Saxophonist, Educator, Researcher
A saxophonist from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, Mia Gazley received her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, studying saxophone under Dr. Julia Nolan. Mia has performed extensively with various groups in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland areas, including the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra, the Vancouver Jazz Legacy Orchestra, as well as multiple other ensembles. She was part of the Greater Vancouver Youth Music Academy as a saxophone coach from 2014-2018 and assistant director for the wind ensembles from 2016-2018. She is currently on the North American Saxophone Alliance sub-comittee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Accessibility.
Chamber music has been a large part of her performing career, and Mia performs regularly with the Azura Quartet, of which she holds the baritone saxophone chair. The Azura Quartet competed regionally, provincially, and nationally in Canada in 2017, where they won first place in the chamber music division at all three competitions. The quartet was also involved in the Chan Centre of the Performing Arts' "Chanfare" series, where the Chan Centre commissioned composition students at the University of British Columbia to compose fanfares for select concerts. For two years, the Azura Quartet worked alongside composers and premiered several works, which can be heard on the Chan Centre website.
Mia has had the opportunity to work with several renowned saxophonists such as Dr. Frederick Hemke, Dr. Preston Duncan, Dr. Steven Stusek, Dr. Susan Fancher, Dr. Kenneth Tse, Dr. Kyle Horch, Dr. Allison Balcetis, Dr. James Houlik, and more. These experiences helped to shape the course of her musical journey. She recently received her Masters in Saxophone Performance from the University of Florida, studying under Dr. Jonathan Helton.
As an active and avid performer in solo, chamber, and ensemble settings, having equipment that works for Mia is incredibly important to her. She is a Rousseau Mouthpiece Artist and uses them on all four saxophones for her classical playing, paired with D'Addario Organic Reserve reeds. For jazz playing, Mia currently uses JodyJazz mouthpieces.
As a researcher, Mia wishes to pursue a better understanding of the historical lineage of the saxophone in Japan. Much of her current research addresses the lack of accurate documentation regarding saxophonists and Japanese composers of saxophone music in Western literature. She has been studying possible translation errors that may exist, as well as understanding the impact of the political and cultural unrest in Japan during the 20th century. Mia is currently a contributor of the Japanese Saxophone Database, working alongside Nathan Mertens on providing accurate and easily accessible information on compositions for the saxophone by Japanese composers.
In addition to her busy performing and music schedule, Mia also works as the music librarian for the Vancouver Opera, as well as the Winds/Brass/Percussion Administrator of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's School of Music.