Amy Jo Sawyer
Amy Jo Sawyer was inducted into the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International Hall of Fame at the 79th Annual ATG festival held July 24 –28, 2019 in Denver, CO. Amy Jo has been a faithful ATG member for over 40 years. She has served as President two times and is currently 2nd VP on the ATG Board.
She has devoted much of her musical career to the accordion. Her concertizing, composing, arranging, and administrative activities have enhanced recognition of the accordion as a concert and popular/jazz instrument. She earned BA Degrees in Composition and Keyboard Performance, and a MA in Jazz Keyboard Performance. Her Jazz CD “According to Amy” and her Classical CD “Classically Amy” demonstrate her virtuosity and the versatility of the accordion.
She represented the Western US in the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championship) in Biel, Switzerland. Amy Jo has written music for, and performed with, the University of Missouri at Kansas City Accordion Orchestra, under the direction of Joan Sommers, on four international tours. She has performed with the Sacramento and St. Louis Symphonies, including accompanying tenor Luciano Pavarotti. In 2018, she performed at the Cotati Accordion event in Cotati, California, Chicago Accordion Club and the Accordion Lovers Society International in San Diego.
She has written many compositions for the accordion that have been performed internationally. Her original Tango, “Juntos” (Together), was performed in Castelfidardo, Italy in 2011 by the Frank Marocco Orchestra. Her original accordion orchestra composition, “Recuerdos” (Memories), was performed by the World Accordion Orchestra at the 2018 Coupe Mondiale in Lithuania.
She is a Nationally Certified Piano Instructor (Music Teacher’s National Association) with award winning students. In 2017, she received the Commissioned Composer of the Year award sponsored by the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, for her original piano solos. In 2017, she was commissioned by the Salt Creek Chapter of ISMTA to write a composition for “Eight Hands”. “The Sweet Salt Creek Suite” was written and performed in October of that year. She currently serves on the ISMTA board as Chair of the Commissioned Composer Program, and is 1st VP in the local ISMTA Chapter, Gateway Arch East.