Ryan Brewer (BM, trumpet) recently won a position with the US Army Field Band in Washington, D.C.. He is currently pursuing his MM in trumpet performance at Stephen F. Austin University and did his undergraduate degree at UNT.

Leslie Daniel Newman, MM flute performance, won the Shreveport Symphony's recent audition for 2nd Flute and Piccolo.

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra just established a $1.1 million endowment in the name of Fouad Fakhouri, a 2006 music graduate with a DMA in composition.  Fouad is leaving Fayetteville after conducting the symphony for 11 years.  The orchestra surprised him with the announcement of the $1.1M Fouad K. Fakhouri Endowment for Artistic Excellence.

Gregory Jones (M.M.Ed. 1986) retired after 28 years teaching trumpet at Truman State University to become the chair of the Music Department at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.  Dr. Jones’ book Developing Expression in Brass Performance and Teaching has just been published by Routledge/Taylor Francis Group and he also completed his sixth recital/masterclass tour of China in March and April of 2016.

Tom "Bones" Malone received the Mississippi Arts Commission Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement on February 11 in Jackson, MS.

Anastasia Markina performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy in C minor to a sold-out audience with the Plano Symphony Orchestra (Hector Guzman, music director), Plano Civic Chorus (Ralph Stannard, director) and soloists.  She received her bachelor’s, master’s and artist certificate degrees in piano performance as a student of Vladimir Viardo.

Allen “Gordon” Roe (MME ’74) has continued to perform with many local performing arts organizations throughout the DFW Metroplex. April 30 – May 2, 2016, Gordon performed with the Plano Civic Chorus, presenting the a cappella masterpiece, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers.


Amanda Bateman (MM) has won a position in the touring production of Blast! for 10 weeks in Japan beginning in June 2016. She is a student of Jason Bergman.

Kyle Collins (GAC student in harpsichord) was one of twelve harpsichordists selected to participate in the 8th Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, taking place at the annual conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America. Kyle was awarded the Jurow Prize for a Promising Semi-Finalist. 

DMA flutist Martin Godoy from the studio of Terri Sundberg was runner-up for a flute position with the Washington D.C. Army Field Band.  He was one of 10 flutists flown in for the audition, and one of two finalists.  Martin is a first generation college student and competed against students from USC, Boston, Rice, Eastman, Peabody, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and San Diego. 

Szu-Ying Huang (DMA student of Gustavo Romero and Elvia Puccinelli), has been named a Collaborative Piano Fellow at Bard Conservatory of Music in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship is a two-year, full-tuition program with a generous stipend for living expenses. The fellowship was designed to give professional experience to collaborative artists, with the ultimate aim of easing the transition between school and the working world of a collaborative pianist. She will work closely with pianist Frank Corliss, and the duty includes playing for undergraduate instrumental students of The Bard College Conservatory of Music and the graduate vocal students of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program (Dawn Upshaw, Artistic Director).

John Irving has accepted the position of Director of Choral Activities at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. John was a DMA student of Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks.

Vivian Lee received a full tuition scholarship to Rocky Ridge Music Festival.  Vivian is from the studio of Terri Sundberg, and also studies with James Scott and Elizabeth McNutt.

In April 2016, Global Music Awards awarded Hando Nahkur's new CD Waltzing Mephisto by the Danube with the Silver Medal in both Instrumentalist and Classical Music categories.  He studies piano with Pamela Mia Paul.

Daniel Pardo won the Sherman-Barsanti Inspiration Award on April 7.  This is a university-wide competition designed to help students from any discipline pursue their creative, intellectual, and professional goals.  Daniel received a $10,000 prize for his project, From a Land Far Away, which brings musicians together from around the world to perform music and promote cultural understanding.  Daniel is a DMA flute performance student of Mary Karen Clardy.

Marcin Parys, DMA student of Adam Wodnicki, was named Outstanding Graduate Student in Piano.

Malcolm Payne Jr., flute and vocal performance major with Professors Mary Karen Clardy and Molly Fillmore, was a member of the current Dallas Opera's production of Show Boat.  Simulcast at the AT&T Stadium from a Winspear Opera Hall performance, the production was viewed by a sold-out stadium of opera fans and has enjoyed critical success throughout the run.

Jayson “Jay” Smith, PhD student in music theory, was selected to present his paper, “The Metric Battle in Holst’s Mars, the Bringer of War” at the Music Theory Forum at Florida State University (Tallahassee, January 2016), the Graduate Theory Association’s Annual Symposium of Research in Music Theory at Indiana University (Bloomington, February 2016), the Texas Society for Music Theory Conference (Belton, TX, February 2016), and the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory Conference (Albuquerque, NM, April 2016).  He also has been selected to present at the Canadian University Music Society Annual Conference (Calgary, June 2016).  Jay’s research was recognized with the Herbert Colvin Award for Best Student Paper at the Texas Society for Music Theory Conference.  Additionally, Jay is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Outstanding Teaching Fellow in Music Theory Award for the University of North Texas College of Music.

Natnaree (Belle) Suwanpotipra, undergraduate student of Gustavo Romero, has been invited to perform with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra in their 12th season concert series, in the summer of 2017.  She will begin a master’s degree at USC in Fall 2016.

DMA first year classical guitar student Hector Alfonso Torres was awarded first prize in the 2nd annual Mountain View Guitar Festival Competition.

Ieng Wai (Wesley) Wong has been given a position in the orchestra for the Pierre Monteux Conducting School for the summer; Eric Leise has been accepted at the Eastern Music Festival; and Haiyang Wang has been accepted at the Aria Festival.  Brittney Balkcom has advanced to the quartet-final round of the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition.  Final rounds will be held in August in San Diego. Brittney was also recently named runner-up in the 2016 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by The US Army Band "Pershing's Own." 

All are students of Terri Sundberg and James Scott.  Brittney also studies with Elizabeth McNutt.

Sunny Heesun Yun and InSeub Joeng, DMA students of Adam Wodnicki, released a CD entitled Together with music by Manuel Ponce, Nikolai Kapustin as well as various hymns arranged for piano solo and duo piano.

The Dallas Opera has announced casting for its Education program next year. The following UNT singers have been offered roles in either Bastien und Bastienne or Three Little Pigs

Martin Clark, Jr. (tenor, GAPC student of Stephen Austin); Brandi Estwick (mezzo-soprano, DMA student of Carol Wilson); Gabrielle Gilliam (soprano, MM student of Carol Wilson);

Madelaine Martinez (mezzo-soprano, MM student of Carol Wilson); Agostina Migoni (soprano, recent MM graduate, student of Stephen Morscheck); Christopher Oglesby (tenor, MM student of Stephen Austin); Malcolm Payne, Jr. (baritone, undergraduate student of Molly Fillmore); T. Hastings Reeves (bass-baritone, MM student of Stephen Morscheck).

Composition items: 

  • Works by graduate composers Bihe Wen and Michael Smith, as well as alumnus Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009), are among 24 works selected from 289 submissions from around the world for the ARS ELECTRONICA FORUM WALLIS 2016,  to be held in Switzerland this May.
  • Stephen Lucas has had an unprecedented streak of album releases over the last several months, resulting in over 20 solo albums under the moniker "Stephen Lucas Live at Brussels." His most successful publication received a positive review from the American rock band Stone Temple Pilots (STP) in major social media outlets. His long-time/distance collaborator/engineer Dairy Tade was recently nominated by the Panini Quartet to be the most successful dairy farmer/engineer in Northwest England.
  • Undergraduate composer Ryan Ayres received Second Prize in the Voices of Change Young Composers Competition for his work twitch; composition alumnus Blake Turner (BM 2014) received an Honorable Mention for his work Elusive Trails.
  • Doctoral composer Ermir Bejo received a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his work Opus 4 for solo piano. Ermir was one of 15 recipients from a pool of over 700 submissions for this prestigious award. Composition alumnus Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was also named among the finalists.


Jennifer Barnes is recognized by DownBeat this year with a Jazz Education Achievement Award.

Welcome to Harp Column podcasts, where we go behind the stories in Harp Column with your host Kristina Finch. In Harp Column Podcast Episode 9 Kristina talks with Jaymee Haefner, author of our new regular column Harmonic Curve where we look at the fundamentals of playing the harp and provide strategies and tools to improve your playing. For more practical harp news and information visit, and tune in for more podcasts taking you behind the stories in Harp Column.

Joseph Klein has been named as one of two 2016-2017 Faculty Fellows from the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Klein will use his fellowship in the spring of 2017 to complete his large-scale modular chamber work, An Unaware Cosmos, to be premiered at UNT in January 2018.

Don Little with the tuba and euphonium ladies.  Tuba:  Tami Seigler, Elizabeth Speltz, Casey Flancbaum, Dr. Deanna Swoboda.  Euphonium:  Ada Brooks, Rebecca Boyle, Ana Castellani, Diana Deming, Lacy Smith, Weichien (Sunny) Chou.  Little with his tuba studio.

Faculty members Elizabeth McNutt, Christopher Deane, and Andrew May will perform on the next Sounds Modern concert, May 21, 2 pm, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The concert celebrates the artist Frank Stella. Stella took great inspiration in the life and work of Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Sounds Modern takes its inspiration from modern composers inspired by Scarlatti (and/or Stella). This program includes works by Franco Donatoni, Salvatore Sciarrino, Aldo Clementi, and Javier Jacinto, among others. Student saxophone quartet Melånge also will perform.

Adam Wodnicki performed Grieg’s Concerto with the Valley Symphony Orchestra in Edinburg, Texas, on April 7.  Also Eufonium Publishing of Gdynia, Poland, published his edition of Edward Wolff's  "L'Art de L'expression. 24 Etudes Faciles et Progressives, op. 90".


Megan Heber was one of 30 in the nation selected to participate in the Essentials of Orchestra Management seminar hosted by the League of American Orchestras. This is an immersive ten-day seminar at USC in July that prepares emerging arts leaders to lead successfully in the 21st century.

Brass and woodwind technician Ann MacMillan got a buzz from none other than “Blue” Lou Marini. The sax man’s soprano squawker took a tumble, and he wondered if MacMillan could meet him at WinStar World Casino to fix it. Marini was playing the Global Events Center with James Taylor, and it was code blue. The saxophone got the needed TLC, and MacMillan got to meet Taylor, who was “amazing, and so nice.” Guess MacMillan can call James Taylor a friend ...

2016 DownBeat Magazine Student/Ensemble Music Awards.

Jazz Soloist
Graduate College Outstanding Performances
Daniel Matthews, Trumpet
Faculty mentor: Jay Saunders

Jazz Soloist
Graduate College Outstanding Performances
Jake Macary, Trombone
Faculty mentor: Tony Baker

Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Graduate College Winner
UNT Jazz Singers
Faculty mentor: Jennifer Barnes
*Outstanding Soloists: Marion Powers and Nick Olynciw on “Groovin Hard”

Latin Group
Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances
UNT Latin Jazz Lab
Director: José Aponte

Original Composition – Large Ensemble
Undergraduate College Outstanding Compositions
Kyle Gordon, “Incantation”
Faculty mentor: Richard DeRosa

Original Composition – Large Ensemble
Graduate College Winner
Garrett Wingfield, “Anthropoidea”
Faculty mentor: Richard DeRosa

Jazz Arrangement
Undergraduate College Winners
Mark Hartsuch, “Winter Wonderland”
Faculty mentor: Brad Leali

Jazz Arrangement
Undergraduate College Outstanding Arrangement
Kyle Gordon, “My One and Only Love”
Faculty mentor: Richard DeRosa

2016 UNT Honors Day

Five Jazz Studies majors were recognized at Honors Day on April 1, 2016 at Winspear Hall. L to R: Amanda Ekery, Robert Cox Memorial Award from the Honors College; Brendon Wilkins, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Woodwinds; Eric Pers, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Percussion; Aaron Holthus, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies. Not pictured is Brian Horton, Outstanding Graduate Student in Jazz Studies, who attended the ceremony but had to return right away to rehearsal for his doctoral recital on April 4.