2013 DMA Derek Chester, assistant professor at Northern Colorado University, has received a NATS internship and will participate in a 10-day forum at University of North Carolina with Julie Simson, Stephen King and others. He was a student of Jennifer Lane.

Kathy Johnson, Director of Bands at Argyle High School - BME and MME from UNT (former student of Mary Karen Clardy),  has been elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association and will be inducted into that prestigious organization on March 4 in San Luis Obispo, California. Her principal sponsor was Dennis Fisher.

Zachary Steele, former member of the One O'Clock Lab Band, has started his work with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors.

Three UNT Jazz Studies alumni are playing in the band for Lazarus, the off-Broadway play based on David Bowie's music. Keyboardist Henry Hey and drummer Brian Delaney earned bachelor's of jazz studies degrees in 1992. Guitarist Chris McQueen (member of Snarky Puppy) completed his bachelor's in jazz studies in 2006. All are mentioned in a New Yorker article.  There will be a cast recording coming out, and it's always possible it might go to Broadway.


Dennis Fisher recently traveled to Havana, Cuba with Col. John Bourgeois, retired commander of the Marine Band, to meet with the Director of the National Institute of Music of Cuba and the Director de la Banda Nacional to explore an invitation for the Symphonic Band to participate in a national Festival there in May 2017. Discussions centered around their invitation to us to travel there for performances and the potential for future collaborations with faculty and students from their conservatory and the College of Music. 

Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden has organized two national panels that will take place in March. On March 4, she will chair a panel entitled "Music, Spectacle, and War from Revolutionary to Interwar France," at the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies in Nashville, Tennessee. On March 31, she will chair a panel entitled "Eighteenth-Century Freemasonry and the Arts" at the annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

57th Grammy nominee in Best Opera Category, Jennifer Lane sang the alto solos in Missa Solemnis with Dallas Choral Festival and members of the Dallas Symphony under the direction of Greg Hobbs in January. Scott Campbell, writing for Dallas Morning Sun, commended her "blazing mezzo" and praised the solo quartet for its "Wagnerian heft." The professional chorus included several current and former students of Prof. Lane's.

Darren McHenry was invited to play in the 25th season of the Arizona Musicfest in Phoenix.  It is a full orchestra festival with four concerts, Feb. 22-28.

James Scott has been designated an Honorary Member of the National Association of Schools of Music.  This honor is in recognition of his many years of dedicated and distinguished service to NASM.  He has been a member since 1983 and represented four different institutions (Rutgers University, Indiana University, University of Illinois, UNT).  The announcement will be made during the 2016 Annual Meeting at the Omni Hotel in Dallas in November 2016.


The UNT Jazz Singers, directed by Jennifer Barnes, performed in Kansas and Missouri from February 19-21. On February 19, the group performed a headline concert at the Friends University Jazz Festival in Wichita. Saturday featured the group in performance at the famed Blue Room jazz club in Kansas City. To round out the short tour, the group performed several selections as part of the Sunday morning service at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Community Christian Church in Kansas City before stopping at Ottawa University for an exchange concert and clinic with OU's vocal jazz group.

The U-Tubes, our jazz trombone ensemble, has won the American Trombone Workshop jazz ensemble competition. Master's student Jake Macary is the director, mentored by Prof. Tony Baker. The group will open for the U.S. Army Blues on March 10, 2016 at Fort Myer, VA.

Grammy Wins

Alumni in Snarky Puppy received their second win, and alumnus Dave Pietro played on Maria Schneider Orchestra's Grammy-winning CD The Thompson Fields. Dave also played on the nominated CD Lines of Color by the Gil Evans Project.  Snarky Puppy is profiled in an article by Nate Chinen in the Feb. 7, 2016 New York Times, one of the most important newspapers in the United States.

Snarky Puppy is taking home their second Grammy Award, this year in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category for their work with Metropole Orkest. UNT College of Music alumnus Michael League is the bassist, composer and founder of the band Snarky Puppy. Among the other alumni who make up the band that has roughly two dozen rotating members are Nate Werth, percussion; Justin Stanton, trumpet and keyboards; Bob Lanzetti, guitar; Mike Maher, trumpet; Chris Bullock, tenor saxophone; Chris McQueen, electric guitar; and Jay Jennings, trumpet.

Dave Pietro plays saxophone for the Maria Schneider Orchestra that won the Grammy Award in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Pietro, who received his degree in music education from UNT, has been on the New York music scene since 1987. His talents as a gifted saxophonist, composer and educator have made him an in-demand musician who has performed in more than 30 countries throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. He also has performed with such well known musicians as David Bowie, Ray Charles and Harry Connick Jr.