Iron Toys


Iron Toys, a saxophone/woodwind quartet founded in 2004, performs a diverse repertoire blending classical, jazz and avante-garde styles.  Because of the doubling skills of its members, the group has over twenty instruments available for any given performance.

Tom Reed (soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; and Eb soprano, Bb and bass clarinets) is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Ashland University, principal clarinetist of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, and bass clarinetist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.  He has performed regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and has also performed with the Jazz Unit, and the orchestras of Dayton, Canton, Erie, Wheeling, Lakeside, and Mansfield.  Tom has been a soloist with the Akron, Mansfield and Ashland Symphonies, and has recorded with the Akron Symphony, the Jazz Unit, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra. His clarinet CD, Mutually Inclusive, was released in 2008

George Shernit (soprano, alto and baritone saxophones; flute and alto flute; Bb and bass clarinets) received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory/Composition and a Master of Arts in Saxophone Performance from Cleveland State University.  As a freelance musician for 30 years, he has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Band, and numerous Broadway shows and entertainers.  He also toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the road show of Annie.  For the past twenty years, he has worked in the wholesale music business, including 7 years in Austin, Texas, as national sales manager for Jupiter Band Instruments.

Howie Smith (soprano and alto saxophones; and Eb soprano, Bb and bass clarinets) has presented concerts and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and Australia, and has worked with musicians, composers and ensembles as varied as Anthony Braxton, Gary Burton, Dizzy Gillespie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Elvis Presley, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tone Road Ramblers.  His recorded performances are equally diverse and his extensive catalogue of compositions includes works for conventional big bands and combos; for string, wind and percussion ensembles; for electronics; and for mixed media.  Recordings of his work may be heard on the Philips, Polydor, Albany, Open Blue, Optimism and Sea Breeze labels. Smith is a Professor Emeritus at Cleveland State University where he was the Coordinator of Jazz Studies from 1979 to 2006 and served as chair of the Art Department from 2003 to 2007.  He has been an artist/clinician for Yamaha since 1971.

Brad Wagner (soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; flute, alto flute, piccolo and Bb clarinet) received a BM in Jazz Studies from the University of Cincinnati. He is a musician, composer, and arranger for Pulse, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Ernie Krivda and the Fat Tuesday Big Band, The Black Dog Octet, and has been a member of groups including The Hendectet Jazz Collective, Sam Blakeslee Large Group, Moustache Yourself, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Eclipse, Marc Fields Sextet, and more. As a freelance musician, he has performed with groups including the Cleveland Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Jazz Heritage Orchestra, as well as playing pit orchestras for Broadway shows, and backing various entertainers from the jazz, rock, and pop world.

Funding is provided by the Local 4 Music Fund, Leonard DiCosimo, president and the Music Performance Trust Fund.