Charles Chadwell

Charles Chadwell
Instructor, Music Theory
2310 Dalton Center, Mail Stop 5434
Mailing address: 
School of Music
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
  • M. M., Saxophone Performance, Oklahoma State University
  • B.M., Music Education and Performance, The University of Texas at Austin

A native of Austin, Texas, Charlie Chadwell is both a performing saxophonist and active music theorist. He is currently pursuing both a D.M.A. in Saxophone Performance and an M.M. in Music Theory at Michigan State University, where he regularly performs and teaches in a variety of settings. Throughout his career, Chadwell has gained extensive experience teaching saxophone, music theory, aural skills, and jazz to varying levels of college and high school students. Today’s students will require a versatility of skills in order to be professionally successful, and for this reason, Chadwell has made it a goal to educate himself as broadly as possible. 

Throughout his education, he has made a concerted effort to pursue a variety of musical ensembles and styles. In addition to performing classically in saxophone quartets and large ensembles, Chadwell has also participated in jazz bands, jazz combos, and new music ensembles. Most recently, he premiered a new work by Keaton Garrett at the 2019 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, and in 2018 he was a finalist and semi-finalist in the NASA saxophone competition for the quartet and solo divisions. In 2017, Chadwell played lead alto on the album Solid Gold, which featured jazz trombonist Michael Dease. Later on that year he taught at the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, where he worked with college saxophonists in quartets and large ensembles and instructed students privately. 

In addition to an active performing career, Chadwell regularly conducts work in music theory research. He has written papers on musical narrative, formal analysis, jazz improvisation, and music theory education. His research interests include formal analysis of popular music, particularly hip-hop, jazz improvisation, and education. Chadwell holds a B.M. in Music Education and Performance Certificate from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.M. in Saxophone Performance from Oklahoma State University.