Here at the University of North Texas, we’re very serious about helping you be the very best jazz musician you can possibly be.
For those of you who are interested in lead trumpet playing, we’ll help you mature so that you can not only physically play the parts, but can do so as consistently as possible. That being said, being physically able to perform lead trumpet parts is only 50% of the job. To understand the versatility, different time feels and styles you’ll need, we’ll analyze the great lead players of the past and study the successful lead players of the present. All of these aspects will help you find your own style in a mature musical environment with some of the most talented students in the world.
Most of our “lead” graduates go to their own chosen corner of the world to live their lives in performance and/or education. Many of the exes end up in the large musical centers of performance. In the past few years, Scott Englebright, Adolfo Acosta, Pete De Siena and Jamie Hovorka have had wonderful success getting their careers started in the national arena. Scott Englebright was not only featured w/Maynard – he has also split lead on many CD’s, including Carl Saunders’ band and was featured recreating Maynard’s solos on a BBC recording. Another ex-Maynard lead player, Adolfo Acosta is with Tower of Power and is split lead on many of Chris Walden’s CD’s. Pete De Siena is split lead on Bill Holman’s band, Gordon Goodwin’s band, Bob Florence’s band, Carl Saunders' band, Mike Barone’s band and has played on many national TV shows in Los Angeles. Jamie Hovorka was featured w/Maynard’s band, split lead on Bobby Darin's tours and plays in Kim Richmond’s Concert Jazz Band.
If we go back a little farther into North Texas’ past, we find:
Gary Grant (lead Woody Herman; lead trumpet on a host of important jazz and pop CD’s, TV shows and movies – one of the most important lead players in Los Angeles
Craig Johnson (lead w/Maynard, split lead – John Fedchock’s New York Big Band, Gotham Jazz Orch, Bill Mobley’s Jazz Orch., many jazz CD’s, lead on Broadway shows – New York
Frank Greene (lead w/Maynard, Lead Dizzy Gillespie’s All-Star Alumni Big Band, lead Bob Mintzer, split lead Gerald Wilson’s NY Big Band, many jazz CD’s, movies and lead on Broadway shows - New York
Dan Fornero (split lead on Gordon Godwins’ Big Phat Band – many TV and movie credits)-L.A.
Marvin Stamm (Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Thad and Mel, lead Bob Mintzer)
Mike Williams (lead Count Basie band – last 18 years)
Jay Sollenberger (Chase, lead Maynard Ferguson, lead Stan Kenton) in Kansas City
Joe Rodriquez (lead Woody Herman and Buddy Rich) in San Francisco
Tom Delibro (lead Doc Severinson’s big band) 1st call Las Vegas lead player
Dean Pratt (lead, Buddy Rich, many New York bands) in New York
John Thomas (split lead, Woody Herman, lead Count Basie) in Los Angeles
Chuck Schmidt (Stan Kenton, lead Buddy Rich) retired
Larry Ford (Woody Herman, lead Stan Kenton, Bob Florence) deceased
Bill Stapleton (Woody Herman, Tom Jones) deceased
Carey Deadman- in Chicago
Jay Saunders (lead, Stan Kenton) in Dallas
Keith Jourdan (lead, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck) in Dallas
Dave Zeagler (Kenton) in Houston
Steve Rentschler in Europe
Brad Allison in Seattle
Marc Breithaupt (Duck Soup) in Austin
Bill Collins and Eric Guerrero in Dallas
Jack Wengrowski (lead, US Army Studio Band) – in Washington D.C.
Ric Steffen – in Nashville
Jack Evans (lead, Ray Charles) in Dallas