DMA Student Performs at Conference

Tyler Tashdjian, DMA student, and 3-2-1 Winds will perform at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference. Their presentation, American Works for Wind Quintet, includes Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music” and Robert Muczynski’s “Quintet for Winds.” The NACWPI 2021 conference is hosted by Texas Woman's University. Ensemble members include Tracy Collins, flute, Brooke Van Veen, oboe, Tyler Tashdjian, clarinet, Gabby Swackhamer, horn and Joshua Nordland, bassoon.

Alumnus at Santa Fe Opera

David Portillo, (MM ’05) tenor, has created the role of Jonathan Harker in John Corigliano’s Lord of Cries at the Santa Fe Opera. The libretto is by Mark Adamo, conducted by Johannes Debus and directed by James Darrah. Photo: Curtis Brown.

Alumna to Pacific Northwest

Kelsey Nussbaum (Ph.D., Music Education ‘21) has accepted a position as Visiting Lecturer in Music Education at the University of Washington at Seattle.

Saturday Sounds

From 2016. Associate Professor Alan Baylock directs The One O'Clock Lab Band performing Cherokee (1938) by Ray Noble (1903-1978), arr. by Alan Baylock. Howi Dietz, alto saxophone soloist and guest, Sean Jones, trumpet.

Wind Ensemble Named Finalist

The University of North Texas Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Lecturer of Wind Studies, Daniel Cook, has been named finalist of The American Prize: celebrating American excellence in the arts in Wind Ensemble Performance. The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts in the United States. The American Prize is nonprofit, unique in scope and structure and is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles, composers and administrators.

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Alumnus Military Music Instructors

Wesley Wagner (BM ’99) (l) and Branson Garner (MM ’14) are instructors for the U.S. Army School of Music at Joint Base Little Creek in Virginia.

Associate Dean Performs

Associate Dean for Operations and Professor of Violin, Felix Olschofka, was featured as part of Chamber Music on the Mountain on the KUAF 91.3 Public Radio show “Ozark at Large” hosted by Kyle Kellams (2nd from l). He performed in guest artist recitals at the Momentary Museum in Bentonville (AR) and the Mount Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville (AR). He also gave a master class to pre-college violinists during the chamber music festival. Also pictured l-r are Daniel Valesco and Tomoko Kashiwagi.

Alumnus Named International Finalist

Austin Ford (BM ’21) has been named one of six international finalists of the 2021 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild and the Herb Alpert Foundation. This event is one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for jazz trumpeters. He will compete live at the Lamont School of Music in October for the $10,000 first place prize.

Piano Alumnus Competes

Jacob Nydegger (MM ’20, BM ’17) was awarded second prize in the 2021 William Knabe International Piano Competition (Concerto Division). William Knabe Piano Institute. Nydegger earlier this year was awarded 1st Prize in the Senior category of the 2021 Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, and as part of his award will perform in the Elgar Room of the Royal Albert Hall in London during the 21-22 season. He has in the past year also won awards in the Ann and Charles Eisemann International Young Artists Competition and the 2021 Music International Grand Prix Competition.

Saturday Sounds

From 2017. Professor Allen Hightower conducts the UNT A Cappella Choir performing Holy Radiant Light from Slavonic Ecclesiastical Songs, Opus 23 (c.1901) by Alexandre Gretchaninoff (1864-1956).

Student Wins Grand Prize

D.J. Rice (BM ’20 and MM student in jazz composition) is the Grand Prize recipient of the USA Music Composition International Competition by IYMC for his composition, Song for Renel. There were 102 entries from 35 countries. Receiving the grand prize reflects the judges perfect score of 100. DJ, trombone; Will Nathman, saxophone; Henry Dickhoff, piano and John Sturino, Drumset.



Alumna Review

University of North Texas alumna Allison Ponthier’s ‘Hell Is A Crowded Room' reviewed by Ann Powers for National Public Radio.

Composition Faculty Awarded

Professor of Composition, Jon Christopher Nelson, was awarded the International Computer Music Conference 2021 Music Award for his composition, When Left to His Own Devices. The award recognizes the work as the best among the more than 400 global submissions.

Student Choral Conductors Receive TCDA Scholarships

At the Texas Choral Directors Association conference, eight University of North Texas students/alumni were awarded academic scholarships - Kimberley Ahrens, Francis Cathlina (DMA ’21), Skylar DuBose, Hasoo Eun, Jessica Hausmann, Celli RaMatheny, William Swinney and Sheridan White.

Saturday Sounds

From 2018. Professor David Itkin conducts the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra performing Symphony fantastique, Opus 14 (1830) by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869).

Alumna World Premiere in Wichita

Lisa Despain - Composer (BM ’91) one of the winners of the biennial Zepick Modern Opera Competition, along with librettist Rachel J. Peters, premiered their latest collaboration, Staggerwing, at Opera Kansas on July 30 at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Visit Wichita. A female-led world premiere, Staggerwing brings to life the historical and dangerous flight of aviatrixes Louis Thaden and Blanche Noyes as they compete for and win the transcontinental 1936 Bendix Trophy Race.

Faculty Named to Jury Panel

Regents Professor of Piano, Pamela Mia Paul, has been selected for The Cliburn Amateur Competition Jury for 2022. She also served as a member of the screening jury of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Theory Faculty Added to Editorial Board

Diego Cubero, University of North Texas Assistant Professor of Music Theory has been invited to join the editorial board of the journal Music Theory Online.

Student Jazz Bassist Named Semi-finalist

Eric Hitt (MM ’19 and DMA student) was recognized as an international top ten semi-finalist then was awarded honorable mention in the final results of the International Society of Bassists International Double Bass Competition. 

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Viola Student Places Second

 Haojian Wang, DMA student in viola, won second place in the AVS American Viola Society Orchestral Excerpt Competition.

Student Named Third Place

PhD and DMA student Júlia Coelho, soprano, has been named 3rd place in the American Prize competition, university division, opera category. As well, she was named semifinalist in the oratorio and art song category, university division. 

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Faculty in National Commercial

Assistant Professor of Jazz Violin, Scott Tixier, was recently included in recording Academy Award winning Jon Batiste’s composition, NBA Anthem. The New York City recording was included in a National Basketball Association commercial, NBA “That’s Game.” 

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Composition Faculty and Alumni at Conference

Twelve members of the College of Music faculty and alumni represented the University of North Texas at the International Computer Music Conference 2021 being held online from Chile. Faculty include Professor Jon Nelson, Associate Professor Panayiotis Kokoras, Associate Professor Andrew May, Principal Lecturer Elizabeth McNutt and alumni Jason Fick (PhD ’13), Mikel Keuhn (BM), Elainie Lillios (DMA ’00), Bradley Robin (PhD ’16), Seth Shafer (PhD ’17), Zach Thomas (PhD ’19) and Yu-Chung Tseng (MM ’94, DMA ’98) have music being presented at the conference while Jeffrey Morris (DMA ’07)... Read more.

Saturday Sounds

From 2012. Regents Professor of Music, Eugene Corporon, conducts the University of North Texas Wind Symphony performing Ode to the End of the War, Opus 105 (1945) by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) with four pianos and eight harps. 

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Theory Faculty Published

Andrew Chung, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, published an article entitled "Vibration, Difference, and Solidarity in the Anthropocene: Ethical Difficulties of New Materialist Sound Studies and Some Alternatives" in Resonance vol. 2, no. 2. 

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