Department of Music

Frank Bongiorno Professional Information

Professor and Chair, Department of Music, Saxophone and Jazz Studies

Frank Bongiorno home | Course materials | Creative Work & Publications

Faculty portrait and contact information.
Frank Bongiorno

Contact Info:
Office Studio:
CA 1042
Office Hours:
M-F, 8-9:00 AM
(by appointment)


Doctor of Music (1990) in Saxophone Performance with minors in Jazz Studies and Music Education, Indiana University, Bloomington

Document: The Construction and Validation of an Objective Evaluation for Jazz Ensemble Saxophone Auditions

Master of Music (1982) in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies University of North Texas, Denton

Bachelor of Music (1980) in Saxophone Performance & Music Education, Ithaca College, NY

Primary Teachers

  • Saxophone - Steve Mauk (Ithaca College), James Riggs (University of North Texas), Eugene Rousseau & Daniel Deffayet (Indiana University)
  • Jazz - David Baker (Indiana University), Rich Matteson (University of North Texas)


Dr. Bongiorno is Professor of Music at the at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he has taught saxophone as well as jazz studies since 1982. During this time at UNCW, his saxophone as well as jazz students have received national and international recognition by such organizations as Down Beat magazine and Jazzfest USA, among others (see Student Awards for more information). He also served as Chair of the Department of Music until 2008.

As an active recitalist, orchestral soloist, jazz artist, and clinician throughout the United States and abroad, Bongiorno's performances have taken him to Berlin, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Tokyo, Nuremberg, Montreux (Switzerland), Graz and Salzburg (Austria), Valencia (Spain), Montréal, and Pesaro (Italy). He has performed solos with various professional and college ensembles such as the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), Shreveport Symphony, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, Auburn University Wind Ensemble, Williams College Jazz Ensemble, and Northern State College Jazz Ensemble, among others. In addition, Bongiorno performs regularly as a member of the renowned Ryoanji Duo (saxophone & classical guitar), as well as with his jazz group. Other performing credits include performances as a supporting musician for the Four Tops, Carol Channing, Red Skelton, the North Carolina Symphony, Kenny Rogers, Frankie Vallie, Johnny Mathis, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, as well as for the movie sound track of Chasers and an instructional video called Sing Like a Pro.

Bongiorno's solo compact disc recordings include the critically acclaimed Classic Saxophone, Classic Saxophone, Vol. 2: Musica da camera, and Images (The Ryoanji Duo). He has also recorded a jazz play along CD of original jazz compositions as well as a master class CD on learning to improvise using transcriptions for Jazz Player Magazine and a saxophone vibrato master class CD released by the Saxophone Journal.

He has numerous publications including saxophone transcriptions of "Classical" music, original compositions for jazz combo, paper presentations at the Eighteenth Annual International Association for Jazz Educators Conference and the Second Annual Boston Saxophone Workshop & Contemporary Woodwind Seminar, as well as over 100 articles and reviews in such publications as the Saxophone Symposium, North Carolina Music Educators Journal, the National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors and Popular Musicians. Bongiorno currently writes CD reviews for the Saxophone Journal and is the coordinating editor of saxophone reviews for the Saxophone Symposium. He has been featured in a front cover interview in the January/February 1993 issue of the Saxophone Journal and is listed in the International Who's Who in Music, Seventeenth Edition and the Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century.

Finally, Frank Bongiorno has been an active member of the North American Saxophone Alliance since 1978 and has held the office of Membership Director/Treasurer (1984) as well as Secretary (1988-1990). As a member of the NASA he has been invited to present solo performances at each of the World Saxophone Congresses since 1982.

Select Reviews

The Saxophone Journal: "Bongiorno is an excellent saxophonist who has the magic to tell stories through his saxophone performance. Not only does he tickle the listener's ear, but he fires up the imagination and stirs the soul."

The Shreveport Times: "Frank Bongiorno is an accomplished musician, and he struck the right moods besides getting rather a workout."

The Spectator: "The performance featuring alto soloist Frank Bongiorno was superb."