Music Department Faculty and Staff

B.M., M.M., Duquesne University; D.M.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro


Dr. Xin Gao serves as Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Music Theory at Truman State University. Prior to this, he served on faculties of East Tennessee State University, the Music Academy of North Carolina, Furman University, Georgia State University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Summer Music Camp. He also taught at UNCG and University of Tennessee at Knoxville during his graduate work at those schools. At UNCG, he also filled the duties of Associate Professor Steve Stusek while Stusek was on sabbatical.

Gao has enjoyed a successful career as a chamber musician and soloist, and his accomplishments include national and international recognition at major world competitions, including first place at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Woodwind Competition in 2011, finalist at the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) in 2014, and twice semi-finalist at the International Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition in 2008 and 2014. With the chamber group QuadrAtomic Saxophone quartet, he reached the finals of both the Fischoff and Coleman competitions, and the group was awarded the Coleman-Saunderson Prize. In 2016, he served as judge at MTNA Tennessee State Young Artist Woodwind and Chamber Music Competition.

He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals across the U.S. as well as Asia. In 2013, he toured China as a performer and also gave performances and master classes at universities throughout the southeastern U.S. He has performed concertos with the UNCG orchestra, the UTK orchestra, and the Duquesne orchestra in the U.S. and the Sichuan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in China. He was invited to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for a residency and performance of Claude T. Smith's saxophone concerto with the UIC Wind Ensemble in 2014. He also frequently performs lecture recitals at national and international conferences, such as the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) and the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium.

As a chamber musician, his experiences with the Sirocco Reed Quintet, New Century Saxophone Quartet, QuadATOMIC Saxophone Quartet, and Road of Creativity (ROC) ensemble have all played major roles in forming his musical identity. Quintet Sirocco performs in a variety of locations around North and South Carolina and was a featured ensemble for the SAVVY Musician in Action Chamber Competition, Classical Revolution Greensboro, and the MANC Summer Artist Series. In 2014, Gao toured with the New Century Saxophone Quartet across nine states in the U.S. Midwest, giving performances and outreach clinics. The ROC ensemble, a collaboration among professional musicians and faculty from four universities, seeks to reinvent concert saxophone and classical chamber music to include elements of jazz, hip-hop, and indigenous music. The ROC ensemble appeared at the University of Georgia on April 17, 2014 for a featured performance and presentation session as part of the university's interdisciplinary entrepreneurship week. The group has also been invited to present keynote addresses at major corporations such as Corning, Inc.

Furthermore, Gao is passionate about new music and has commissioned new pieces from world-renowned composers such as Sherwood Shaffer and Leilei Tian, and he has collaborated directly with young composers such as Wei Dai in his efforts to bring Chinese music to a wider audience. His research involves creating the first annotated bibliography dedicated to Chinese saxophone music.

Gao received his DMA from the University of North Carolina, where he studied with Steve Stusek. He also completed a year of graduate study under the guidance of Connie Frigo at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His BM and MM in saxophone performance are from Duquesne University, where he studied with James Houlik. Gao hails from Chengdu City, People's Republic of China, where he began his musical studies on clarinet at the age of eight, studying with Professor Zhenglong Xiang at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. In 1997, at the age of 13, Gao enrolled in the pre-college program at the Sichuan Conservatory and decided to change his major to classical saxophone performance, a major created by Yusheng Li, who was also new to the Conservatory that year.


Music Department