New York, NY (May 5, 2012) - University of North Texas Alumni Brett McDonald (B.Mus 2010) and Dave Richards (M.Mus 2009), currently finishing the North American leg of the National Tour of Dreamgirls, prepare to travel to Japan for five weeks with the Tony and Grammy award winning Broadway production.
The pair have performed in over 130 shows since the tour began in December of 2012 in Yakima, WA.
The multi-talented Dave Richards, performs on trumpet and flugelhorn in the production, but was heard on trombone the Grammy nominated Lab 2009, where two of his compositions were also recorded by the One O'Clock Lab Band.
"I am very fortunate to have a job that takes me around the country" says Richards. "From Alaska to Canada, all the way down to Florida and five weeks in Japan - I wouldn't trade the experience for anything."
The critically acclaimed production spends four weeks at the recently constructed Tokyu Theatre in Tokyo, as well as one week in Osaka at the Shiki Theatre.
Saxophonist and flutist Brett McDonald commented, "The experiences and training I had at UNT have proved themselves indispensable in the post-graduation world of the music business. My teachers explained to me what was valued by contractors in the business, and prepared me for my time in New York City - ultimately leading to my role on this tour as well as Dave's."
McDonald was recognized several times for his compositions and saxophone playing while at UNT, by Downbeat Magazine and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Dreamgirls is still touring the United States, finishing June 9th in Dayton, OH. The remaining tour dates can be found at http://www.dreamgirlsontheroad.com/ and the production opens in Tokyo on July 29th.
- Currently based in NYC
- A member of the 2011 Downbeat award winning award Two O'clock Lab Band
- Won a 2011 Downbeat Outstanding Performance for Jazz Soloist
- Won best Blues/Pop/Rock group in the 2011 Downbeat awards as a member of the Sweatervescence
- Two Compositions featured on the Two O'Clock Lab Band Album "Under The Radar"
- The Beat In Progress has won two major awards - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ0Q_LpKdAE
- 2011 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Awards
- 2012 Jazz Education Network Jazz Composition Prize
- A semifinalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Saxophone Competition
- Other UNT saxophonists competed - Aaron Hendenstrom was another semifinalist and Adam Hutcheson was a finalist, with Brian Clancy winning the competition.