EIU Jazz Directors
Sam Fagaly is the Director of Jazz Studies at Eastern Illinois University. He conducts the EIU Jazz Ensemble and is Professor of Saxophone. In addition, he teaches jazz theory, jazz history and Jazz Band Techniques. Under his direction, the EIU Jazz Ensemble has performed at IAJE, IMEA, and with numerous guest artists such as Joe Williams, Snooky Young and many others. He has been active as a clinician and guest soloist throughout the nation and has been featured at the Region V North American Saxophone Alliance Conference performing in both classical and jazz styles. He has performed with many distinguished Jazz artists including JJ. Johnson, Bobby Shew, and Sarah Vaughan. Before coming to EIU, he was a member of the United States Air Force Band of the West. Dr. Fagaly earned his Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado where he studied with Roger Greenberg and Gene Aitken. He received his bachelor of Music Education from the University of Florida and his M.M. degree from Louisiana State University.
Paul Johnston joined Eastern’s faculty in 2004. He directs the Jazz Lab Band, coordinates the combo program, and teaches courses in jazz piano, improvisation, and history. Paul holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Indiana University. He is at home in a wide variety of musical styles and has performed with artists including Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Nancy Wilson, Monica Mancini, and Bernadette Peters. Paul’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by soloists, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles across the country. His new collection of jazz piano arrangements was recently released released by Alfred Publishing. Paul is an alumnus of Ravinia’s Steans Institute and the Henry Mancini Institute and has held teaching positions at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and Eastern Music Camps.