Monty Cole joined the faculty at Mercer in the Fall of 2002, where he teaches clarinet and saxophone, and is Director of Jazz Studies. Before coming to Mercer he served on the faculties of Minot State University, and at Humboldt State University. A versatile performer, he appears throughout the country as a clinician and performing artist in both classical and jazz areas.A California native, he completed his B.A. in Music from Humboldt State University. He later earned his M.M degree from the University of Kentucky and in 1998 completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Cincinnati Conservatory. His teachers include Robert Flum, Edward Harris, Ronald Monsen, Gordon Cole, Rick Van Matre and Ronald DeKant. His doctoral thesis elucidated the life and music of jazz saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
As a clarinet artist, Cole has worked with numerous orchestras including the Richmond (Indiana) symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the St. Martin Chamber Orchestra (Cincinnati), the Humboldt Symphony, the Minot Symphony, the Macon Symphony, the Ocmulgee Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has toured throughout North and Central America. As a saxophonist, he has toured with the Guy Lombardo Big Band, performed with a number of jazz artists including Frank Mantooth, Vince Dimartino, Brad Goode, Pat Harbison, Ed Soph, Randy Porter, Larry Engstrom, Dick Titterington, Joe Henderson, and many others. Recent performances include the internationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show with Josh Groban and in concert with Barry Manilow, Kristin Chenoweth, and Sarah Mclachlan. His recent jazz solo CD Mile to the East was released in 2007.View from a five-gallon aquarium, featuring Dr. Cole on clarinet was released in 2008.