Now entering his sixth season as Fort Worth Opera’s principal pianist and vocal coach, for eleven seasons, Stephen Carey was the assistant artistic director, director of the artist-in-residence program, chorus master, and principal pianist/vocal coach for Opera Memphis. During his tenure with Fort Worth Opera, Mr.
Conducting and Ensembles
Allen Hightower is the Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Texas. At UNT, Allen serves as conductor of the A Cappella Choir and the Grand Chorus, and oversees a comprehensive choral program that includes six choirs and a collegium musicum. Dr. Hightower leads the master’s and doctoral programs in choral conducting.
Richard Sparks, Chair of Conducting & Ensembles, joined the faculty at UNT in 2009 with both a distinguished academic and professional career.
Diana Cooley provides administrative support for three Divisions within the College of Music: Keyboard Studies, Vocal Studies and Conducting & Ensembles. She joined the UNT staff in 2015 and was nominated for the Rising Star Award in 2017.
Diana has been both a Children’s Choir director and Adult Handbell Choir Director, with memberships in Chorister’s Guild and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. She performed with the professional Dallas Handbell Ensemble led by David R. Davidson, and was President of the Greater Dallas Handbell Association.
Dr. Nicholas Enrico Williams is the assistant director of wind studies, conductor of the Wind Ensemble, Brass Band, and the director of athletic bands, including the North Texas Green Brigade Marching Band and the Basketball Pep Band at the University of North Texas. He is also the conductor for the GDYO Wind Symphony in Dallas, Texas. In addition, he is a frequent guest conductor for the Dallas Winds (formerly Dallas Wind Symphony) and the Dallas Winds Brass Choir.
2011 marked Joshua Habermann’s first year was as Chorus Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Habermann is also Music Director of The Desert Chorale, a professional chamber choir based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Paul Leenhouts, recorder, director of early music studies and the Baroque Orchestra, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he was on the faculty as professor of recorder and historical development since 1993. He is a founding member of the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet since 1978. In 2002 he became director of the contemporary music collective Blue Iguana. He is also a composer, arranger and editor of numerous works for chamber music ensembles. Mr.
The 2015-2016 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 8th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, his 11th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his and his 2nd season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho. Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010, and he served as Music Director and Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmon
Dennis Fisher is the Conductor of the Symphonic Band, Associate Director of Wind Studies at the University of North Texas, and Professor of Music in Conducting and Ensembles. A Kansas native, he has been a member of the faculty since 1982.
Clay Couturiaux is the Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas where he currently teaches orchestral conducting and is conductor of the UNT Concert Orchestra. The 2015–16 season marks Couturiaux’s fourth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and his twelfth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Monroe Symphony Orchestra in Louisiana.