News

Black Lives Matter

The faculty and staff of the Division of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas stands in solidarity with the Black community during what has been an extremely sad and eye-opening past two weeks. We are indebted to the musical legacy of Black American culture that has provided much of the foundation of our livelihoods, studies, and passions. All of us have studied the improvisational and compositional creativity of Black jazz artists and their extended musical communities throughout our careers. We view ourselves as grateful participants in the tradition they established.

The history of our art form in jazz is intricately interwoven with social protest and that aspect does not change now. We are appalled and saddened by George Floyd’s death as we are with each needless loss before and since brought on by the institutional violence, inequitable policies, and police brutality exhibited towards Black Americans. We are musicians, but we are human beings first and recognize that no person should be treated the way George Floyd was, among countless others. This is another instance in a series of blatant wake up calls to ALL Americans that we need to do everything we can to prevent this from happening again. Though the scale of needed societal change is grand, adjusting our individual and institutional actions can have a lasting impact on these issues in our surrounding community. 

We recognize that the Division’s history has not always adequately reflected the values of diversity and inclusion.  The program was founded in the academic year of 1946-47 on a still-segregated campus. It would be many years before full integration took place both within the university and in our program. Despite our best efforts, echoes and residual effects of this founding context still occur.

To overcome our shortcomings, we must listen: to our students, to our community, and each other.  As musicians and as people, we listen in order to understand where our musical partner is rooted and respond to them in kind. As we improvise, we must respect and include all voices, taking explicit care to elevate the marginalized. We recognize and celebrate our students, faculty, staff, and broader community members for who they are – their whole person.

The mission of the UNT College of Music is “to serve our diverse musical culture with excellence, integrity, and imagination.” Reaffirming that Black Lives Matter supports all three aspects of this mission, as we affirm the value of diversity, strive to meet the highest standard of integrity, and imagine a better future. We are resolute in our commitment to this mission and look forward to working more purposefully towards a more diverse and inclusive culture in the Division of Jazz Studies at UNT.
 

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Down the corridor of years
We'll forget the joys and tears,
But North Texas – North Texas! – we love.

A heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2020. We are immensely proud of your grit, artistry, and resilience through a trying academic year. Enjoy this video message from Jazz Studies faculty as organized by Prof. Quincy Davis. Welcome to our proud alumni family!

#GoMeanGreen!

One O'Clock Lab Band takes finals at inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championships

The One O'Clock Lab Band, under the direction of Alan Baylock, made the finals round of competition at the inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championships organized by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center. The band took fourth place overall amongst a prestigious lineup of university jazz programs from across the country on Sunday, January 19, 2020. 

Additionally, UNT Jazz Studies students took home a number of individual and section honors including:

  • Outstanding Saxophone Section
  • Outstanding Trombone Section
  • Outstanding Trumpet Section
  • Outstanding Alto Saxophone, Will Nathman
  • Outstanding Trumpet, Austin Ford
  • Outstanding Trumpet, Chris Van Leeuwen

Congratulations to all of our students and colleague institutions for an amazing weekend in New York City!

One O'Clock Lab Band in Lobby

One O'Clock in Rose Theater

 

New CD with lots of UNT Jazz Studies alumni participation

The Commission Project, the new CD by the JazzMN Orchestra, involves two generations of UNT alumni as players and composers. Seven of the ten titles are newly-commissioned works. The well-produced CD, released by Momentous Records, includes contact information for the composers of all 10 titles for those who want to purchase the charts.

The alumni composers Gerald Stockton and John Wasson. The alumni players are Rich MacDonald, drums and producer; Brad Dutz, percussion; Pete Whitman, tenor saxophone; Doug Snapp (conductor, artistic director, and founder of JazzMN); Brian Handeland, baritone saxophone; Aaron Hedenstrom, alto saxophone; and Brad Shermock, lead trumpet.

The orchestra's site is: http://jazzmn.org/

CD information is here: http://momentousrecords.com/jazzmn.shtml

Welcome New Trumpet Faculty

We are pleased to welcome two new members of our faculty, who will begin in Fall 2019.

Philip Dizack has been appointed Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet, Improvisation Emphasis.

Rob Parton has been appointed Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet, Lead Trumpet Emphasis.

Jazz Studies faculty receive DJAM Jazz Legend Awards

Each year since 2013, the organizers of Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month, who represent organizations and institutions that support and present jazz year-round in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, recognize important figures in the jazz community with the Jazz Legend Awards.
Among this years winners are UNT Jazz Studies Faculty members Jennifer Barnes (Jazz Educator) and Rodney Booth (Jazz Artist), and Instrumental Studies adjunct instructor and Jazz Studies alumnus Stockton Helbing (Jazz Innovator). They were recognized on April 13, 2019 at the DJAM Open House at the Moody Performance Hall in Dallas. Jennifer Barnes was on tour with the Jazz Singers that day. Photos by Bart Marantz.


Arlington Jones, Rodney Booth, Joanna St. Angelo


Arlington Jones, Stockton Helbing, Joanna St. Angelo

DownBeat Student Music Award Recipients for 2019

Congratulations to this year's DownBeat Student Music Award recipients from the Division of Jazz Studies:

Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance

Avenue C - Marion Powers, director

Faculty mentor: Rosana Eckert

Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Graduate College Winner

UNT Jazz Singers

Faculty mentor: Jennifer Barnes

*Outstanding Soloist: Stephanie Hanson on “Spring Is Here”

*Outstanding Scat Soloist Kara Walton on “Spring Is Here”

Original Composition – Large Ensemble

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance

Kyle Myers, “Red Herring”

Faculty mentor: Richard DeRosa

U-Tubes at American Trombone Workshop

Last weekend the U-Tubes, our jazz trombone ensemble, made a successful tour to Washington, D.C. to represent our program at the American Trombone Workshop. The group is directed by graduate student Nathan Davis and mentored by Prof. Nick Finzer. "The students represented UNT on a very high level," said Prof. Finzer. "They had the opportunity to network with many musicians from the military bands there and at our gig Sunday. In addition, the students at the schools we visited were very receptive and open to the ideas our students had to share. The camaraderie and momentum this trip has built for our studio is extremely exciting!" Elvis Moreno is the trombonist in the photo.

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