Scheidt School of Music Saxophones Account For Three of Six Navy Fleet Band Hires in 2024

U.S. Navy Fleet Band

The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is thrilled to share that our students have achieved an extraordinary feat. During the recent US Navy Fleet Bands audition season, our incredibly talented students Caleb Allen (DMA ’26), and Joanie Dyer (AD ‘24), and Vincent Friedel (BM ’21), were each appointed to highly-competitive, full-time saxophone positions. These three comprise half of the six total saxophone hires made nationwide in the Fleet Bands in 2024. This milestone means that five of our saxophone studio students have been offered positions through audition with the Navy Fleet Bands in the past four years – a remarkable feat and a testament to our program’s strength.

“Caleb, Joanie, and Vince were exceptional during their time here in their work ethic, teachability, resilience, and professional deportment. These full-time military band positions are some of the best and most prestigious available to saxophonists, and I’m so proud they’ll represent the Scheidt School of Music in the Navy,” said Dr. Michael Shults, associate professor of saxophone. The U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., is a prestigious presidential-support activity staffed by some of the finest musicians in the country. Members are chosen through highly competitive live auditions, ensuring that only the best of the best are selected. Assignment to the U.S. Navy Band is determined from a pool of candidates who apply for specific vacancies, making it a highly sought-after position in the music community.

The United States Navy Fleet Bands

The United States Navy Fleet Bands comprise 11 bands stationed around the world, playing a crucial role in honoring veterans, strengthening relationships with allies and partners, and connecting with millions globally. Navy Bands go where ships can’t, providing musical support for various naval and public functions. These distinguished ensembles of professional musicians perform a wide array of genres, from traditional military marches to contemporary popular music, showcasing their versatility and excellence. They are vital to ceremonial events, official Navy functions, community outreach programs, and public concerts, enhancing the Navy’s public image and fostering patriotism. Stationed across diverse locations, Navy Fleet Band musicians undergo rigorous training and maintain high performance standards, contributing to the esprit de corps within the Navy and strengthening the bond between the military and civilian communities.

About our students

Caleb Allen
Caleb Allen

Originally from West Virginia, Caleb Allen is an American saxophonist based out of Memphis, Tennessee. Before receiving an offer to join the Navy Fleet Bands, he was working toward a as the Doctoral Graduate Assistant for the saxophone studio. In 2023, Caleb received his Master of Music in saxophone performance from Stephen F. Austin State University while serving as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the saxophone studio. He received his Bachelor of Music in saxophone performance from the University of Missouri- Kansas City in 2021. Before his collegiate studies, he graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in 2017. Caleb’s primary teachers have included Taimur Sullivan, Dr. Mathew Schlomer, Bill Sears, Zach Shemon, Dr. Bob Eason, Dr. Nathan Nabb, and Dr. Michael Shults.

Throughout his career, Caleb has performed many solo and ensemble works at prestigious events and band competitions nationwide. During the summer of 2016, Caleb performed with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial Celebration at Lincoln Center. He has been a part of the UMKC and SFASU Wind Ensemble where they have performed in premier spots at MTNA and TMEA. As a previous member of both universities’ saxophone ensembles, he has performed at many events including three North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. While at the 2020 NASA Conference, Caleb also competed as the alto saxophonist of the Pyrrhic Quartet in the semi-finals of the quartet competition. Professionally, he served as the principal saxophonist of The Heart of America Winds from 2020-2021. In the spring of 2024, he performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Collage Dance Collective at Cannon Center. Outside of his performance career, Caleb offers private lessons, clinics, and masterclasses throughout the Memphis area and online.


Catherine Joanie Dyer
Catherine Joanie Dyer

Catherine Joanie Dyer (AD ’24) is an active saxophonist, chamber musician, and educator originally from the D.C. area. She is currently a member of the United States Navy Fleet Band where she plays in the idioms of classical, jazz, pop, RnB, etc. Before that she received an Artist Diploma from the University of Memphis under the direction of Dr. Micheal Shults at the University of Memphis. Her previous degrees include her master’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and bachelor’s degree in saxophone and jazz performance from Shepherd University. During her studies, she has worked directly with saxophonists Dr. Nicki Roman, Dr. Henning Schröder, Jeremy P. Koch and Dr. Kurtis Adams.

Catherine has performed both as a soloist and in various ensembles all over the eastern panhandle, Milwaukee, and Memphis area. As a soloist, Catherine has performed many masterclasses and solo recitals, and was the state representative for Wisconsin in the 2022 MTNA national competition. For chamber work, Catherine has performed all over the greater Milwaukee area with the Cosmo Reed Quintet. The Cosmo reed quintet has been accepted into conferences like North American Saxophone Alliance, and International Double Reeds Association.

As a huge proponent for education, Catherine teaches a private studio for reeds and piano and has taught general and digital music in Milwaukee Public Schools. She is able to work one on one with students as well as a large classroom setting to give them a transformative experience through music.


Vincent Friedel
Vincent Friedel

Vincent Friedel (BM ’21)  is a freelance saxophonist and educator. While improvising is his primary area of expertise, he has also studied concert saxophone, flute, clarinet, composing and arranging, and theory at the collegiate level. Vincent is a versatile musician and has played with a variety of groups that include big band, jazz combo, wedding bands, R&B/soul/gospel groups, saxophone quartet, woodwind quintet, concert band, military bands, and church groups. Most notably, Vincent was selected as a finalist for the National Saxophone Competition in 2021 and a semi-finalist for the North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Jazz Competition in 2022. Vincent spent six years in the Tennessee National Guard performing with the 129th Army Band before accepting a full-time position with Navy Fleet Bands. He completed his collegiate studies at the University of Memphis in 2021, studying with Dr. Michael Shults and Prof. Elise Blatchford, where he received his bachelor’s degree in jazz and studio performance.”

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