Merit School of Music

Thomas Snydacker

Faculty: Saxophone


Northwestern University, DMA
Arizona State University, MM
University of Minnesota, BM


Dr. Thomas Snydacker has been praised for his “plush tone” (South Florida Classical Review) and his “stunning tour-de-force” and “thoroughly compelling” performances (Chicago Classical Review). In addition to teaching at Merit, Snydacker is the applied artist of classical saxophone at Northern Illinois University and is a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic. He has appeared as an orchestral musician with world-class ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Milwaukee Symphony, and the New World Symphony under such luminaries as John Adams, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Susanna Mälkki, Marin Alsop, Bobby McFerrin, and Matthias Pintscher. His festival appearances as an orchestral musician include the Ravinia Festival, the Grant Park Music Festival, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. He performed with such icons as Claude Delangle and the Paris Conservatory Saxophone Ensemble and has appeared as a soloist with groups including the University of Minnesota Concert Choir, the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble, the Northern Illinois University Wind Symphony, and the University of Illinois – Chicago Wind Ensemble.

As an educator, Snydacker carries more than a decade of experience. In addition to his duties on the faculties of NIU and Merit, he has presented talks about the saxophone and various other topics to music students at the University of Cuenca and Columbia College Chicago, the Claremont Colleges, and the University of Michigan, among other institutions. He has given masterclasses for students of a wide range of age and abilities throughout the country and abroad including the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Arizona State University, Vanderbilt University, Western Michigan University, and many others.


I listen to an insanely wide variety of styles and genres, and I am always looking for new sounds to dig into.


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