College of Music in the News

Alumna Faculty Member Honored

Kathy Johnson, Coordinator and Instructor of Woodwind and Brass Methods, (BME ’81, MMED ’92) honored by the Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA) with the Meritorious Achievement Award. The award is presented by the TBA Board of Directors to an individual for significant contributions to music education throughout their distinguished career as a Texas Band Director.

Skillicorn Selected for Presser Graduate Award

Alexa Torres Skillicorn, MM student in jazz violin, has been chosen to receive the 2021 Presser Foundation Graduate Award. Her proposal is Ethnography of Practice: Oral History for the Development of Embodied Jazz Violin Praxis. "The program is designed to encourage and support, in a special way, the advanced education and career of truly exceptional graduate music students who have the potential to make a distinguished contribution to the field of music."

Graduate Student Receives Honor

 Júlia Coelho (PhD, Musicology; DMA, Vocal Studies) was named the 2021 Graduate Student Council Senator of the Year at the UNT President’s Award Reception for her exemplary service and, in particular, for her advocacy for inclusion, accessibility and diversity for the UNT student population.

DMA Voice Student to Illinois State

Matthew Vala (DMA completion expected August 2021) appointed as Instructional Assistant Professor in Voice beginning in the 2021–2022 academic year at the School of Music at Illinois State University.

Alumna Wins Piccolo Prize

Staff Sergeant Ashley Mendeke (BM ’11) was recently awarded First Prize in the 2021 International Kujala Competition. She is a member of the United States Military Academy at West Point field music group, The Hellcats. She was selected as the University of North Texas 2010-2011 undergraduate Presser Scholar and was recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's National Academic scholarship.

Faculty Receives Fulbright Award

Dave Meder, Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano offered The Fulbright Program United States Scholar Award for Visual and Performing Arts. The award takes him to Cairo, Egypt in 2022 to teach at the Cairo Conservatoire.

Suzuki for Brass

A FIRST: Faculty and alumnus join Alfred Music in releasing Suzuki Trumpet School, Volume 1 - the very first Suzuki Method book for the brass instrument family. See Caleb Hudson, Assistant Professor of Trumpet and member of Canadian Brass along with Michael Schneider, (BM ’99), a classical pianist, collaborator, educating artist and composer.


The A Cappella Choir accepted an invitation to perform at the Southwest Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Little Rock, Arkansas 2022. The A Cappella choir recently also appeared at the 2020 TMEA conference and the 2021 National ACDA conference.

Alumnus Wins

Austin Ford (BM ’21) won the Collegiate Division of the 2021 Army Blues Solo Competition. He will travel to Washington, D.C. to record with the U.S. Army Blues. That live-streamed concert will be released Fall 2021.

Two Days – Five Events

Collective Storytelling in Journalism, Composition and Performance presented by HAVEN Trio along with ensemble member Kimberly Cole Luevano, Professor of Clarinet and incoming Chair of the Division of Instrumental Studies at University of North Texas. The symposium  presented by the University of Toronto's Jackman Humanities Institute.

Military Band

Five University of North Texas music alumni are currently serving in the 25th Infantry Division Band in Hawaii. L-R Jamie Edwards (MM ’14 saxophone), Stephen Thacker (2004-2008, percussion), Philip Blienberger (MM ’06 trombone), Ross Shone (BM ‘17 trombone), Trevor Duell (DMA ’16 trumpet). “We all traded the Mean Green for Army Green! Go Mean Green!”

Alumnus to Athens

Greg Satterthwaite (DMA ’20) has become the Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano and African-American Studies at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia.

Alumnus Named Finalist

Kevin Rosacia (BM ’20, Composition) was selected as a finalist for One Found Sound Emerging Composer Competition with his latest work for orchestra titled, "Pendulums" (2021). According to their website, One Found Sound "is a democratic, collaborative orchestra at the forefront of equitable and barrier-free music."

New Met Opera DVD Features Two COM Faculty

Seth Colter Walls pens the Philip Glass Opera Satyagraha and named it one of The Metropolitan Opera’s greatest stagings of the 21st century. Released on DVD and CD, the opera is sung in Sanskrit, with Distinguished Research Professor of Voice Richard Croft, tenor, as Mahatma Gandhi and Professor of Voice and Chair of the Division of Vocal Studies, Molly Fillmore, as Mrs. Naidoo.

Piano Alumna Releases CD

Éva Polgár, (DMA ’16, GAC ‘18) released music of Liszt by Hunnia Records & Film Production titled Harmonies Patriotiques et Religieuses. This is her first solo album and is available through online services. She is Assistant Professor of Piano at Azusa Pacific University School of Music.