College of Music in the News

Carla Scaletti Headshot

UNT hosts national student electronic music festival

DENTON (UNT), Texas - The seventh annual National Student Electronic Music Event is coming to the University of North Texas College of Music. There have been 157 submissions for the festival, including works for fixed media (stereo and multichannel), instruments + electronics, audiovisual works, actor + electronics and one sound installation for robotic performers.

 

What: The 7th annual National Student Electronic Music Festival, an annual event that brings together composers and performers of electronic music.

When: March 9 (Friday) through 10 (Saturday).

Where: Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theatre in the College of Music, 415 Ave. C, Denton.

Cost: Free, but seating is limited and priority will be given to festival attendees.

More information: For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music online calendar at http://music.unt.edu/calendar and connect with the College of Music on Facebook at Facebook.com/UNTCollegeofMusic and on Twitter at @UNTCoM.

 

NSEME is a national festival that was originally created by a Peabody Conservatory student who wanted to bring together electronic music composers and performers. It features works of undergraduate and graduate students in U.S. colleges and universities.

“Hosting an event like NSEME gives a unique opportunity to our students to work from inside the artistic, academic and organizational aspects of a conference,” said Panayiotis Kokoras, UNT composition professor and director of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia. “We are excited to welcome attendees to our state-of-the-art facilities and to get to know the most recent advances in computer music first-hand.”

This year’s event will feature guest artist Carla Scaletti, an experimental composer who designed Kyma sound design language and co-founded the Symbolic Sound Corporation.

Kyle McKay Publicity Photo

The Musician's Bookkeeper helps make handling finances less taxing for freelance performers

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas College of Music master’s student Kyle McKay was playing a gig with a band in New England when he noticed what turned out to be a common theme – freelance musicians need help with their finances, including tax preparation. That’s what inspired him to create The Musician’s Bookkeeper (musiciansbookkeeper.com).

“I mentioned that I needed to keep track of the miles I was driving so I could deduct them on my taxes. The other band members’ minds were blown – they had no idea they could deduct certain performance-related expenses,” McKay said.

McKay, who is also working on a finance degree from Harvard, working three jobs and interning, is a clarinetist who worked for his mom as a bookkeeper growing up. It was during that time that he learned of his proficiency in bookkeeping.

 “It’s something I fell into looking for an outlet outside of music so I wouldn’t lose my love for it,” McKay said. “It’s what I did when I took time off between my undergraduate degree and graduate degrees. I started with basic data entry and eventually got a certification through Quickbooks as a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor and now have almost three years’ experience as a bookkeeper.”

He says he was able to create his business with the help from two programs at UNT. He won third place in the Career Development and Entrepreneurship in Music’s inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Competition and second in the College of BusinessWestheimer New Venture Competition for a total of $6,000 in prizes. After he won the competitions, his mother and his fiancé convinced him to take the leap.

“It really gave me the initial capital I needed to start the company – applying for the L.L.C. and getting the technology in order,” McKay said. “It gave me the boost to really get my business going. The initial push can be really difficult. You always hear, ‘anyone can be an entrepreneur,’ but no one ever says exactly how much work it takes to be successful.”

McKay has already landed a big name classical musician/booking agent – Deborah Brooks – and, through her word of mouth, has picked up several more clients.

“I completed financial books for her and her 2016 tax return. She and her CPA called to tell me the books were excellent,” McKay said. “I’ve had other clients tell me I’m their saving grace.”

He also has words of wisdom for others aspiring to become entrepreneurs.

“You can be guided to be an entrepreneur but what you really can’t teach is the dedication and the effort,” McKay said. “You have to just stick it out, blood, sweat and tears all the way, and make it happen.”

Jose Torres-Ramos

UNT doctoral music student receives Fulbright-Hays fellowship to research mariachi in Mexico

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- José R. Torres-Ramos, University of North Texas College of Music doctoral student, has received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship to study mariachi in Mexico for a year. He is the first UNT Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology to earn this honor.  

“I told myself that if I were to win this award, I’d just start crying because it’s probably one of the most prestigious awards somebody in ethnomusicology can win,” Torres-Ramos said. “I’m very humbled, I’m very honored and it’s also empowering. It gives you validation on what you’re doing, that I chose the right path.”

Since the relationship between mariachi music combined with body language and lyric text has not been studied, he wants to dig deep into the culture to determine how they’re connected and how masculinity figures into performance.

“Mariachi has been a male-dominated tradition with many themes,” Torres-Ramos said. “So, I looked at all aspects of the performance including the way the body is held and how performers stand. I studied the instrument’s timbres because classically trained musicians would say, ‘that trumpet is being played really heavy and really harsh and really out of tune.’ And, I started to realize it’s a performance of masculinity. He’s playing the trumpet to dominate and assert himself in the ensemble – not to be smooth and refined like within an orchestra. There’s this embedded masculine sociology in the performance”

Torres-Ramos received enough funding to cover expenses to live in Mexico this year while he completes his research with institutions in Mexico City and Guadalajara. When he finishes his dissertation and earns his doctorate, he hopes to become an ethnomusicology professor.

“I left a public school teacher position and another institution where I was studying music education when I found this calling,” Torres-Ramos said. “Now, I want to share my love of exploring the music of different cultures through a career in academia.”

Scrabble Tiles spelling "Ethics"

Annual Ricco Ethics Award Competition

 

Nick and Anna Ricco, long-time UNT donors, created an ethics scholarship competition in 2011. The competition was created to promote intellectual debate and discussion on ethics as related to students’ areas of study at UNT, their field of vocation or their avocation. The goal is to stimulate the applicants to new heights of reasoning and self-discipline. Applicants for the 2018 competition must submit an essay on a Case Study Topic.

Awards of $1,000 each will be granted to one student from each college or school at UNT. As an added incentive for music students to participate, the College of Music will add matching funds to enhance the award to the winner as well as providing awards to our 2nd and 3rd prize winners:

  • 1st prize = $1000 + $1000 COM match
  • 2nd prize = $1000
  • 3rd prize = $500

Entries are accepted online only, on the Mayborn School of Journalism Ricco Ethics Award website: The deadline is January 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Recognition will be given at University Honors Day in spring 2018.

Eligibility:

 

  • Minimum entrance and continuing academic performance standards in place at the school or college in effect at the time of any award
  • Full or part-time enrollment in any undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program at UNT.
  • Submit a 1,000-word maximum essay, double-spaced excluding bibliography. The essay will highlight what the applicant believes to be the epitome of ethical behavior in his or her focus of study or field of business. Students may use any UNT faculty member for guidance in this competition.
  • All participants must agree to the posting of his or her name and essay to the college’s website, if declared the winner.

 

Dallas's Moody Performance Hall illuminated at night

UNT Music In the City: When a Ray of Light Meets a Prism

The UNT College of Music is engaging a broader audience by again taking their talents to Moody Performance Hall, located at 2520 Flora St. in Dallas. “UNT Music in the City: When a Ray of Light Meets a Prism,” is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 (Friday).

Molly Fillmore, soprano and professor of voice, describes the performance as a metaphor for a spectrum: “As a glass prism can disperse a ray of light into many colors, so too have three composers, George Crumb, Reza Vali and Luciano Berio, added layers of richness, beauty, attitude, and in some cases, haunting overtones to melodies that belong to the folk music genre.” It will include Crumb’s “The Winds of Destiny,” Vali’s “Folksong Arrangements, Set No. 15” and Berio’s “Folksong Arrangements 24.”

The performers include Christopher Deane, percussion; Susan Dubois, viola; Molly Fillmore, soprano; Mark Ford, percussion; Jaymee Haefner, harp; Joseph Klein, conductor; Kimberly Cole Luevano, clarinet; Felix Olschofka, violin; Elvia Puccinelli, piano; Nikola Nino Ruzevic, cello; Terri Sundberg, flute.

“The audience can expect to hear familiar folk tunes such as ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again’ and ‘I Wonder as I Wander,’ through a contemporary lens,” Fillmore said. “Additionally, there are folk songs from many different countries, all of which have great melodies and are easily accessible, so there will be the added benefit of hearing something new and beautiful.”

Tickets cost $10 for the public; $8 for UNT faculty, staff and Alumni Association members and are free for UNT students. Students can pick up their free ticket at the Murchison Performing Arts Center box office. UNT faculty, staff, alumni and the public, may purchase their tickets at the Murchison Performing Arts Center online or by calling the box office at 940-369-7802. “I hope the audience will come out of the performance having heard how the familiar can have new life breathed into it, making it new again,” Fillmore said.

Music in the City: When a Ray of Light Meets a Prism
Friday, January 26, 2018 7:30pm
Cost: $10 for the public; $8 for UNT faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; free for UNT students. Students can pick up their free ticket at the Murchison Performing Arts Center box office. UNT faculty, staff, alumni and the public, may purchase their tickets at the Murchison Performing Arts Center online or by calling the box office at 940-369-7802.

Instructor interacting with little child in UNT Early Childhood music program

Experimenting with music accelerates child development in UNT’s Early Childhood Music program

What: University of North Texas’ Early Childhood Music program offers music classes for children from birth to 5 years old. The classes are designed to accelerate childrens’ development in song, rhythm and expressivity.

When: There will be a 10-week winter session held Fridays from Jan. 5 - March 9 and Saturdays from Jan. 6 – March 10.

Where: Room 115 of the Music Annex Building, at the corner of Avenue C and Highland in Denton (1630 W. Highland St.).

Cost: The cost for the infant class (for newborns and babies up to to 24 months old) is $150 and $170 for children ages 2 to 5 years old, with a $20 application fee per family once per academic year. Families who enrolled in the fall session do not need to pay the application fee for the winter. Families who enroll more than one child will receive a 50 percent discount for each additonal child. Visit the Early Childhood Music program page for more information or to register. Registration is now open and required by Jan. 3.

Parking: On Fridays, a Parkmobile lot is available at the corner of Highland Street and Avenue C for $2.25 per hour. Saturday parking is free in the Faculty/Staff lots. For more information on parking, visit the transportation website or view the UNT parking map here.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Studies have shown that the first five years of a child's life are fundamentally important to their growth and learning achievement. Nurturing musical development early maximizes children’s musical learning opportunities and provides them with the readiness needed for music instruction later in life. The University of North Texas College of Music's Early Childhood Music Program exposes young children – infants to age 5 – to a rich, music-filled environment in which they participate in listening, vocal exploration and music babble. These skills eventually lead to beat competency and accurate singing.

“With your child, you will sing and chant traditional folk songs and rhymes, sing a variety of songs without words in a variety of tonalities and meters, explore musical instruments and participate in fun beat and movement activities,” said Kateri Lavacek, assistant director and instructor for the program. “These classes will fill your little one with a sense of wonder, imagination, and the building blocks of music that he or she will benefit from throughout life.”

The winter 10-week sessions will be held Fridays from Jan.5 – March 9 and Saturdays from Jan. 6 – March 10 in Room 115 of the Music Annex Building, which is located at the corner of Avenue C and Highland in Denton on 1630 W. Highland St. Friday attendees will have to pay for parking, which is available in the Parkmobile lot at the corner of Highland Street and Avenue C. Parking is free on Saturday. For more information on parking, visit the transportation website or view the UNT parking map here.

The sessions will be divided into four different age groups: 

  • Infant – 0 to 24 months
  • Toddler – 2 to 4 years
  • Pre-K – 3 1/2 to 5 years
  • Multi-age – 0 to 5 years

The 10-week program is $150 for infants and $170 for all other age groups. Families who enroll more than one child will receive a 50 percent discount for each additonal child. The sessions for infants will be 30 minutes in duration, and the other sessions will be 40 minutes.

The schedule for the classes is as follows: 

Friday Sessions

  • Infant: 9:30 – 10 a.m.
  • Toddler: 10:10 – 10:50 a.m.

Saturday Sessions

  • Infant: 8:30 – 9 a.m. and 9:10 – 9:40 a.m.
  • Toddler: 9:50 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Multi-age: 10:40 – 11:20 a.m.
  • Pre-K: 11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. 

“It is so exciting to see the growth these children have during the sessions,” said Lavacek. “I have seen such incredible musicianship from the youngest of babies and it is so amazing to see how they internalize and then express themselves musically.”

Parents are required to be present with their children for each class. Register here. For more information, contact Kateri Lavacek at 317-213-3763 or email her at ecmusic@unt.edu.

 

About UNT's Early Childhood Music Program

Directed by Warren Henry, associate dean of academic affairs in UNT's College of Music, the Early Childhood Music Program aims to maximize children's musical learning opportunities. Classes differ according to the age levels and readiness of the children, but all classes include songs, chants, movement and instrument exploration.

University of North Texas campus sign

UNT faculty and alumni nominated for Grammy Awards

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas faculty and alumni are part of projects that have received nominations in 10 categories for the 60th annual Recording Academy Grammy Awards. Nominations, which include UNT alumna Maren Morris, who was nominated this year in the Best Country Solo Performance category for “I Could Use a Love Song,” were announced on Nov. 28.

Since 1964, 100 UNT College of Music alumni have worked on projects nominated for Grammy Awards, with 53 of those winning Grammys.

“The UNT College of Music has a storied history of success with the Grammy Awards, and the next chapter of that success was written Tuesday with nominations in no less than 10 categories for 2018,” said John W. Richmond, dean of the College of Music. “We could not be more thrilled, proud and humbled by the extraordinary accomplishments of our alumni and faculty. Kudos to all.”

College of Music faculty and alumni participated in the following nominated projects.

  • Alumnus Brian A. Schmidt, conductor, for “Tyberg: Masses,” which is nominated in the following categories:
    • Best Choral Performance
    • Best Surround Sound Album
  • Alumnus Chuck Owen, composer/arranger for “Whispers on the Wind,” featuring fellow alumni Tom Brantley, trombone; Tamara Danielsson, saxophone; Frank Greene, trumpet; Clay Jenkins, trumpet; and Keith Oshiro, trombone, is nominated in the following categories:
    • Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
    • Best Improvised Jazz Solo
    • Best Instrumental Composition
    • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Alumni Clay Jenkins, trumpet, and Rob Wilkerson, saxophone, performers in the Alan Ferber Big Band on the album “Jigsaw,” which is nominated in the following category:
    • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Alumni members of the Dallas Opera Orchestra Deborah Mashburn, timpani; Eric Swanson, trombone; Jeff Baker, trombone; Kenneth Krause, clarinet; Kristin Van Cleve, violin; Liesl-Ann deVilliers, viola; Mitch Maxwell, cello; Shannon Highland, bassoon; and Shawna Hamilton, cello; as well as faculty member John Holt, trumpet, who performed on “Adamo: Becoming Santa Claus.” The album is nominated in the following category:
    • Producer Of The Year, Classical
  • Alumnus Edward Stephan, timpanist for the Pittsburgh Orchestra, which is featured on the album “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio,” nominated in the following category:
    • Best Engineered Album, Classical
  • Stephan, also timpanist for the San Francisco Symphony, which is featured in “Debussy: Images; Jeux & La Plus Que Lente,” nominated in the following category:
    • Best Orchestral Performance
  • Alumnus Frank Greene, lead trumpet for the Christian McBride Big Band on the album “Bringin’ It,” which is nominated in the following category:
    • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Alumni James Ford, trumpet; Conrad Herwig, trombone; Jamie Hovorka, trumpet; and Tom Luer, saxophone, performers on John Beasley’s “MONK’estra Vol. 2,” which is nominated in the following category:
    • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Alumnus Mike Williams, trumpeter in the Count Basie Orchestra on “I Loves You Porgy/There’s a Boat That’s Leaving Soon for New York,” which is nominated in the following category:
    • Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals
  • Alumnus Samuel Park, violin player in the Oregon Symphony, which is featured on the album “Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 53, 64 & 96,” nominated in the following category:
    • Producer Of The Year, Classical

Grammy winners will be announced at the Jan. 28 awards ceremony in New York.

Qawwali singers performing in front of microphones

Qawwali singers bring 700-year-old mystical music to UNT

Qawwali began more than 700 years ago as a musical tradition to deliver inspirational messages to devotees inside a shrine – a place where Sufi Muslims with mystical beliefs would seek the truth of divine love and knowledge. It is rarely heard outside of those sacred walls. Now the University of North Texas College of Music is bringing direct descendants of some of the original Qawwali singers to the Recital Hall in the Music Building, 415 S. Ave. C, at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 (Thursday) to perform their spiritual craft.

“The art of these sacred songs of love is captivating – it strikes deep in the heart,” said Vivek Virani, assistant professor of ethnomusicology and music theory. “This performance is a unique opportunity for Denton to experience this type of Islam.”

Ghayoor Moiz Mustafa Qawwal and Brothers from Karachi, Pakistan, began training with their grandfather as children and perform the spiritual music of South Asian Sufism in Urdu, Punjabi, Persian and Arabic.

“Qawwali blends Sufi ritual music with Indian classical and folk music and the result is absolutely electric,” said Virani. “It can induce mystical trance-like states, but it can also be enjoyed just as a form of music.”

Ally Adnan, a patron of the arts in Texas and Pakistan, is bringing the Qawwali troop to North Texas and will provide a brief introduction explaining the background of the performers prior to the show.

“Art is the best way to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a different culture, and we sincerely appreciate Adnan’s commitment to bringing artists of this caliber – with generations of training in poetry and performance – to us,” Virani said.

Opera Students in "The Magic Flute" Costumes outside - climbing tree

Internationally renowned director Jonathan Eaton directs UNT's "The Magic Flute"

Jonathan Eaton, the new Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, has had a successful career – directing performances both nationally and internationally for some of the most prestigious opera companies. From Dallas, to Chicago, to New York, San Francisco and San Diego, overseas to Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and France, this international opera director has spread his talents around the world. Now he’s bringing his unique perspective to the UNT College of Music to enrich North Texas with his operatic vision.

He does not shy away from current events and political issues, tackling them head-on. He recently commissioned and directed the world’s first eco-opera, “A New Kind of Fallout” – a story based on Pittsburgh’s Rachel Carson and her battle against DDT. And last year, he tackled the topic of social justice, commissioning a world premiere jazz/gospel opera about a white policeman shooting a black man in the street.

He plans to bring the same out-of-the-box thinking to his UNT directorial debut – Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” – at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 and 10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 5 and 12 in the Lyric Theater at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, with "In the Know" lectures 45 minutes before each performance. It will be sung in German with English supertitles. Eaton’s adaptation of the classic opera, in which the Queen of the Night persuades Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from captivity, plays out as a mysterious, whimsical look at romantic relationships between men and women through a dream sequence.

“Tamino, our protagonist, dreams his whole way through a series of life-changing events and, at the end, it seems his dream becomes a reality,” Eaton said. “Does the girl who steals his heart in his dream steal her place into his bed?”

Costumes for the performance will be designed by international designer Danila Korogodsky, who presents a whole host of different characters in unique and sometimes psychedelic style. In a collaborative first, UNT Opera is partnering with the UNT Department of Dance and Theatre for the scenery, which will be designed by Donna Marquet.

“This is an opportunity to see what a brand new director and design team for opera in Denton will bring to this most charming and profound opera,” Eaton said. “I’d travel any distance in a heartbeat to see this production. And, when you get here, ‘The Magic Flute’ will transport you away.”

Tickets cost $15-$35 for adults, with discounts available for senior citizens; students; children; UNT faculty, staff and retirees; and groups of 10 or more. The $35 tickets include dessert and wine. Purchase tickets online or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.

“Come early and enjoy a glass of wine with me and Stephen Dubberly, our music director, and hear us discuss the interpretation of the production and our ideas for UNT Opera’s new vision here and beyond,” Eaton said. “Then sit back and enjoy a great marvel of operatic literature.”

Airstream Artistry and Nice! Album covers side by side

‘Best of the Two’ album release honors esteemed retired UNT Lab Band directors

What: Jim Riggs and Jay Saunders, jazz leaders and retired UNT Lab Band directors, to be honored at a University of North Texas College of Music Division of Jazz Studies album release celebration. 

When: 2 p.m. Oct. 14 (Saturday).

Where: Harvest House, 331 E. Hickory St. in Denton.

Tickets: Free.

Media: Download images here and here.

 

More information: For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music calendar and the College of Music Facebook page.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Jim Riggs and Jay Saunders have dedicated their lives to the University of North Texas – first as students, then as directors of College of Music lab bands before retiring. They are now being honored by the Division of Jazz Studies with the release of “Best of the Two,” two CD boxsets featuring music they directed and recorded while professors and jazz bandleaders.

“Jim Riggs and Jay Saunders are icons of the jazz program at North Texas,” said Craig Marshall, lab bands manager. “They’ve jointly impacted the lives of thousands of UNT students over the impressive span of their careers, providing students the insight and experience to succeed as professionals in music.”

The album release celebration will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 (Saturday) at Harvest House in Denton, located at 331 E. Hickory St., and will include a performance by the Two O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Rodney Booth.

A three-CD boxset tribute to Riggs – “Airstream Artistry: Jim Riggs’ Best of the Two” – includes 40 selections from 10 CDs recorded by the Two O’Clock Lab Band under his direction. Riggs, who played in the One O’Clock Lab Band as a student while earning his master’s in music from 1969-72, has had a prolific career. From Frank Sinatra, to Ella Fitzgerald, to Ray Charles, Riggs has performed with legendary musicians around the world and has played with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In 1973, he returned to UNT to teach jazz saxophone and direct the Two O’Clock Lab Band. He remained a leader in jazz education until his retirement in August 2008.

“Nice! Jay Saunders’ Best of the Two,” a two-CD boxset, features a selection of 18 tracks recorded by the Two O’Clock Lab Band under Saunder’s direction from 2008-14. A veteran of the Stan Kenton Orchestra and fixture in the national jazz scene, he was member of the One O’Clock Lab Band as a student from 1965-68 while earning his bachelor’s in music. He returned to UNT to earn his master’s in music education in1974, then again as professor of trumpet and jazz history in 2000. In his time at UNT, he also directed the One and Three O’Clock Lab bands. During his career, Saunders has played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet and Sarah Vaughn, and has performed with the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras.

“Both of these CD compilations are collector items for fans of big band jazz and, in particular, the hundreds of UNT jazz alumni who are represented on these fabulous recordings.” Marshall said.

One O'Clock Lab Band with Alan Baylock, Director

Premier big band and Grammy-winning artist featured in UNT One O’Clock Lab Band guest concerts

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The United States Navy Band Commodores – one of only five professional big bands in the U.S – and Christian McBride, a four-time Grammy-winning jazz virtuoso who’s one of the most recorded musicians of his generation, will each join the One O’Clock Lab Band for concerts this fall.

The U.S. Navy Band Commodores, an 18-piece Washington D.C. premier big band that features six UNT College of Music alumni will perform a free concert at 9 p.m. Oct. 25 (Wednesday) in the University Union Syndicate, located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton.

“It’s going to be a lot of excitement and energy and the One O’Clock Lab Band is opening,” said Alan Baylock, director of the One O’Clock Lab Band. “It’ll be a combination of the Commodores’ familiar music, modern music and classic music. It’s a great balance. It’s also a military institution, so there will be a touch of patriotism involved. That’s part of their mission – to inspire patriotism.”

Prior to the concert, the One O’Clock Lab Band’s 1 p.m. rehearsal will be open to the public, as well as a 2 p.m. Commodores concert in the Music Building’s Kenton Hall at 415 Ave. C. Baylock hopes the experience will motivate students the way seeing big bands moved him.

“When I was younger, hearing a big band was so exciting because I could always picture myself being part of that, whether in front of the band or in the back row playing trumpet,” Baylock said. “I want students to experience that and be inspired to do that same thing.”

Four-time Grammy-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride will be combining his talents with the One O’Clock Lab Band at 8 p.m. Nov. 21 (Tuesday) in Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E, Denton.

The jazz virtuoso is one of the most recorded musicians of his generation, working with such jazz greats as Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock, R&B legends including Isaac Hayes and James Brown and pop and rock stars such as Sting and Paul McCartney.

“Having someone on campus like Christian McBride can be a life-changing experience for the students and a real inspiration for faculty members as well,” Baylock said. “Christian has toured the world while performing and recording with countless jazz legends, becoming a legend himself. We're thrilled that he'll be joining us and we look forward to not only hearing him play, but learning from his decades of experience as a major figure in the music industry.”

 Tickets for the McBride performance cost $15 for the public, $10 for UNT students, faculty, staff and Alumni Association members. Purchase tickets through the MPAC box office at 940-369-7802 or visit the MPAC website. The event also will be streamed live here.

UNT ENtrepreneurship competition - students presenting in front of competition judge panel

‘Billboard’ names UNT College of Music top music business school

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- “Billboard Magazine” has released its list of the “15 Best Music Business Schools in 2017,” and the University of North Texas College of Music has earned a coveted spot.

“I am thrilled for the recognition," said Fabiana Claure, director of career development and entrepreneurship in music, who developed the program in 2016. “It is an honor to earn such a prestigious ranking in such a short amount of time.”

The magazine credits the expansion of the College of Music’s curriculum to focus more on entrepreneurship and music, offering internships, guest speakers – including biweekly music entrepreneurship departmental lectures, career advising and networking opportunities.

"I would be thrilled for our College of Music to receive such an impressive, national recognition under any circumstance. That Dr. Claure achieved this level of national notoriety so quickly is truly remarkable,” said Dean John Richmond. “We are all thrilled for her and for the future of this vitally important program.”

In April, Claure launched the inaugural UNT Music Entrepreneurship Competition and, based on its success, has developed the new Innovative Music Programming Competition. Students must submit a three-minute video featuring one minute of their proposed performance material, one minute explaining why it is innovative or unique and one minute explaining how they plan to market the event. The deadline for entry is Oct. 1. The winner will be selected on Oct. 18 by students who will vote either in person at a music entrepreneurship departmental event or they can view a livestream of the finalists’ presentations and vote by phone.

“The purpose of this competition is to make students envision innovative ways to create engaging music concerts,” Claure said. “It will be an incentive for students to think outside the box and visualize a musical program where they collaborate across music genres and even colleges, potentially working with theatre and film to ‘mix it up.’ It will nurture connections with other artists and teach them how to communicate and build an audience, in addition to being a performer.”

The winner will get to perform their proposed material at the Greater Denton Arts Council on Nov. 9 and will receive $250 to market the performance.

For more information on UNT’s career development and entrepreneurship in music program, visit http://career.music.unt.edu.

Jeff Bradetich headshot

Celebration of milestones culminates in Carnegie Hall concert for UNT Regents professor

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- It’s a year of milestones for University of North Texas Regents Professor of Double Bass Jeff Bradetich. His treasured bass turned 250 years old this year; he celebrated his 60th birthday – 50 of those years have been dedicated to playing bass; he marked 30 years of honing the skills of talented musicians in his summer strings institute; his foundation just celebrated its first decade; and now he plans to commemorate it all by performing at Carnegie Hall 35 years – almost to the day – after his debut in the prestigious venue.

“There’s something very special about a New York concert,” Bradetich said. “It’s a place people will travel to from across the world to see a performance. There are even a number of people from this area who are travelling there just to be a part of the experience.”

The program will showcase UNT talent, from faculty, to students and even famed alumnae – Russian pianist Anastasia Markina and the Metropolitan Opera’s Latonia Moore.

“I was reading through the program and it was wonderful. But, I still felt like something was missing,” Bradetich said. “I remembered Latonia from when she was a student and decided to reach out to her. I am thrilled that she was interested.”

The concert will be held in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall Nov. 17 (Friday) at 8 p.m. The first half of the performance will feature visiting professor Christoph Hammer on harpsichord and fortepiano and Cynthia Roberts, principal lecturer, on Baroque violin. The second half of the performance features Markina and a set of three songs with Moore presenting a new arrangement of Jake Heggie’s aria “Si, son io.”

The event will culminate with a world premiere of Argentinian composer Andres Martin’s Temperamental.

“Everyone will return to the stage for a very special encore,” Bradetich said. “It will be a high-energy tribute to the versatility of the bass.”

For those who can’t make it to the New York performance, Bradetich is holding a special Carnegie Hall preview concert at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 12 (Sunday) in Paul Voertman Concert Hall, located in the UNT College of Music Building at 415 S. Ave. C, Denton.

“This show is a wonderful opportunity for us to not only have a trial run of our performance, but to present North Texas with the same music as we’ll be playing at Carnegie, with only a few alternate performers,” Bradetich said. “We’ve done so much work planning and rehearsing the performance that it would be a shame if we could only share it once.”

One O'Clock lab band performing

UNT jazz takes talents to Klyde Warren Park for “Jazz on the Green”

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas College of Music Division of Jazz Studies is continuing to celebrate its 70th year by partnering with The Dallas Foundation for “Jazz on the Green” at Klyde Warren Park, located at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. The free concerts will be held from 7-9 p.m. on successive Thursdays beginning Oct. 26 and will feature some of the top talent in the UNT jazz program – including the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band.

“It’s rare for the One O’Clock Lab Band to perform outdoors, but we love it,” said Alan Baylock, band director. “It's a combination of the fresh air, the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that the audience can move and groove to the music that makes it so exciting.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 26 – One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Alan Baylock
  • Nov. 2 – Jazz Singers, directed by Jennifer Barnes; Third Street, directed by Marion Powers; Avenue C, directed by Anna Jalkéus; and the vocal jazz ensemble from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, directed by Kent Ellingson
  • Nov. 9 – Branden Brown Quintet; Latin Jazz Lab, directed by José Aponte

“We are excited to be part of this year's ‘Jazz on the Green’ lineup,” said John Murphy, chair of the Division of Jazz Studies. "Our student groups perform often in Denton and on tours to other parts of the country. This series gives us a chance to share our students' work with Dallas audiences at one of the most pleasant open-air performance venues in the city."

Two Pianists sitting at keyboard, laughing

Collaborative pianists to gather at UNT for 2017 CollabFest

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- They are used to playing second fiddle – or, in this case, piano – to other instrumentalists, singers, dancers and performing artists. Now, collaborative pianists are getting their moment in the spotlight at the University of North Texas College of Music’s second annual CollabFest – the first festival of its type in the nation.

“Collaborative pianists are trained as partners and love to work with others. Though well able to take the solo piano spotlight, we prefer to join forces with other musicians to co-create art music,” said Elvia Puccinelli, associate professor of collaborative piano and vocal coaching. “We are fed by working with other musicians – doing so in symphonies, opera and musicals, choir rehearsals, dance classes and private lessons – but it is very rare to gather with other collaborative pianists and be surrounded by others who have sat ‘on the same bench,’ as it were. While there is a collaborative piano presence in several of the broader professional music societies, there was no event that we knew of devoted exclusively to collaborative piano when we conceived of CollabFest.”

CollabFest is part of CollabWeek at UNT, which features variety of events, including free, public guest artist masterclasses and performances between Oct. 9 (Monday) – 12 (Thursday). CollabFest itself is a paid conference that takes place on Oct. 13 (Friday) and 14 (Saturday).

 “The major component of the first part of the week is a three-day residency with internationally acclaimed composer Tom Cipulllo,” Puccinelli said. “There also will be a recital Wednesday evening premiering a new work commissioned and performed by famed bass-baritone Michael Anthony McGee  and award-winning pianist Liza Stepanova,” Puccinelli said.

World-renowned pedagogue and doyenne of collaborative piano Jean Barr will serve as the CollabFest keynote speaker and master clinician. Barr, who was the first keyboard artist in the U.S. to be awarded a doctoral degree in accompanying and is considered to be a pioneer in her field, is currently professor and director of the Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music Program in the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

“Jean Barr, queen of collaborative pianists, is the mentor of my collaborative piano colleague at UNT, Steven Harlos, co-artistic director of our event. To have Jean is really having collaborative piano royalty present. We are so honored,” Puccinelli said.

Puccinelli and Lisa Sylvester, associate professor of practice at the University of Southern California, developed the concept of this annual event.

 “Lisa suggested the idea of a gathering several years ago – a birthday roast of our beloved mentor at USC, Dr. Alan L. Smith. We honored a landmark birthday for Smith in 2015 and were able to grow this into a one-day festival in 2016 at UNT,” Puccinelli said. “This year, the events are more extensive and there will be activities at both universities with different presenters and performers. Both festivals are devoted exclusively to collaborative piano and, in addition to special guest artist performers, will include student pianists and their partners from area universities.”

Sessions and masterclasses will be presented by guest artists and UNT faculty members addressing issues of performance practice, technique, repertoire, entrepreneurship and health. 

 “Who knows how it will grow next year? I am the artistic director of the UNT event, as Lisa is for USC, but, honestly, this project is directing me – so many pieces fall into place perfectly – better than I could have planned,” Puccinelli said. “It’s a sign to me that this is the right time and that we have struck a need in our pianist community. Being able to make music with another person is a thrill and an honor, and being in a room full of beautiful pianist souls who feel the same way is priceless.”

Pianist Misha Dichter, publicity shot in tuxedo

UNT Symphony Orchestra takes their talents to the Dallas Arts District

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 08:12
Category: Arts and Music General News

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas College of Music is engaging a broader audience by taking their talents to the newly renamed Moody Performance Hall, located at 2520 Flora St. in Dallas. The UNT Symphony Orchestra will kick off this semester’s journey south at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21.

The performance will include Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 with world-renowned pianist Misha Dichter. It coincides with the beginning of the world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein which officially began on August 25, 2017 and continues through August 25, 2019.

“Misha and I are old friends with many performances over the years together,” said David Itkin, music professor and director of orchestral studies. “We've had many memorable evenings together making music, including both Brahms concerti, several of the Beethoven concerti and also the Bernstein we'll be playing with the UNT Symphony Orchestra. Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety is a favorite for both of us and pairing it with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 will give us – and the audience – an opportunity to look into the work of two 20th century masters who are working from very different musical influences and perspectives.”

The College of Music is offering roundtrip transportation from UNT to the venue. The $30 VIP package includes transportation, a concert ticket and a reception. VIP packages must be reserved before 5 p.m. Sept. 8 by calling (940) 369-8417.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Contact: (940) 369-7912
Email: courtney.taylor@unt.edu

Photo: J. Mulligan

Professor David Itkin conducting the UNT Symphony Orchestra

Grammy-nominated franchise and Broadway tunes create “An Enchanted Evening” at UNT College of Music gala

What: The annual University of North Texas College of Music Gala, this year titled An Enchanted Evening - An Homage to the Leading Ladies of Broadway, is presented by Independent Bank and will feature a concert showcasing the UNT Symphony Orchestra and select student vocalists under the direction of David Itkin. The performance is open to the public. The Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Alan Baylock, will perform for guests of the reception and dinner to follow at UNT Gateway Center.

When: 4 p.m. Oct. 8 (Sunday).

Where: Concert will be held at Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E, Denton. Post-concert reception, dinner and auction will follow at UNT Gateway Center, 801 N. Texas Blvd., Denton.

Tickets: $375 each for concert, reception, dinner, One O’Clock Lab Band performance, valet parking and performer meet-and-greet; $187.50 each for concert, dinner, reception and One O’Clock Lab Band performance; $25 each for concert only. Proceeds benefit student scholarships. Concert is free for UNT students with valid ID, who must pick up their tickets in person at the box office. Purchase tickets online or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802. Cocktail attire is recommended.

Parking: Free parking will be available in the lot next to the MPAC, with overflow parking available in lots 4 and 26. View the UNT parking map. Valet parking will be available to those with select sponsorship.

More information: For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music calendar and the College of Music Facebook page.

 

Media must RSVP by Sept. 18 to attend the event.

 

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Tunes from “Les Miserables,” “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Wicked” are just a few of the Broadway hits the University of North Texas College of Music will bring to life as part of their annual fundraising gala, this year titled An Enchanted Evening - An Homage to the Leading Ladies of Broadway and sponsored by Independent Bank. 

The concert, which will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 (Sunday) in Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E, is open to the public and will feature the Symphony Orchestra and student vocalists, conducted by David Itkin. The One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Alan Baylock, will perform for guests of the reception and dinner at UNT Gateway Center.

“This year is the 70th anniversary of UNT’s jazz program and we have reimagined what our gala can be, moving our post-concert reception, auction, dinner and post-dinner program across the street to the stunning Gateway Center Ballroom,” said John Richmond, dean of the College of Music. “Just imagine a splendid concert of the music of Broadway in our Winspear Hall, followed by a joyous reception, a delicious meal and the marvelous music of our Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band in the Gateway.”

The annual gala is the College of Music's largest fundraiser of the fall semester and helps support scholarships for hundreds of UNT music students. Proceeds also help to ensure the college maintains its competitive legacy and continues to attract world-class musicians.

“Last year’s gala was a glorious celebration of our College of Music, its faculty, staff and students. Remarkably, we also set a new record for music-scholarship fundraising last year,” Richmond said. “We hope to continue that momentum this year thanks to our many generous supporters.”

This year, Independent Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of the gala.

“We deeply appreciate the support Independent Bank has given to the College of Music and are grateful for the difference it will make in our students’ lives through scholarships,” said UNT President Neil Smatresk.

Other sponsors include:

Cocktail attire is recommended for the event, and gala packages and concert tickets are still available. The cost is $375 each for concert, reception, dinner, One O’Clock Lab Band performance, valet parking and a performer meet-and-greet; $187.50 each for concert, reception, dinner and One O’Clock Lab Band performance; and $25 each for the concert only, with proceeds benefitting student scholarships. The concert is free for UNT students with valid ID, who must pick up their tickets in person at the box office. Purchase tickets online or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802. Purchase tickets for the post-concert event at 940-369-8417.

UNT One O'Clock Lab Band performing at the Syndicate

Free weekly lab band & jazz ensemble concerts at UNT Union Syndicate

The University of North Texas College of Music kicks off Jazz at the Syndicate at 9 p.m. on Sept. 12 (Tuesday). The free evening and lunchtime jazz performances will be held in the University Union Syndicate, 1155 Union Circle.

The weekly concerts are open to the UNT community and the general public. Performances showcase the UNT College of Music’s variety of jazz ensembles at noon on Thursdays and Fridays and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band will kick off the first Wednesday night and Thursday lunchtime events.

"These on-campus performances are a tradition for us," said John Murphy, chair of the Division of Jazz Studies. "The tradition extends back to the Rock Bottom Lounge and, before that, to the shows presented by Floyd Graham. The students prepare for these performances just as much as they do for our more formal concerts on and off campus. We invite the community to stop by and enjoy an evening or noontime concert."

The Tuesday at 9 p.m. schedule includes:

  • Sept. 12 – Jazz Combo Night
  • Sept. 19 – U-Tubes, directed by Nathan Davis
  • Sept. 26 – Guitar ensembles, directed by Daniel Pinilla Vera and Davy Mooney; and Zebras, directed by Paul Lees
  • Oct. 3 – Latin Jazz Lab, directed by José Aponte
  • Oct. 10 – Third Street, directed by Marion Powers and Jazz Singers, directed by Jennifer Barnes
  • Oct. 17 – West End, directed by Vaughn Faison and Avenue C, directed by Anna Jalkéus
  • Oct. 24 – U-Tubes, directed by Nathan Davis
  • Oct. 31 – Guitar ensembles, directed by Daniel Pinilla Vera and Davy Mooney; and Zebras, directed by Paul Lees
  • Nov. 7 – Latin Jazz Lab, directed by José Aponte
  • Nov. 14 – Vocal Songwriters Showcase

 

The Wednesday at 9 p.m. schedule includes:

  • Sept. 13 – One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Alan Baylock
  • Sept. 20 – Three O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Tanya Darby; Two O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Rodney Booth
  • Sept. 27 – Five O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brian Woodbury; Four O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Colleen Clark
  • Oct. 4 – Seven O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brandon Moore; Six O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brett Lamel
  • Oct. 11 – Nine O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Nicholas Owsik; Eight O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Kyle Bellaire
  • Oct. 18 – Three O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Tanya Darby; Two O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Rodney Booth
  • Oct. 25 – Guest Artists, US Navy Commodores
  • Nov. 1 – Five O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brian Woodbury; Four O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Colleen Clark
  • Nov. 8 – Seven O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brandon Moore; Six O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brett Lamel
  • Nov. 15 – Nine O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Nicholas Owsik; Eight O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Kyle Bellaire

 

The Thursday at noon schedule includes:

  • Sept. 14 – One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Alan Baylock
  • Sept. 21 – Two O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Rodney Booth
  • Sept. 28 – Three O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Tanya Darby
  • Oct. 5 – Four O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Colleen Clark  
  • Oct. 12 – Five O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brian Woodbury
  • Oct. 19 – Six O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brett Lamel
  • Oct. 26 – Seven O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Brandon Moore
  • Nov. 2 – Eight O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Kyle Bellaire  
  • Nov. 9 – Nine O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Nicholas Owsik

 

The Friday at noon schedule features:

  • Sept. 15 – Jazz Combo Night
  • Sept. 22 – U-Tubes, directed by Nathan Davis
  • Sept. 29 – Zebras, directed by Paul Lees
  • Oct. 6 – Guitar ensembles, directed by Daniel Pinilla Vera and Davy Mooney
  • Oct. 13 – Latin Jazz Lab, directed by José Aponte
  • Oct. 20 – Jazz Singers, directed by Jennifer Barnes
  • Oct. 27 – Avenue C, directed by Anna Jalkéus
  • Nov. 3 – Third Street, directed by Marion Powers
  • Nov. 10 – West End, directed by Vaughn Faison

 

For a full list of UNT College of Music events, visit the online calendar at http://music.unt.edu/calendar.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Composer Bruce Broughton headshot

Famed composer to join UNT College of Music

He is best known for his many memorable and award-winning film scores including “Silverado,” “Tombstone,” “The Rescuers Down Under,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Harry and the Hendersons,” among others. “JAG,” “Tiny Toon Adventures” and “Dinosaurs” all grace his television theme repertoire. Now, Bruce Broughton, a 10-time Emmy Award winner, will be joining the University of North Texas College of Music as the 2017-18 composer-in-residence. He will work with students and conduct research as part of four one-week residencies throughout the school year.

“I am looking forward to working with the faculty and students at UNT in the various musical ensembles as well as in helping to effectively expand the integration of music in other sorts of media,” Broughton said.

Dean John Richmond said he’s honored that Broughton will be joining the College of Music for the residency.

“Bruce Broughton is among the most distinguished and accomplished composers in America, particularly as pertains to music for TV, film, games and theme parks,” Richmond said. “Most Americans know his music even if they don’t know his name.”

Broughton, who is currently working with Seth MacFarlane on a television project called “The Orville,” will be composer-in-residence for concert and new media in the division of composition studies. He also will be collaborating with jazz studies and conducting and ensembles, as well as working with students in UNT’s Department of Media Arts.

“As our College of Music now explores new opportunities for artistic collaboration with our colleagues in media arts, we are delighted to have Mr. Broughton in residence to help guide our work and encourage our efforts,” Richmond said.

Broughton said he’s looking forward to the visit and being a part of such a strong university.

“I am very impressed with the quality of instruction at UNT, the openness to fresh and contemporary ideas and the passion the faculty, the dean and varied division and department heads demonstrate in working together to achieve the highest quality education,” Broughton said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this already substantial and highly successful arts program.”

Upright Bass Player performing with UNT's Concert Orchestra

Second annual double bass competition to bring finest international young musicians to UNT

The University of North Texas College of Music is hosting 20 of the world’s most talented young musicians as part of the second annual Bradetich Foundation International Double Bass Competition. The event will be held Sept. 1 (Friday) -5 (Tuesday) with three rounds of performances, including a final performance with an orchestra.

“We are looking for the very finest performers in the world to help develop their careers and to bring the double bass to the forefront of the concert stage,” said Jeff Bradetich, Regents Professor of double bass and foundation organizer. “The double bass has incredible expressive capabilities in many genres, and we will showcase that internationally through every available medium.”

The Gold Medal first prize includes:

  • $10,000 in cash, sponsored by Solano Basses
  • A fully-funded New York debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
  • A series of concertos, recitals and master classes with orchestras, and a concert series at universities and at bass festivals throughout the United States and abroad
  • Career development for four years

The Silver Medal second prize is $5,000 in cash and is sponsored by Pirastro Strings, with the Bronze Medal third prize winner receiving $2,500 in cash, sponsored by Robertson & Sons Violin Shop.

The competition is open to any double bass soloist under the age of 35 who has not given a formal New York City debut concert. Of the 20 musicians selected for the 2017 competition, two – Mariechen Meyer and Aaron Olguin – are current UNT students, and one is alumnus Tian Yang Liu.

“I am so pleased that the hard work, dedication and talent of these three UNT musicians has been recognized by the international community and they have been given the opportunity to compete with the best young artists in the world,” Bradetich said.

The final round of the competition and announcement of winners will be streamed live Sept. 5 (Tuesday) and the online audience is encouraged to vote for their favorite musician. All concerts are free and open to the public, with donations for the Bradetich Foundation accepted at the door and online. For more information and a complete list of competitors, visit http://www.bradetichfoundation.org.

 

About the Bradetich Foundation

The Bradetich Foundation was established in 2008 with the sole purpose of advancing the performing, teaching and knowledge of the double bass. It represents the vision of founder Jeff Bradetich and the culmination of his 35 years of service to the profession. The Bradetich Foundation strives to advance and cultivate a prominent international presence for double bassists, and to command high performance standards and opportunities through solo competitions, educational outreach and cross-cultural connections.

Paul Voertman standing in Voertman Hall

Remembering Paul Voertman

Paul Russell Voertman, 88, philanthropist, patron of art and music, and former owner of Denton's iconic Voertman's Bookstore, died June 21, 2017.

Paul wants people to remember him as being fair-minded. But he was so much more to so many people and so many organizations.

Paul was born in Denton on April 30, 1929, to Roy Fredrick and Helena Jacobson Voertman. He grew up with the Voertman Bookstore, which was established near the University of North Texas by his father in 1925. While Paul worked there during breaks from school, he never intended to run the store in adulthood ― he had planned to become a teacher. When his father died unexpectedly in 1951, Paul was 23 years old, in the Army and stationed in Germany. He returned home intending to run the store just long enough to make it saleable, but his retailing philosophy of providing outstanding service and high-quality goods at reasonable prices for customers made the store a great success. Under Paul's direction, the store became more than just a bookstore. The beautifully designed fine arts and housewares he also offered for sale made the store an iconic and cultural Denton landmark. He also operated a store near the Texas Woman's University campus. Paul was generous to his employees, and some worked at the stores for decades before Paul sold the Voertman's enterprise in 1990.

Paul had a partner in operating the stores and in life. While on vacation in 1954, Paul met Richard Mathew Ardoin, who became Paul's life partner until Richard's untimely death in 2002. During their 48 years together, Paul and Richard shared many wonderful interests and experiences, including a love of travel, the arts and Bouviers. Paul commemorated their relationship with the gift of the $1.5 million Richard Ardoin-Paul Voertman Concert Organ in Winspear Hall of the Murchison Performing Arts Center at UNT. The concert organ was formally inaugurated in fall 2008, and it put the College of Music's organ program on the national map.

For more than 60 years, Paul was a strong supporter of the arts in Denton. In 1986, he received the Greater Denton Arts Council Recognition Award for bringing a sense of design to the city through his store, commissioning locally produced art works, sponsoring prizes for Texas arts organizations, and establishing juried art competitions for students at UNT and TWU, which were believed to be among some of the oldest privately sponsored competitive student art exhibitions in Texas. The Voertman Art Competition in UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design just completed its 57th year.

Paul's bond to the university began in kindergarten and continued through 12th grade in the university's Demonstration School, where he received his education. The Demonstration School also served as a training program for future teachers. Paul described the campus as his "playground." As a child, he swam in the university's pool in the summer, roller-skated across campus and went to ʼFessor Graham's stage shows. His childhood dog, Snooker, also was a frequent visitor to campus.

Paul attended the university through his first two years of college before transferring to the University of Texas in Austin, where he completed his bachelor's degree in economics. He returned to Denton every summer to take classes and work at the family store, where generations of students purchased their text books.

Paul was deeply committed to UNT and is among the university's most generous benefactors. His longstanding support has helped students fulfill their dreams of earning a college degree and becoming world-class performers, artists and scholars and helped the university make great strides in the arts and academics. His Voertman-Ardoin Memorial Scholarships are transforming lives by providing funding for first-generation college students. Excellence funds that Paul provided UNT's colleges have helped elevate the reputation of academic programs and address pressing needs.

In 2011, Paul made an $8 million bequest to UNT creating the Ardoin-Voertman Endowment funds, which will be shared equally among the College of Visual Arts and Design, College of Music, and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

In 2009, Paul was presented the UNT Outstanding Alumnus Award, for his loyal support of the university. In 2010, the university named a newly renovated performance space in the Music Building the Paul Voertman Concert Hall in his honor. Last year, Paul was awarded an honorary doctorate -- Doctor of Humane Letters -- from UNT for his devotion to creativity and artistic excellence, and who by his extraordinary achievements added substantial knowledge to the community and society as a whole. He was a member of the UNT McConnell Society, 1890 Society and a lifetime member of the UNT Alumni Association.

For more than three decades, Paul also supported TWU through donations primarily to the Chancellor's Circle, athletics and student scholarships.

Paul's generosity was a mix of wanting to help make things better for individuals he found to be in difficulty -- particularly people disadvantaged by society -- and wanting to help places like UNT be the best they could be. He also was generous to many organizations in need and often as an anonymous donor. He supported the Denton Christian Preschool, Fred Moore Day Nursery School, Monsignor King Outreach Center, and PFLAG, among others.

Paul is preceded in death by his lifelong partner Richard Mathew Ardoin; by his parents Roy Fredrick and Helena Jacobson Voertman; and by his brother Robert Frederick Voertman and sister-in-law Betty 'Babe.'

Paul is survived by his niece Jami Paul Fernette and her husband Greg, and by his nephew Todd Russell Voertman. And, by his lifelong partner's family: Richard's sisters Lorraine Boudreaux and Rosalie Ardoin, and by his brother Mike Ardoin and Mike's partner Bryan Wille.

Paul also is survived by his closest friends: Eduardo, Elena, Eddie and Willie Jimenez; Marcella Franklin; MaeNell Shephard; Link Chalon; Pat Hutton; Georgia Gough; Sue Wahlert; and his dog, Deborah.

Donations may be made in Paul's name to the Denton Christian Preschool, Denton Community Health Clinic, Fred Moore Day Nursery School, or Monsignor King Outreach Center.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held at UNT this fall.

Students presenting in front of Entrepreneurship judge David Cutler

UNT College of Music launches music entrepreneurship competition

DENTON (UNT), Texas - Music students at the University of North Texas are invited to create and submit business plans as part of the College of Music’s inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Competition.

Competitors will be eligible to earn cash prizes totaling $18,000, which can be used by the students to launch start-up businesses.

Fabiana Claure, director of career development and entrepreneurship in music, said the competition aims to engage students in entrepreneurial thinking and help them develop plans of action.

“We want students to know that even though they are busy with coursework, college is one of the best times to start a business,” Claure said. “So many trendsetting businesses, from Google to Facebook, were started by college students.”

Claure knows the potential for such competitions. She won several prizes in a similar contest as a doctoral student at the University of Miami, which helped her launch her own business, Superior Academy of Music, in Miami, shortly after graduation in 2011.

UNT’s competition will have a graduate and undergraduate track, and all College of Music students are eligible to enter.

To develop business plans, students can use a variety of resources, including online tutorials, existing courses, university-sponsored workshops and faculty mentorship. Plans must include summary statements, business descriptions, market analyses, operations statements and financial information.

A panel of judges will include musicians and business people from North Texas and beyond. The competition also will host an artist-in-residency featuring David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician and founder of the Savvy Arts Venture Challenge at the University of South Carolina.

Deadline for entries is March 15, and three finalists and two honorable mentions in each track will be announced April 14. A grand finale on April 23 in the College of Music’s Recital Hall will feature a live audience. Judges and audience members will be able to ask questions and vote on their favorite students before an awards ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to http://career.music.unt.edu/competition.

 

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Quartet of Disneyland Band Members

UNT tops alumni list for renowned Disneyland band

DENTON (UNT), Texas – For University of North Texas College of Music graduate student Brendon Wilkins, the opportunity to perform in the Disneyland All-American College Band was much more than a summer job.

An alto saxophonist, Wilkins performed with some of the best collegiate musicians in the country while learning tips from the industry’s top jazz musicians.

“It was terrific. I have never had an experience quite like this,” said Wilkins, 24, a member of the 2016 band. “I learned a lot about what it takes to make it as a professional musician.”

Wilkins is the most recent University of North Texas student to earn a coveted spot in the Disneyland All-American College Band.

UNT’s College of Music and the All-American College Band share a strong bond. No other university in the country has had more students chosen to participate in the Disneyland college band, which began in 1971. The 21-piece ensemble performs at the Disneyland Resort in California for 11 weeks each summer. As part of the program, students earn school credit by completing a major educational project and train with industry professionals such as Wayne Bergeron, Gregg Field and Rick Baptist.

UNT has 64 band alumni. University of Southern California came in second with 37, and Indiana University third with 30 members.

Why the distinction?

“First and foremost, UNT is a really great music school that produces really great musicians,” said Ben Goodner, who is Disneyland’s Guest Talent Manager. “Second, word of mouth is our greatest source of advertising and UNT students have spread the word among themselves, which has created a grassroots recruiting effort.”

Any full-time college student in the United States, graduate or undergraduate, is eligible to audition for a spot in the band. If selected, band members perform and attend daily clinics and rehearsals. Performances include a big band show with a jazz format and marching band-style shows.

Talent managers who select the participants say they look for excellent musicians, but also engaging personalities.

“We want people who will put themselves out there,” Goodner said. “We look for someone who is not afraid to smile, someone who is not afraid to look a guest in the eye and make a connection.”

For Brian Clancy, a jazz saxophonist and 2011 UNT graduate in jazz studies, performing with the band expanded his musical repertoire and helped launch his career on the West Coast. Clancy now works as a freelance musician in the Los Angeles area. He landed a part-time job as a stage manager at Disneyland and performs in multiple bands at the park year-round.

“I learned how to truly perform in a variety of styles,” said Clancy, who is from Southlake. “I also developed connections, learned a lot about myself and learned a lot about the music industry. I left with a much bigger network than I had when I arrived.”

Wilkins, who earned a bachelor’s degree from UNT in jazz studies and music education in 2016 and is now pursuing his graduate degree, said he has encouraged fellow UNT students to audition for the band.

“The high standards we are accustomed to at UNT and the College of Music set us up to succeed with the All-American College Band,” he said. “We learn everything we need at UNT and are able to put it into action at Disneyland.”

 

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Jazz Saxophone Students with Brad Leali

UNT jazz student wins two international saxophone competitions

DENTON (UNT), Texas - University of North Texas College of Music senior, Howard Dietz, won the Buffet Crampon and Julius Keilwerth Saxophone Idol competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program award for saxophone.

Saxophone Idol is an international jazz competition in which selected finalists from around the world are invited to perform live in front of a panel of judges and a sold-out house. The Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program award “recognizes outstanding young musicians from around the world of classical, jazz and contemporary music.”

Dietz has always loved music and began playing saxophone at age 12 at the encouragement of his father.

After seeing a video of the One O’Clock Lab Band in high school, Dietz decided he wanted to study jazz. He chose UNT because of the College of Music’s prestigious jazz studies program. At UNT, Dietz studies saxophone with associate professor Brad Leali, whom he says is “an honest musician and person.”

“When I first started taking lessons with him, he exposed my weaknesses,” Dietz said. “That was the most helpful thing for me.”

To make it to the final rounds of the Saxophone Idol competition, Dietz sent an initial audition video which secured him a spot as a semifinalist. After another round of judging, three finalists were chosen to perform live at Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago for a panel of five judges, including Keilwerth Saxophone Artists Brad Leali, Mike Smith, and Don Zentz, along with Buffet Crampon USA President and CEO François Kloc and “Downbeat Magazine” Contributing Editor Ed Enright.

Dietz said he was excited when he found out he won the competition and was amazed at the talent and abilities of his competitors.

“It felt really euphoric when I actually won,” he said. “Even though this was a competition, there was a friendly environment. It’s all about the music and the people I competed against had the same sentiment.”

As winner of the 2016 Saxophone Idol contest, Dietz was presented with a Julius Keilwerth MKX Saxophone. Additional prizes included a year supply of D'Addario Reeds and a two-year subscription to “Downbeat magazine,” courtesy of contributing sponsors D'Addario, a manufacturer of musical instruments, and “Downbeat.”

Dietz first heard about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists competition when he was in high school and has entered on and off since then. For winning this year, he will perform at Yamaha’s Music for All Summer Symposium in June and participate in workshops and networking sessions designed to help launch his career.

“If you’re a saxophonist or musician looking to enter these competitions, I’d say go for it,” Dietz said. 

 

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Vocal Performing Ensemble "Roomful of Teeth"

Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth returns to UNT for unique performance

What: Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth will perform a concert at the University of North Texas.

When: 8 p.m. March 9 (Thursday).

Where: Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E, Denton. The event also will be streamed live at https://recording.music.unt.edu/.

Cost: $10 for the public; $8 for UNT faculty, staff and Alumni Association members; free for UNT students. Students can pick up their free ticket at the Murchison Performing Arts Center box office. UNT faculty, staff, alumni and the public, may purchase their tickets at the Murchison Performing Arts Center online.

Parking: Free parking will be available in the lot next to the MPAC, with overflow parking available in lots 4 and 26.

More information: For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music online calendar at http://music.unt.edu/calendar and connect with the College of Music on Facebook at Facebook.com/UNTCollegeofMusic and on Twitter at @UNTCoM.

 

DENTON (UNT), Texas - The Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth is bringing their unique sound back to the University of North Texas. The eight-member ensemble that “mines the expressive potential of the human voice” will perform at 8 p.m. March 9 (Thursday) in the College of Music’s Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E, Denton. The ensemble is returning to perform their final concert as part of their 2016-17 UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts residency.

Roomful of Teeth is known for incorporating indigenous vocal techniques from around the world to create unique harmonies. For this reason, the group often characterizes themselves as a “vocal band.”

The ensemble won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2013 for its debut album, Roomful of Teeth. Member Caroline Shaw won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for her composition, Partita for 8 Voices, that was included on that album. Roomful of Teeth released its second album, Render, in 2015.

One of its members is UNT alumnus Cameron Beauchamp. Thann Scoggin, who earned his bachelor’s in performance in 2004 and master’s degree in library science in 2007, will also perform with the ensemble.

Tickets cost $10 for the public, $8 for UNT faculty, staff and Alumni Association members, and are free for UNT students. Students can pick up their free ticket at the Murchison Performing Arts Center box office. The public can purchase tickets through the MPAC box office at 940-369-7802 or visit the center's website. The event also will be streamed live at UNTMusicLive.com.

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