Saxophonist and composer Chris Bittner visited with Camden County High School band students last month, discussing his career, practice habits and the process music students must go through to prepare for life as a professional musician.
Bittner, a graduate of Perquimans County High School who now lives in New York City, has performed with groups all over the East Coast, in styles ranging from jazz to R&B, folk, gospel, and country. Bittner can be heard as a sideman in clubs in the New York City area such as Fat Cat, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, Rockwood Music Hall, Blue Note Jazz Club, Zinc Bar. He and his quartet have also performed internationally at the Bern Jazz Festival in Bern, Switzerland.
A recent graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, Bittner has had the opportunity to play alongside jazz greats such as Jimmy Heath, Bill Charlap, Herlin Riley, Jon Faddis, Rodney Whitaker, Etienne Charles, Aaron Diehl and Donny McCaslin. He is currently working on composing new material to perform with his quartet and is busy with numerous other projects.
“To have a performer of Chris’ caliber come and perform for and talk with the students here in Camden is immeasurable,” said Chris Whitehurst, director of bands at Camden High School. “Bittner rubs elbows with some of the top tier players in the country and his knowledge and performance quality is world class. To have access to someone like that live and in person in our classrooms is truly special and something our students won’t soon forget.”
Bittner’s visit to Camden was sponsored in part by Vandoren Reeds USA.