Dr. Cynthia Cripps joined UTPA’s music faculty in 2006. She currently teaches applied saxophone and saxophone ensembles, instrumental pedagogy, woodwind methods, and is graduate advisor. She organizes and directs UTPA’s Summer Saxophone Ensemble and SUMMERFEST concert series and plays bassoon in UTPA’s Faculty Wind Quintet.
Born in Newaygo, Michigan, Dr. Cripps has attended universities in Michigan, Indiana, and Florida. She has studied saxophone with John Nichol, Hannes Kawrza, George Wolfe, Tyler Kuebler, Dale Underwood, and Gary Keller. Her bassoon teachers include MaryBeth Minnis, Homer Pence, James Hansen, Luciano Magnanini, and Carol McNabb-Goodwin.
Dr. Cripps resided in the Republic of Panama for ten years. She played bassoon and saxophone in the Panama Symphony Orchestra from 1993-1999. From 1997-2003, she taught band, grades 6-12, at the International School of Panama (ISP). Dr. Cripps worked on curricula design at ISP and developed an eight-year saxophone program for the Instituto Nacional de Musica (INM - music conservatory) where she taught saxophone from 1994-2003.
Dr. Cripps has performed solo and quartet recitals and presented lectures at the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Biennial Conferences: 2012 in Tempe, Arizona and 2008 in Columbia, SC, Region IV NASA Conferences: 2011 in Huntsville, TX and 2007 in Dallas, TX, and World Saxophone Congresses: the 13th (2003) in Minneapolis, MN and 14th (2006) Ljubjana, Slovenia, as well as the Instituto Nacional de Musica (Panama), and the UTPA campus.
As part of her DMA, she traveled to the countries of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala to research and complete her essay "Classical Saxophone Curricula in Central America."
In Michigan, Indiana, Panama, Florida, and Texas, Cindy has participated in many community orchestras, concert and jazz bands, including pit orchestras for productions such as: Evita, Bye, Bye Birdie, Anything Goes, Mikado, and The Rothchilds.