Jeffrey Wiles
Flute, Saxophone, & Clarinet

The story of my musical journey started when I was young in elementary school. Looking back I
had always had a fascination with music and musicians. My parents told me that when they
would take me to the circus as a young child, I would be more interested in the musicians than in
the circus itself. Then one day in the summer before I started fifth grade, my mother and I
were passing a local music store with a sign out in front advertising music lessons, and I asked
her when I could start taking music lessons. Thinking I was just talking, she said not today and
went on with life. A couple of weeks later I started nagging her about lessons and she realized I
was serious and we went to that store and rented my first saxophone. Little did they know I
would grow up to be a musician (in fact the first one in my family).


While I was in high school my interest in music was continued and developed with private
lessons, high school band, and probably most importantly going to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
(which has played a major role throughout my life). At Blue Lake I was with students my age who
loved music as much as I did and made me realize what an impact music can have on my life.
My time as a camper at Blue Lake culminated with spending two summers in Europe with their
International Jazz Ensemble.


I continued my studies at Central Michigan University, where I studied with John Nichol. During
this time I spent my summers at Blue Lake as a counselor and performed in as many ensembles
and worked with as many instructors as I could using this as an opportunity for growth. In fact
while I was at Blue Lake I met both my future wife and the man I would continue my studies with
in graduate school.


After I earned my Bachelor of Music Education degree from CMU I went to spend two years
living in northern Michigan as a middle school band and choir director, a job which I then left to pursue a
Master of Music degree as a Graduate Assistant at West Chester University of Pennsylvania,
just outside of Philadelphia.


My time at West Chester was one of the most exhilarating times of my life as I completely
engrossed myself into my studies. During this time I studied with the reputable Gunnar Mossblad, and also was able to perform in numerous ensembles and teach private lesson in the local music store. In fact, this period of my life cannot be adequately addressed in this story! In 2002 I received my Master
of Music degree in Saxophone Performance, and moved back home to Saginaw, Michigan.


The next few years I spent dividing my time teaching as an adjunct instructor at the University of
Toledo, performing, teaching elementary music at a charter school in Flint, Michigan, and going
back to Blue Lake as a faculty member. Then around 2010 I chose to give up teaching and
performing while I took care of my parents. I mention this because this time really helped me put
me back on track to why I loved music, and got me away from thinking of music as a job, but
rather what music meant to me as a person.


In 2012 I moved to Lake Orion and got married, and started my career again with a newfound
passion in the joy of music and teaching. My goal as a teacher is to help students develop their
love of music and to help them become their own best teacher.