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Hailed as “a composer and arranger certainly worthy of considerable attention” (Bill Donaldson, Cadence Magazine), Kyle Saulnier writes music of dramatic intensity and immediacy, fusing orchestral techniques with the modern jazz vocabulary into music that has been described as “lush and inventive” (WNYC), and “fearlessly relevant” (New York Music Daily).

In his primary voice as composer of the Awakening Orchestra, Saulnier has composed two symphonies (2010’s this is not the answer. and 2016’s i can see my country from here.), a violin concerto (2014’s to call her to a higher plain.), as well as scores of single-movement compositions, arrangements, and orchestrations. The orchestra’s 2014 debut was called “as rare an achievement as Carla Bley’s Escalator Over the Hill” (All About Jazz), and “a unique and masterful work.” (Cadence Magazine)

Not limited to the jazz and avant-garde realms, Saulnier has composed and arranged for the Metropole OrchestraLouisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, National Geographic Television, the BET Awards, TURNmusic, and Osso String Quartet. His catalog includes works for symphony orchestra, studio orchestra, big band, string quartet, brass ensemble, solo piano, and countless combinations of mixed jazz and chamber ensembles.

Astounding movements release the potential power of the orchestra to claim the listener’s attention through dynamic contrasts, engaging themes and superlative individual contributions.
— Bill Donaldson, Cadence Magazine
...A thorough understanding of the works of past masters, true passion, an aesthetic gift towards artistic creation, and a vision that allows him to confidently and unapologetically forge music into the future...
— Edward Anderson, NOLA Art House Music



principal instruments

acoustic & electric bass
baritone saxophone

doubles & other performance credits


tenor saxophone
soprano saxophone
alto saxophone
bass clarinet

studio conductor
backing vocals


production credits

Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble - The Lullaby Project (2018, Tapestry)
the Awakening Orchestra - interlude: Atticus Live! - the music of Jesse Lewis. (2016, Biophilia)
Patrick Cornelius - While We're Still Young (2016, Whirlwind)
the Awakening Orchestra - volume i: this is not the answer. (2014, innova)
Erica von Kleist - Erica von Kleist & No Exceptions (2010)
alice. - a.443. (2010)
alice. - elastic.hybrid.chamber.pop. (2008)

w/ Russ Kaplan +7, Live in the Greene Space




teaching philosophy:

  • be human

  • respect the student

  • share knowledge


clinics & masterclasses:

Kyle is active and available for clinics and masterclasses, specializing in contemporary composition and ensemble direction. To inquire about a guest lecture, contact him here.

selected teaching resume:

teaching positions

clinics & events

  • Vermont Summer Jazz Camp - Montpelier, VT

    • Clinician/Conductor, 2019

  • Winooski Valley Music Winter Jazz Festival - Montpelier, VT

    • Jazz Clinics & Performance, 2019

  • Hofstra University - Hempstead, NY

    • Music Industry Conference Panel, 2016

  • Laurel Music Camp - Winsted, CT

    • Jazz Band Director, 2010-2012

  • The Gilbert School - Winsted, CT

    • Jazz Ensemble Clinics & Performance, 2011, 2019

  • Waterville Valley Music Center - Waterville Valley, NH

    • Assistant Director, 2010

papers & presentations

  • the Ethics of Teaching: Exploring Our Professional Responsibilities As Teachers (2010)

    • by Bruce Saulnier, Kyle Saulnier, Bruce White

    • presented at the 2010 ISETL Conference in Nashville, TN

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