Mr. Randy Lee is the founder and an often featured woodwind soloist of the Big Time Jazz Orchestra. He teaches at Hermantown Middle School and earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, with a minor in Jazz Studies, from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Randy holds his Master of Science degree in Education-Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and serves as adjunct faculty at UMD.
As an active saxophone clinician and professional musician, Randy has performed with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Superior Saxophone Quartet, Twin Ports Wind Ensemble/Orchestra, and the Itasca Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra (Al Pierson and the Royal Canadians), the Russ Morgan Orchestra, the Harry James Orchestra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. In 2003, Randy performed in a sax ensemble for the World Saxophone Congress. His professional bands and other associations have found him accompanying the Mills Brothers, Wayne Newton, Steve Lippia, the Drifters, Bobby Vinton, Johnny Mathis and Marvin Hamlisch and such jazz notables as Bobby Shew, Rufus Reid, Lee Konitz, Bob Brookmeyer, Paul McKee, Tom Matta, Randy Brecker, Bob Baca, and Rick DellaRatta (Jazz for Peace).
Randy has presented saxophone and jazz clinic sessions at national ASBDA (American School Band Directors’ Association) conventions and has performed with jazz literature groups at Minnesota Music Educators Conventions. He has judged the Iowa High School Jazz Championships, was sax section coach for the Minnesota All-State Band and has worked with all three Duluth-Superior area college jazz bands. Randy has directed regional high school honor jazz bands and other regional Wisconsin and Minnesota jazz events. He has also served as a Regional Rep for the former IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators). Mr. Lee was awarded Minnesota Music Educator of the Year in 2017.
The Big Time Jazz Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) organization composed of community members who give their time and talents to help further the mission of BTJO. The board meets a minimum of four times a year with the addition of sub-committees that develop educational and performance experiences for the area. At the present time, the board is composed of the following community members: Brad Bombardier, Peter Brown, Catherine Caine, Tina Farrel, Ryan Frane, Dick Heim, Randy Lee (Artistic Director), Connie Moeller, Greg Kehl Moore, Cheryl Wasmund, and Matt Wasmund.