, Switzerland. During the summer of 2010, Dr. Roberts traveled with a student group from the University of North Texas to Shanghai, China, and performed with the East China Normal University Orchestra, in addition to presenting master classes and performances throughout Shanghai. 

In 2012, Dr. Roberts was the featured guest artist with the Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Jazz Band with Dallas Trumpeter, Micah Bell, for the annual jazz festival. Most recently, Ms. Roberts was the 2014 Artist-in-Residence with the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the two-week residency Ms. Roberts performed for hundreds of students in area schools and performed community recitals in churches, retirement homes, and for local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. At the conclusion of the two weeks Dr. Roberts was a featured soloist with SEISO performing Concerto after Gliere for alto saxophone and orchestra by David DeBoor Canfield and Tarantelle for clarinet and flute by Camille Saint-Saëns with her twin sister, Rachel Roberts, on flute. 

With an extremely diverse background in jazz and classical music, Dr. Roberts can be heard on recordings with the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, the Two O’Clock Lab Band and Kris Berg’s Metroplexity Big Band. In addition to many university ensembles, Dr. Roberts has had an active freelance career from Michigan to Texas performing with a gamut of ensembles ranging from traditional saxophone quartets, to new music groups, to rock bands, to jazz groups and all points in between. She has been a saxophonist for various orchestras including the Plano SymphonyIrving Symphony and San Angelo Symphony. In addition, she has been a frequent substitute saxophonist with the Dallas Wind Symphonyand the Lonestar Wind Orchestra. Dr. Roberts’ performing experience also includes a mixture of dance band performances, pit orchestra performances and small jazz group performances. Furthermore, she has presented performances and lectures at discipline specific conventions for such organizations as the North American Saxophone Alliance and the Jazz Education Network.

While completing graduate work at the University of North Texas, Dr. Roberts was a founding member and baritone saxophonist of the North Texas Saxophone Quartet. In addition to many recitals and community performances, the group was a national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association Chamber Music competition in 2007 and 2008.  In addition to chamber music competitions, Dr. Roberts has also competed in several soloist competitions. In 2005, she was the first-place winner of the Senior Non-Bowed Instrument Division of the Kingsville Competition held in Kingsville, Texas.  Additionally, in 2010, Dr. Roberts placed third in the International Saxophone Competition held in Paris, France; and later that year was selected to participate in the 5th International Adolphe Sax Competition held in Dinant, Belgium.

Dr. Roberts completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance at the University of North Texas under the instruction of Dr. Eric Nestler.Her dissertation was entitled "Humanism of Sound: An Investigation of the Interplay Between the Saxophone and Voice Samples Found in Jacob Ter Veldhuis’ “Boombox” Pieces with an Analysis of Believer (2007) for Baritone Saxophone and Soundtrack." 

While a graduate student at the University of North Texas, Dr. Roberts was a Teaching Assistant for the Jazz Studies department as director of the Nine O’Clock Lab Band in 2010-2011, and from 2007-2010, she held a Teaching Fellowship as an instructor of classical saxophone where her responsibilities included weekly lessons with undergraduate performance, music education, and jazz studies majors and coaching saxophone quartets. In addition to her responsibilities at North Texas, Dr. Roberts has been an extremely active private lesson instructor and clinician in the North Dallas area since 2004. In 2010 she became the conductor of the Pioneer Heritage Middle School jazz band, The Pioneers of Jazz; and the Frisco High School Jazz Ensemble in Frisco, Texas. Moreover, Dr. Roberts has been an active adjudicator for solo & ensemble competitions, All-Region and Jazz All-Region events, and pre-UIL band competitions. In 2012, she was the clinician and director of the Texas Music Educators Association Region 25 All-Region Jazz Band.

In August 2014, Dr. Roberts began working as the Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, TX. Her responsibilities include the instruction of the saxophone studio, directing the UT Tyler Jazz Band, and the UT Tyler Jazz Patriots Combo. In addition, she instructs some academic classes. Prior to her appointment at UT Tyler, Dr. Roberts was the Professor of Woodwinds and Bands at Tyler Junior College where she taught private saxophone, flute, clarinet, and oboe lessons, in addition to directing the Symphonic Band, directing the woodwind instrumental chamber ensemble, assisting with the TJC Marching Band, and teaching classroom courses such as jazz improvisation and music appreciation.

Prior teaching experiences include being an adjunct professor at the Tarrant County College Southeast Campus and the Saxophone Instructor for the Michigan All-State Program Saxophone Workshop held at Interlochen, Michigan from 2002-2005 and the Saxophone Coach for the Michigan All-State Program Concert Band also held at Interlochen, Michigan from 2003-2005.

Dr. Roberts holds dual masters of music degrees in saxophone performance and jazz studies from the University of North Texas and dual bachelors degrees in saxophone performance and jazz studies from the University of Michigan.  She has studied with Donald Sinta, Donald Walden, Eric Nestler, Jim Riggs, Steve Weist, Paris Rutherford, and John Vana; and attended festivals to study with Jean-Marie Londeix, Jean-Francious Guy, Joseph Lulloff, Kelland Thomas.

UT Tyler