Richard J. Chandler, BA, MA

Richard J. Chandler, Composer Performing Musician Bassoon Saxophone

Minnesota Composer, Musician & Music Teacher on Bassoon, Saxophones, Recorders & Piano

I studied music at St. Johns University and the College of St. Benedict of Minnesota. Later in life I completed my coursework, receiving my BA in music from St. Cloud State University in 2012. I went on to earn a master degree in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy from Adler Graduate School in MN. In the fall of 2016 and Spring of 2017, I did graduate level music composition studies at the University of Minnesota.

Music Composition & Arranging

I am currently focused on writing and arranging chamber music. I have written for solo instruments, duets, saxophone quartet and string quartet. My most recent compositions were composed for performance by my woodwind trio, CloudWinds Woodwind Trio of St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

The Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra has performed several of my chamber orchestra pieces. The St. Cloud State University Wind Ensemble premiered two of the movements of a more extensive work inspired by the life work of Leonardo Da Vinci. The Minnesota Sinfonia premiered my Sacred Geometry for Chamber Orchestra on January 12th, 2018 in Minneapolis and on January 13th, 2018 in St. Paul, MN.


Sacred Geometry for Chamber Orchestra, was premiered on January 12th in St. Paul, MN and on January 13th, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN by the Minnesota Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra.

Sax Transcends for Saxophone Quartet & Narrator is as if the ghost of Adolph Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, visited from the afterlife to tell his life story. Premiered by the University of MN Saxophone Quartet on March 16th, 2019. 

5 Evening Pieces for Piano, which has been performed numerous times in college faculty recitals, private recitals and in a central MN regional recital program.

Sleep Now for Voice has been performed in faculty recitals at St. Cloud State University and St. Johns University

DaVinci Transcending Time Duets have been performed on saxophones, clarinets and bassoons in many private recitals and at the American Composers Forum’s Composers Night Out event held in Sartell, MN. These duets comprise some of the thematic material for a larger work based on the writings of Leonardo DaVinci.

DaVinci Transcending Time for Wind Ensemble consists of 5 movements based on DaVinci quotations and the duets shown above.  2 of the 5 were premiered by the St. Cloud State University Wind Ensemble in 2011.

Dedication Fanfare for Brass Choir and Percussion

The work was inspired by the architecture of the building, featuring copper and metal sculpture as prominent materials. The piece reflected the feel and sound of metal with 9 brass instruments, timpani, and tam-tam. It was composed and performed to commemorate the new Saint Cloud Public Library at its dedication ceremony on September 20th, 2008 and played to end the ceremony as library patrons entered their new library building. Many hundreds of people heard the work.

3 Evening Pieces for Chamber Orchestra comprised of the movements: Evening Begins, Waves of Lake Superior and Prayer-Like. While constructed upon the ideas in 5 Evening Pieces for Piano, increased harmony, counterpoint, and orchestral color are featured. This was premiered in December of 2016 by the Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra of St. Cloud, MN.

Chandler is a recipient of a 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the Central Minnesota Regional Arts Board, funded by The McKnight Foundation. He is also a 2017 recipient of a granting award by The McKnight Foundation in cooperation with the Minnesota Sinfonia for his new work, Sacred Geometry for Chamber Orchestra, premiered on January 12th and 13th 2018 by the Minnesota Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra.

Music Performance

II have performed with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra on contrabassoon, bassoon, and alto saxophone as well as with the Bethlehem Chamber Orchestra and Amadeus Chamber Symphony on bassoon. 

In January of 2018, I founded the CloudWinds Woodwind Trio with whom I currently perform on bassoon, saxophones, and recorders. We play engaging woodwind trio repertoire as well as my original compositions and arrangements. 

As a freelance musician, I have played bassoon with a variety of “pickup orchestras” in the St. Cloud area put together to do significant choral works, including the Minnesota Center Chorale and the Youth Chorale of Central MN. Also, I have played bassoon in established educational orchestras in Central Minnesota, including the CSB-SJU College Orchestra and the Central Minnesota Youth Orchestra.

Richard_J. Chandler Alto_Saxophone recital Performance in Minnesota
Richard Chandler on Alto Saxophone Performance in St. Cloud MN


I studied saxophone with Ruben Haugen, Jerry D. Luedders, and Richard Dirlam. Chandler studied composition with Jerome Collier and Brian Campbell at St. Johns University and the College of St. Benedict and Dr. Alex Lubet, Music Composition Professor at The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Teacher of Bassoon & Saxophone Private Lessons

I have taught bassoon and saxophone to dedicated adults as well as high school students for many years. As a performing musician, I bring practical performance experience into their lessons. As a composer, I can share unique insights into the music itself.

Teaching others how to play music is very rewarding for me. My learning journey in music was made possible by supportive parents and outstanding music teachers. For me, teaching music is a way to acknowledge the role of those teachers in my musical life, and to give back, to a small extent. 

My studio is the lower level of my St. Cloud, MN home. It features a dedicated teaching room, a music composition room, and a larger room for rehearsals. The music space has a separate entrance from the rest of the house and has a restroom for my student’s convenience.

Call, text, or email to ask questions and discuss what it may be like to study bassoon, saxophones, or recorders with me.

Richard J Chandler Performs on Baritone Saxophone at St. Cloud,State University Recital in Saint Cloud, MN 

Richard Chandler’s Musical Education

I began studying music at age 11 on saxophone and became serious about my studies when I joined the horn section of an R & B band at age 15. 

I studied saxophone with Ruben Haugen, at McPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I studied privately then at St. Johns University and the College of St. Benedict  in Minnesota with Jerry D. Luedders on saxophones. I also studied music composition there with Jerome Collier, Ph.D. where I pursued a BA degree in music performance.

My bassoon studies began in 2009 and continue through the present with Laurie Merz, MA.

My piano studies began at age 17, with Sister Cecilia Schmidt, Ph.D. I resumed piano studies in 2009 with Edward Turley, DMA, who teaches at CSB-SJU. I continue to study piano with Dr. Turley, who also gives me very helpful feedback on my musical compositions as well as plays my piano piece in performance.

In 2012 I completed my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music at St. Cloud State University in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 

I pursued private studies in saxophone performance with Richard Dirlam. Richard and I have frequently performed together in recitals and concerts.

in preparation to enter the University of Minnesota, where I was accepted Masters degree candidate in musical composition, I studied music theory and counterpoint with Brian Campbell, Ph.D. of CSB-SJU.

In the 2016/2017 academic year I studied music composition with Dr. Alex Lubet, Music Composition Professor at The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Non-Music Professional & Personal Pursuits