A passion for music, a passion for teaching
Anna Marie Wytko’s professional career hinges on two equally rewarding passions: mentoring students and making music.
As an assistant professor of saxophone and music theory, she devotes herself to the 15 to 20 saxophone students at K-State each year, often working one-on-one with students or in quartets. As a saxophonist, she has performed extensively nationally and internationally, in places as close as Clay Center, Kan., and as far away as England and Scotland.
Wytko sees the activities of teaching and performing as integrally intertwined.
“I have two passions: Seeing students succeed and traveling as a guest artist,” she said. “I’m passionate about sharing music with my students. My goal is to see my students become their own best teachers, so that they are in a position to take ownership of their learning. Having the ability to travel and perform gives me the opportunity to collaborate with others in my field and ultimately expose students to new pedagogies and styles.”
Wytko was able to travel last year in part because of the Joleen Hill Faculty Development Fund. Established by Joleen J. Hill of Manhattan, Kan., the fund was designed to help music faculty members like Wytko thrive as artists and teachers. In fall 2011, Wytko held guest residencies throughout the United States, and in spring 2012, she appeared as an orchestral saxophonist with the Arizona Music Festival Orchestra in Scottsdale, Ariz. Faculty support is key to the university achieving K-State’s 2025 vision.
“Having this kind of support is something I never take for granted,” Wytko said. “It hugely impacts my passion for what I do, both as a teacher and performer. Without it, my ability to do this kind of outreach would be much more limited.”
This summer, Wytko will perform as a guest artist at concerts and offer master classes in France. And while she appreciates the opportunity to travel and learn from performers all over the world, Wytko says some of her best teachers are right here at K-State.
“My students are great teachers for me,” she said.
To learn more about Anna Marie Wytko and her music, visit www.annamariewytko.com.