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Department of Music





Dr. Todd Goranson joined the faculty of Messiah College as Associate Professor of Saxophone and Bassoon after eight years in that role at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Goranson holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (Bassoon performance) from West Virginia University, and the Master of Music (Saxophone performance) and Bachelor of Music (Saxophone & Bassoon performance) degrees from the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho.  An active performer in a variety of genres, he has appeared with a diverse list of artists including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Sandi Patti, Claudio Roditi, Sputzy Sparacino, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and performed extensively with The Billy Price Band.

Goranson has presented recitals and clinics at universities throughout North America, including the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, University of Western Ontario (Canada), Oklahoma State University, Utah State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, Whitworth University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and many others.  Recent concerto performances include the Brandon “Concertino” for saxophone with the TAMU-C Symphonic Band and the Smith “Fantasia” with the Messiah College Wind Ensemble (recorded for Klavier Records and to be released in early 2014).

Goranson’s orchestral saxophone credits include the Utah Symphony (soprano and tenor saxophone soloist for Ravel’s Bolero), the Dallas Wind Symphony, Shreveport Symphony and other fine orchestras.  He was a featured jazz saxophone soloist with the Plano Symphony for concerts at Meyerson Hall and Eisemann Center, and with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and Irving Symphony.  He is a founding member of Triforia Winds, a group that served concurrently as the Dallas Wind Symphony Wind Trio.

An accomplished bassoonist, Todd has extensive professional orchestral experience.  He was a member of the Irving Symphony and Plano Symphony from 2002-2012, and performed frequently with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Longview Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, Shreveport Symphony.  Dr. Goranson has also performed with the York Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, the Kingsport Symphony (TN), South Arkansas Symphony, the Westmoreland Symphony (PA), Opera Roanoke (VA), the Washington-Idaho Symphony and the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico).

Notable recent performances include the 2013 International Saxophone Symposium, a lecture presentation on conditioned response and performance anxiety at the 2012 NASA Biennial Symposium (Arizona State University), and Triforia Winds performances at the 2012 ICA ClarinetFest and IDRS 2012.  Other recent performances include the 2009 SVM Sommarmusikskola (Jonkoping, Sweden); World Saxophone Congress XV (Bangkok, Thailand); IDRS 2009 (Birmingham, England), the Dallas Wind Symphony Summer Music Institute, and 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance regional 4 conference.  Goranson’s solo and chamber performances have been broadcast on KPBX, KISU and WRR radio. He has performed world, North American, and Asian premieres of works by numerous acclaimed composers. 

Dr. Goranson served as a saxophone quartet and solo adjudicator for the Texas State Solo & Ensemble Competition from 2005-2012, and was the director of many TMEA and ATSSB All-region ensembles. He served two terms as the jazz representative for the College Music Society South Central Region Board, and founded the Northeast Texas Saxophone Symposium.

Todd's major teachers for saxophone include Robert W. Miller, Curtis Johnson and Barry Bergstrom, with additional post-doctoral studies with Andy Wen.  His bassoon teachers have included Ronald Klimko, Terry Ewell, Susan Hess and Winston Collier.  A Conn-Selmer Artist/Clinician, Todd endorses and performs with Yanagisawa Saxophones and Hercules stands.