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Alumni Angle: Music Alumnus Chosen for Jazz Honor

Dr. Dave Camwell, who graduated from JSU in 2000 with a B.A. in Music Education, is currently enjoying his successful music career, having over 300,000 streams of his music on Spotify as well as having performed on concert tours in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Canada, and the United States. His most recent accomplishment is being selected as one of the two featured jazz soloists at the North American Saxophone Alliance in March 2023. His group is called Covert Ensemble (, and he hopes to perform “on the beautiful JSU campus” in the future.

After graduating from JSU, Camwell earned his Masters in Music Education and Music Performance from the University of Northern Colorado in 2002 and his Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Oregon in 2006. Currently in his sixth year working at Troy University as an associate professor, Camwell is the director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone–a job he loves. Before Troy, he taught at Simpson College in Iowa from 2005 to 2017.

“The two things I enjoy most are jazz and saxophone (classical and jazz), and that’s what I do all day at Troy University,” said Camwell.

Camwell’s favorite memories from his time at JSU are playing, recording, and touring with the JSU Jazz Band, and his favorite professor was Dr. Chris Culver, who was “such a mentor to me and someone that shaped the direction of my life profoundly.”

Camwell advises current students to take advantage of everything that a university has to offer, and to excel beyond the minimum requirements in order to be a more competitive candidate in the real world.

“The typical college years are ones to enjoy yourself, certainly, but also are critical to set yourself up for future professional success,” said Camwell. “Make the most of your time in college and have fun, but always keep your eye on the prize and work every day to prepare yourself for future success.” He added that students should challenge themselves and not allow failure to stop or define them because how one reacts to failures will be just as defining as any successes.

Outside of his professional life, Camwell has three young children, two of whom also play saxophone, and he enjoys playing ice hockey as a goalie.


Alumni Angle

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