Robert Gardiner is Associate Professor of instrumental music at Lander University. Dr. Gardiner is responsible for teaching courses in music education and supervising student teachers. He conducts the jazz ensemble; coaches chamber ensembles and teaches applied saxophone and improvisation.
Robert is a native of Columbia, SC and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina in 1990. He earned a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in 1996 and completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance from the University of South Carolina. Prior to his arrival at Lander, Mr. Gardiner served as instructor of applied saxophone and woodwind methods at Claflin University. He has also served as director of bands at E.L. Wright Middle School, Newberry Middle School, Burbank District 111 in Chicago, and as assistant director at Newberry High School.
Robert has served as a clinician and adjudicator in South Carolina and Georgia and throughout the Midwest as a member of the Air Force Air Mobility Command Band in St. Louis. In 1999 he received a grant to create a comprehensive jazz program for Richland School District Two where he served as the program director and the district's jazz coordinator.
As a performer, Robert Gardiner has worked with a wide array of ensembles over the past 20 years encompassing many different styles of music, including jazz, classical, top-40, R&B, and salsa. He currently leads the Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet and is the founder and director of the Columbia Jazz Orchestra. He also performs regularly with the Palmetto Concert Band and works as a freelance musician. In this capacity, he has shared the stage with a number of well-known artists such as Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Tommy Dorsey, and the Charleston Symphony.
Robert Gardiner is a past president of the state chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education. He assists the Jazz Committee of the South Carolina Band Director's Association and is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and North American Saxophone Alliance.