Jennifer Betzer (DMA harp student) just received a full-time harp teaching position at Frisco ISD, Reedy High School!

Thomas Burlin completed his Ph.D. dissertation defense entitled “High School Contemporary A Cappella:  A Descriptive Phenomenology” on Oct. 5.  Burlin is a music educator teaching choir and general music in Crowley ISD.  Adherent to the disciplines of sociology and phenomenology, Mr. Burlin researches alternative ensembles, popular music pedagogy and musicianship, democratic education, and informal learning.  In his dissertation, Mr. Burlin interviewed members of high school contemporary a cappella groups from different regions of the United States and applied descriptive phenomenology to discover invariant meanings attributed to this growing phenomenon.  His dissertation is the first research to investigate the phenomenon of high school contemporary a cappella and the first application of descriptive phenomenology in music education.  Mr. Burlin writes for The Contemporary A Cappella Society, judges contemporary a cappella competitions for varsity Vocals, and works with high school, collegiate, and professional a cappella groups around the country.  Mr. Burlin has worked with and performed research with musicians and producers from NBC’s “The Sing-Off”, “Glee,” Pitch Perfect 1 and Pitch Perfect 2.

Kimary Fick (recent PhD in Music History and mentee of Hendrik Schulze) has presented a paper entitled “‘...They Decorate their Heads with Many Beautiful Things’: Herzogin Anna Amalia’s Aesthetics and the Ideal Musical Kennerin” at the recent Southwest Chapter Meeting of the American Musicological Society, held at Texas State University at San Marcos. At the same meeting, J. Cole Ritchie (recent PhD in Music History and Mentee of Margaret Notley) has presented on “Recent Jazz Arrangements of Western Art Music as Foreignized Translations”.

Brent McCollough, jazz studies master's student in piano recently released hisdebut album Mystery on iTunes and Spotify, so I figured I'd let you know.

Alan Olmos, saxophone student of Eric Nestler, has received the Bill Gates Scholarship,  a minority scholarship he received upon graduating from high school in 2015. It funds all of the financial need that is not covered by the estimated family contribution. It covers 5 years of undergraduate study as well as any semester-long study abroad program. He also can apply to be funded for graduate studies, but only under specific major programs. He will be attending a leadership conference in Santa Clara, CA. The conference will orient students to the program, introduce strategies to increase academic performance, help them in undergraduate and graduate planning, and develop leadership abilities to assume important roles in their communities. The application process was extensive. It called for a complete list of extracurricular activities and achievements, two recommendations, eight essays describing various aspects of their lives, and an established financial need. Out of 50,000 applicants in the United States, Alan is one of a thousand scholars for the 2015 academic school year.

In the recent United States Army Band audition October 1, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia we had 12 current and former UNT students participate:  Alison Miserendino (MM), Chris McGinty (DMA), Erik Lundquist (MM), Daniel Chapa (DMA) - semi-finalist-Finalist, Donald Bruce (DMA), Nate Plapinger (Senior) – semi-finalist, Ray Henricksen (MM), Vincent Kenney (DMA) - semi-finalist, Richard Demy (DMA), Chris Troiano (BM), Patrick Nyren (DMA) - semifinalist-finalist-runner-up (declared qualified for the job), Irving Ray (DMA) – semi-finalist, finalist, Winner!  UNT had slightly less than 25% of the 49 auditionees.  UNT had 50% of the 10 semifinalists.  UNT had 75% of the 4 finalists.  UNT had 100% of the 2 “final” finalists.  UNT had the winner and runner-up.  Congratulations to all, especially Irving Ray!

DMA flutist Rachel Woolf is currently on tour with The Polyphonic Spree on their USA and Canada tour for 5 weeks! Oct 17-nov 21!


Clint Foreman (BM student of Mary Karen Clardy) is Acting Associate Principal Flute, Boston Symphony Orchestra, for the 2015-2016 season.

Bryan Gozdowski, MM in Tuba Performance 2014, was appointed principal tuba with the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving.

The Zorá String Quartet won Grand Prize and Gold Medal in the Senior String Division of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.  Second from left is violinist Seula Lee, who earned a BM at UNT and is now pursuing a MM at Indiana.  Other members are Dechopol Kowintaweewat (violin), Pablo Muñoz Salido (viola) and Zizai Ning (cello).

Local avant-pop ensemble Pansy Moon has recently learned that its debut album Night on Elba has been listed on the “Best Alternative Album” ballot for the 58th Annual Grammy awards. While this is only the initial ballot for the eventual Grammy nominations, the band is incredibly thrilled to learn its product is being considered alongside roughly 100 other albums.

Pansy Moon’s current lineup is recent alumni of the UNT College of Music's Division of Composition Studies including Dub Lemons, Will King, Jordan Kusel, and Christopher Walker, along with current student Richard CarrascoNight on Elba is a 15-track concept album, written and arranged by Lemons, who describes it as “a journey through the wandering mind of a moody exile: self-righteous pouts, flights of fancy, and mind-numbing doldrums broken through by odd moments of clarity and self-reflection.” The artwork for the album is by former Pansy Moon guitarist and visual artist Max Morris, with design work by Whitney Smith.  Founded in 2012, Pansy Moon is the electronic avant-pop brainchild of composer Dub Lemons, brought to tetra-chromatic fruition through his partnership with producer/composer/sound-designer Jordan Kusel. A dense hybrid of acoustic fingerstyle and lead work (Lemons), sampled percussion and saxophones (Kusel), raucous violin (Will King), melodic bass counterpoint and multi-instrumental tendencies (Christopher Walker), extended bassoon work (Richard Carrasco), and lush vocal harmonies; post-tonal orchestration and modern beat craft spin off-balance ballads into vaudeville spectacle.  Night on Elba is available at all fine local music retailers as well as online outlets


Rich DeRosa will conduct the WDR Big Band on November 19th. The concert, to be performed in Wipperfurth, Germany, features vibraphonist Stefon Harris and DeRosa's orchestrations of Harris's suite, Portraits of the Promised.

Benjamin Dobbs (Visiting Lecturer in Music Theory) presented a paper, entitled "Triadic Counterpoint or Contrapuntal Triads: Compositional Pedagogy in Early Seventeenth-Century Germany," at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in St. Louis last month.

Jazz Studies Senior Lecturer Rosana Eckert and Doctoral Teaching Fellow Justin Binek are two of the seven featured in-app collections on Michele Weir's new ScatAbility app for iOS.  Available at the App Store, ScatAbility is the first scat singing practice app for iPhone.  More information and audio samples are available at

Frank Heidlberger, Professor of Music Theory, presented a paper on "Carl Dahlhaus on the History of Music Theory - New Perspectives ," October 3, at the annual meeting of the German Society of Music Theory in Berlin (Germany), as part of a panel discussion, with Professors Thomas Christensen, Nathan Martin, and Jan-Philipp Sprick.  On October 29 he  presented a paper called "De rebus prius factis – Ernst Krenek’s Theoretical and Practical Approach to Electronic Music in the Context of Post-World-War II Serialism" at the annual meeting of the Society of Music Theory in St. Louis.

Hendrik Schulze is happy to report the publication of a volume he edited entitled Musical Text as Ritual Object (Turnhout: Brepols, 2016).  The publication contains 16 individual contributions by authors form various fields in the humanities, discussing such diverse issues as Roman cantata manuscripts, Alevite rituals, Medieval Jewish sources, and ancient Egyptian inscriptions. The idea for the volume, and most of its contributions, come from a conference on the topic held in Heidelberg in 2009, and organized by Hendrik Schulze.


Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival on Oct. 24 made the Dallas Observer!  Brazilian Ensemble (slide 18) and Mariachi Quetzal (slide 16) made the Dallas Observer!

First Round Grammy Nominations (voting by NARAS members before Nov. 14)

Directed by Jay Saunders, the One O’Clock Lab Band’s Lab 2015 has been submitted for GRAMMY recognition for: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition – "Neil" (Rich DeRosa), Best Instrumental Arrangement – "All the Things You Are" (Drew Zaremba, arr.), Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Sergio Pamies on "Neil") and Best Engineered Album (Phil Bulla).  First round voting by Academy members starts on or about October 1. Second round voting by review committees of voting members starts on or about December 1. Final voting by Academy voting members begins on or around February 7.

Category 77 – Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
                Lindsay Kesselman; Midori Koga; Kimberly Cole Luevano

Category 72 – Best Engineered Album, Classical
                Bruce John Leek, engineer; Bruce John Leek, mastering engineer
                A few notes between friends – the Music of Julie Giroux
                Dennis W. Fisher and the University of North Texas Symphonic Band

Category 74 – Best Orchestral Performance, Classical
            Conti: The Right Stuff, end credits
            From the album, A few notes between friends – the Music of Julie Giroux
            Bill Conti conducting the University of North Texas Symphonic Band

            A few notes between friends – the Music of Julie Giroux
            University of North Texas Symphonic Band, Dennis W. Fisher, conductor

            Riften Wed
            From the album, A few notes between friends – the Music of Julie Giroux
            University of North Texas Symphonic Band, Dennis W. Fisher, conductor

            Symphony No. 4 – Bookmarks from Japan
            From the album, A few notes between friends – the Music of Julie Giroux
            University of North Texas Symphonic Band, Dennis W. Fisher, conductor

Category 73 – Producer
            Distant Celebrations
            Dennis W. Fisher, recording producer

            Homage to the Dream – the Music of Mark Camphouse
            Dennis W. Fisher, recording producer