UNT Jazz Alums Return From Tour of China

Los Angeles, California - July 12th, 2016 - UNT Jazz Studies alumni Dave Richards (M.Mus 2009) and Brett McDonald (B.Mus 2010) returned from China last month from a tour of the musical My Fair Lady.

The tour took McDonald and Richards to seven major cities in China over a period of two months: Shanghai, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu and Beijing.

Richard’s writing and playing can be heard on Lab 2009, Live at Blues Alley, Lab 2008, Lab 2007, Lab 2006 and Lab 2005. A multi-instrumentalist, Richards performed on Trumpet for My Fair Lady, but is heard on lead trombone on Lab 2009.

Also a multi-instrumentalist, McDonald can be heard performing on Alto and Soprano saxophones on Under the Radar by the Two O’Clock Lab Band but played Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Flute on My Fair Lady.

Richards and McDonald have previously toured together on the 2013 international tour of Dreamgirls, which took them across the USA, Canada and 5 weeks in Japan.

In regards to traveling overseas, McDonald says “It is amazing to me how small the musical world really is. I was able to meet English speakers in nearly every city we visited who either played music as well, or could direct us to jam sessions with expats and English speaking Chinese”.

Summer I Latin Jazz Small group Final Performance @ Dan’s Silverleaf

Date: Tuesday, July 5
Location: Dan’s Silverleaf
Address: 103 Industrial St, Denton, TX 76201
Times: 5:00pm- 7:00pm
Door: $3.00

Ed Soph inducted into PAS Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Professor Ed Soph on being inducted into the Percussive Arts Society's Hall of Fame.

Alumni receive award from American Federation of Musicians

Congratulations to alumni Tom "Bones" Malone, Dan Higgins, and Marvin Stamm for receiving lifetime achievement awards at the American Federation of Musicians national meeting in Las Vegas on June 19, 2016.

Thomas Nokes

We mourn the passing of Thomas Nokes, a master's student in trombone performance who played trombone in lab bands in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

His obituary was published in his hometown newspaper in Bangor, Maine on May 20:

DEXTER AND DENTON, TX – Thomas Nokes, 26, died unexpectedly May 15, 2016 in Denton, Texas. He was born on April 30, 1990 in Dover-Foxcroft, and spent his youth in Dexter, where he graduated from Dexter Regional High School as his class’s salutatorian.

Musically talented from a young age (and gifted with perfect pitch), he began studying the trombone at the age of ten. He subsequently completed bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Education at the University of Maine, where he studied the trombone and held leadership roles in the university symphonic band, jazz ensemble and orchestra. In addition to his exemplary musicianship, Thomas was an accomplished student, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda. After completing his undergraduate education, he enrolled in the graduate performance program at the University of North Texas, where he participated in the wind studies and jazz lab band programs, minoring in music theory.

Ed Soph interview

Ed Soph's interview on drummersresource.com was the most downloaded interview of 2015.

The nearly one-hour interview valuable for anyone who is studying music, not only drummers, and not only jazz students. Ed talks about his background, his approach to teaching, how he practices, characteristics of his best students, deep listening, preparing for a career in music, and the UNT program.

Link to interview

Alumni news from Alex Hahn

Alex Hahn, who completed his bachelor's in Jazz Studies at UNT in 2014, recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from USC. In the fall, he will be attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and will be working alongside Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. He won two Downbeat Magazine Student Awards and received First Place in the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Saxophone Competition. He's endorsed by D'Addario Woodwinds and plans to record his next album this summer.

2016 DownBeat Student Music Awards

Congratulations to UNT students, ensembles, and faculty mentors for their recognition in the 2016 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards! Prof. Jennifer Barnes is recognized by DownBeat this year with an Education Achievement Award.


New composition for orchestra by Rich DeRosa

Join the Concert Orchestra and conductor Clay Couturiaux on April 20 at 8:00pm for the highly-anticipated performance of Grammy-nominated faculty member Richard DeRosa’s newly composed work, Suite for an Anniversary.

This composition commemorates the 125th anniversary of the University of North Texas and showcases some of the extraordinary talent within the College of Music in both the classical and jazz programs. The instrumentation includes a full orchestra (mixed with classical and jazz performers), an additional jazz rhythm section, and an improvising saxophonist. Since UNT’s development is firmly rooted in the ‘old’ American West, Richard DeRosa’s composition includes a section with a bold and rugged energy which creates a thrilling, modernized Western Swing style reminiscent of the American frontier. Come be one of the first to hear this exciting new composition performed by the Concert Orchestra combined with UNT jazz musicians.

Full press release

Cost of Admission: $10 Adults; $8 Senior Citizens 55+, Non-UNT Students, Children, UNT Faculty/Staff/Retirees and Groups of 10+; Free to UNT Students (limit 1, UNT Student ID required, must be picked up in person at the MPAC Box Office).

The Airmen of Note perform at UNT on April 21, 2016

The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The U.S. Air Force Band. Through the years, the Airmen of Note has presented its own brand of big band jazz as well as more contemporary forms of jazz to audiences via annual tours across the United States, deployments around the world and local performances throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. About the Airmen of Note

Come to the UNT Union Syndicate on April 21 to see the Airmen of Note (and six UNT alumni who are members of the group) perform for FREE!

Name of Event: The Airmen of Note
Date/time: April 21 at 9:00 pm
Cost of Admission: FREE
Venue Information: UNT Union Syndicate

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