Dr. Brandon Quarles is a teacher and music-maker who believes in the power of interdisciplinary and cross-genre collaborations. A native of Ringgold, GA, Brandon is currently the Lecturer of Saxophone and Allied Areas at the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Prior to his appointment at UGA, Brandon was the Associate Lecturer of Classical Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After 6 years of living and working in Chicago, Brandon is excited to return to his home state of Georgia.
Brandon was a founding member of ~Nois, a Chicago-based saxophone quartet dedicated to contemporary classical music and improvisation. Brandon served as the ensemble’s Executive Director and soprano saxophonist from 2016 to 2021 and now serves on the organization’s Advisory Board. During his five years performing with the quartet, Brandon was awarded top prizes at prestigious chamber music competitions such as the Fischoff and M-Prize. Brandon performed over 75 concerts in 20 states with ~Nois, including appearances at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Big Ears. The quartet was regularly invited to give performances, master classes, and residencies at universities across the country such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, Princeton University, and the Manhattan School of Music. For the 2020-2021 academic year, ~Nois was a Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Chicago.
In addition to his work with ~Nois, Brandon is a noted soloist, improviser, and collaborator. Brandon has given over 50 world premieres and creates his own music through his songwriting and improvisational practices. He has performed with Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Zafa Collective and orchestras such as the Grant Park Symphony, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and the Northwest Indiana Symphony. Since his teenage years, Brandon has been writing and performing pop/rock music as a singer, guitarist, keyboardist, and producer with various artists.
Outside of performing, Brandon currently teaches “Music in the Real World,” a course designed to give students the tools they need to build sustainable careers, and improvisation at UGA. While an Instructor at Northwestern University, Brandon designed and taught a course on the music and history of the Beatles for the school’s General Music Curriculum. He has been invited to give lectures on the Beatles by UW-Madison’s Badger Talks Live and the UGA Alumni Association’s London Chapter, among others.
Brandon holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance with a cognate in Music Theory from Northwestern University along with the Master of Music (Northwestern University) and the Bachelor of Music (University of Georgia) degrees. His saxophone teachers have been Clint Schmitt, Connie Frigo, and Taimur Sullivan.