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President Rawlins announces intent to retire by 2014

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Alumni News

Rawlins plans to remain President through the search for and arrival of his successor.

V. Lane RawlinsUniversity of North Texas President V. Lane Rawlins today told the UNT community that he intends to retire on or before December 31, 2013.

Rawlins, who joined UNT in May 2010 as an interim appointment, said “I never dreamed I would stay more than a few months, but UNT is such a special place that I fell in love with the university, its students, faculty and staff.”

“I am honored to have served as president of this great university for the past three years, and I hope I have helped shape its future. I look forward to the progress we will continue to make in the coming months, and believe the academic and administrative leadership in place will continue to guide the university toward greater excellence,” Rawlins said.

Rawlins plans to remain involved with UNT through an active President Emeritus appointment that would allow him to work on special projects to help the university make progress in key areas.

“I want the community to understand that I’m choosing to step down because I believe the university has a strong foundation for a new president and because I am still in good health. I have a long list of unfinished projects, family needs, and personal commitments that need tending,” Rawlins said.

UNT System Board of Regents Chairman Jack Wall said “the Board has applauded Lane Rawlins’ initiatives and has supported his agenda to improve academic quality, strengthen our planning and establish clearer goals that can guide us successfully for years to come. He came to UNT promising us one year of his best efforts but he and Mary Jo fell in love with UNT and the community here and we have been fortunate to have benefitted from three years of his leadership, drawing on his deep experience as a successful college president.”

The UNT System will name a 15-member search advisory committee within the next two weeks, said UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson. The board, chancellor and search advisory committee will work with the national search firm Storbeck Pimentel to identify strong candidates capable of elevating UNT to its next level of success. Rawlins plans to remain President through the search for and arrival of his successor.

“I am tremendously pleased with President Rawlins’ leadership and the progress being made at our flagship university,” Jackson said. “I thank Dr. Rawlins and Mary Jo for joining our community. And I am personally grateful to Dr. Rawlins for giving UNT the benefit of his experience, wisdom, and passion for public higher education. Dr. Rawlins has been invaluable to UNT and I’m gratified that he is willing to continue his involvement in an emeritus role.

“Lane Rawlins has set the bar higher for the next UNT President, but he has also helped us in recruiting for his successor, because UNT has a track record of positive growth and an enhanced reputation,” said Jackson.

During President Rawlins’ tenure, he has helped the university community define four bold goals that will lead the university to greater quality in education, research, effectiveness and engagement. He also helped the university plan for strategic enrollment growth, which has led to two years of record-setting freshman classes in size, talent and diversity. And, the university is creating a culture of data-based assessment and improvement that will ensure UNT continues to achieve efficiencies and reallocate funds in support of excellence.

In recent years, the university has made significant and real strides toward National Research University status by recruiting distinguished high-quality faculty in strategic areas, improving its research infrastructure and investing more funds in scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. This capitalizes on previous steps that laid the groundwork for growth in research, starting with the acquisition of Discovery Park, the initiation of the College of Engineering and completion of new facilities for chemistry and life sciences.

UNT also has improved its student services and its athletics programs since 2010. Apogee Stadium, the nation’s most sustainable collegiate stadium and home of Mean Green football opened and this fall UNT will compete in Conference-USA. And, UNT enjoys a stronger public image as “A green light to greatness.” for students and the communities it serves.

Before joining UNT, Rawlins previously served as President at Washington State University from 2000 to 2007 and the University of Memphis from 1991 to 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Rawlins is a native of southeast Idaho. He and his wife, Mary Jo Rawlins, have three children and 11 grandchildren.

Family pledges $1 million to UNT’s College of Business for study abroad scholarships

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Alumni News

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Anne Milner Fields and her great nephew UNT alumnus Bryan Milner (’00) have pledged $1 million to UNT’s College of Business to endow scholarships for study abroad opportunities.

The gift is eligible to be matched with $1 million from Charn Uswachoke (’73 M.B.A.) as part of his historic $22 million gift to the university in 2011. Uswachoke set aside a portion of his gift for matching opportunities as a way to encourage more donors to support UNT. Milner said that the match heavily influenced the timing and amount of the gift. “The match allows us to double the impact of our pledge and support the study abroad programs that we’re passionate about,” said Milner.

The Milner/Fields gift is a tribute to a beloved professor, Peyton Foster Roden, who taught Milner finance at UNT. He died last year after teaching at UNT for 37 years. The Milner/Fields gift establishes the Peyton Foster “Doc” Roden Memorial Study Abroad Scholarship Fund. The popular professor was affectionately known as “Doc” to his students and former students.

Milner, vice president of loan originations at Wells Fargo Capital Finance, took two study abroad trips to Cuernavaca, Mexico, with Roden. UNT has an exchange program with Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Cuernavaca campus, a relationship that spans many years and which Roden was instrumental in establishing. The Milner/Fields gift will make it possible for 40 to 50 UNT students to study international business each semester.

College of Business Dean Finley Graves said the college has set a goal of having at least 50 percent of its students exposed to other world cultures, either through a short-term or semester-long study abroad experience, an international dual degree or an international internship.

“We are grateful to the Milner family for a gift that will be truly transformative for our students, many of whom would not have the opportunity to go abroad without these scholarships,” Graves said. “Business is global, and if UNT’s College of Business is to become a nationally recognized program, the college must internationalize its programs.”

This is not the first gift from the Milner and Fields families to UNT. In 2004, Fields gave $400,000 to establish the James Byron Milner Scholarship in memory of her late brother, a rancher from East Texas. The full scholarship is awarded each year to a student from Byron and Anne’s hometown of Winnsboro, Texas.

Bryan Milner said his great aunt has a strong belief in the importance of higher education. When he decided to return to college and finish his degree after a five-year absence — he attended the University of Texas at Austin straight out of high school — she paid for his UNT education. She has also paid for the education of several other relatives and a few people from her hometown of Winnsboro.

In addition to her belief in education, she was also passionate about travel. “She traveled everywhere,” said Milner. “She and her brother Joe Milner, who was head of the journalism department at Arizona State, took my cousins and me all over Europe and South America. We went on great trips.”

Coaches Caravan

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Athletics

university-of-north-texas-3b9b28582013 Hall of Fame Weekend
North Texas Athletics
Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (CDT)

Event Details

Tennis vs. Middle Tennessee, April 12

Join head coach Sujay Lama and the North Texas tennis team at Waranch Tennis Complex as they take on the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

North Texas Touchdown 5K

The Touchdown 5k and 1 mile Fun Run will take place on April 13th.  Check in begins at 7 am. The 5K begins at 8 am, and the Fun Run begins at 8:10 am. Early registration prices are $20 for the 5K and $10 for the Fun Run. Prices will increase by $5 on race day. Information packet pick up will be on April 11th-12th from 10 am to 6 pm at the ticket office. Registration includes a food sampling, a race number, t-shirt, and a stadium tour. You can register for either here. Bowl

This year’s flag football game is set to take place at 10 am on April 13th at Apogee Stadium. The participation fee is $25. Players, referees, and other volunteers are needed for the game. Volunteer today! More information on all the events surrounding the Bowl can be found here. Donations are also appreciated. All proceeds benefit North Texas Athletic Scholarships!

Hall of Fame Induction

The North Texas football Hall of Fame Induction will take place at 11:30 am to 1 pm on April 13th   in the Club Level of Apogee Stadium. Reservations for an eight-person table are $100 and single seats are available for $15. Doors will open at 11 am. Ticket information can be found here or call 940-565-2527.

Mean Green Football Spring Game

The UNT spring game will take place on April 13th kick off is at 2 pm at Apogee Stadium. Come out and see the new team in action for the first time! The day will be filled with all sorts of exciting events!

All-Century Team Announcement

Your votes are in, over 11,000 votes cast! During the Spring Game the official North Texas All-Century team will be announced. Some of the members of the All-Century team will be in attendance!


Career Corner

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Career Corner

Career Center Home

New Achievement for Take Flight/Job Shadow

The UNT Career Center’s Take Flight/Job Shadow program occurred over the Winter and Spring Breaks.  A big thanks to the many UNT alumni that helped host students at the 52 companies that were involved.  A record turn-out of more than 200 students applied!

For a list of upcoming Career Center Activities, like workshops and career fairs, check out

Partner Profile

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Partner Profiles

Quotes for Scholarships

LibertyMutualHelp others enjoy the advantages of a UNT education.

As a UNT alum, you know the value of a good education. Now you can help support other students’ goals through Liberty Mutual’s partnership with your alma mater. Simply get a free quote on Liberty Mutual auto, home or renters insurance between February 15th and May 15th. 1 For each individual quote, we will donate $5 directly into the UNT Alumni Association scholarship fund. And by insuring with Liberty Mutual you could save hundreds on quality auto, home and renters protection.2

Visit Liberty Mutual or call 855-323-2150  today for a free, no-obligation quote.

1No purchase of a policy is required. Limit one quote per policy type per person. Not available to residents in IA, MA, ME, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA or UT or to existing Liberty Mutual Insurance customers.

2Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.

This organization receives financial support for allowing Liberty Mutual to offer this auto and home insurance program. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. © 2012 Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Calendar of Events

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Events


April 13
2013 Hall of Fame Weekend

Spring Football Game and Alumni Pavilion Party
Apogee Stadium

April 18
Senior Student BBQ
Alumni Center

April 15
Emerald Eagle Honors
Presented by Wells Fargo and The Newman Foundation
Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Dallas, TX

April 24
World Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony
Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center
Denton, TX

May 6
Coaches Caravan
Denton, TX

May 7
Coaches Caravan
Dallas, TX

May 10-11
Commencement and Reception
UNT Coliseum and Gateway Ballroom

May 14
UNT Young Professionals – Alumni Networking Happy Hour
Cool River
Dallas, TX

May 21
UNT Young Professionals – Alumni Networking Happy Hour
The Woodshed
Fort Worth, TX

UNT News Briefs

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in UNT News Briefs

Irán Román, an undergraduate student in the UNT-Howard Hughes Medical Center Undergraduate Researchers Program, has earned a placement in the Stanford Summer Research Program at Stanford University in California.

Sue Bratton, professor of counseling and higher education and director of the Center for Play Therapy at UNT, was presented with two awards at the 2013 American Counseling Association  (ACA) conference in March.

Robert Jessup, professor of studio arts; Bonnie Friedman, assistant professor of English; and Claudia Howard Queen, assistant professor of dance and theatre, have been selected as faculty fellows in UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts in the 2013-14 academic year.

UNT Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Chorus and tenor soloist Richard Croft perform the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony. The Symphony Orchestra will also perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Overture: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Opus 27, and Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Opus 33a, from the opera Peter Grimes.

Colleges and Schools Highlights

April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Highlights

PembertonCollege of Business

UNT student named finalist for Collegiate Marketer of the Year

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

UNT College of Business student Thomas Pemberton, a junior studying marketing, has been named one of two finalists for the DFW American Marketing Association Collegiate Marketer of the Year.

College of Education

Doctoral graduate Mandy Stewart wins national dissertation award

Mary Amanda “Mandy” Stewart has earned the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from PDK International for research that she conducted while earning a doctoral degree in literacy and language studies from the University of North Texas’ College of Education.

Full story:

College starts new student teacher exchange program with Spain

A new international student teacher exchange offered through the University of North Texas’ College of Education in collaboration with the University of Seville in Spain aims to help students learn about other cultures – while giving the future teachers real-life experience in the classroom.

Full story:

Doctoral alumni gathered in Dallas for 4th annual reunion
The College of Education held its 4th Annual Doctoral Alumni Reunion at the home of Dr. Terry Crane (’75, ’79) in Dallas, Texas on March 5, 2013. More than 30 alumni and retired faculty gathered for a fun, fiesta-themed evening. Cathy Bryce (’91), who is chair of the College of Education’s Campaign Action Team, co-hosted the event with Dr. Crane.

Full story:

College of Visual Arts & Design

Check out the latest issue of Avante-Garde here.

College of Information

Joe W. Specht

The UNT College of Information is to induct Joe W. Specht into the 2013 Hall of Fame at the Alumni Dinner on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Ashton Train Depot in Fort Worth. Specht is one of only nine prominent alumni to receive the prestigious award.

Specht graduated from Denton High School in 1963.  He earned his B.A. degree in History from then North Texas State University (NTSU) in 1968.  After a two year stint in the U.S. Army, Specht returned to NTSU in 1970 to continue graduate studies.  He received an M.L.S. in Library Science in 1972 and M.A. in History in 1973.

Specht’s library career began at NTSU as Professional Library Assistant in the Library Science Library.  From 1973 to 1975, he was Social Sciences Reference Librarian at the Texas Tech University Library.

In 1975, Specht became Director of the Jay-Rollins Library at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.  At McMurry, he assumed a leadership role in the creation of the Abilene Library Consortium (ALC), a unique cooperative partnership between the Abilene Public Library and the libraries of Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.

Specht also contributed to the formation of the Llano Estacado Information Access Network (LEIAN) and the Texas Independent College and University Librarians (TICUL), which later merged into the Texas Council of Academic Libraries (TCAL).

After thirty-two years of service, Specht retired from McMurry in 2007.  He is currently Collection Manager of the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation.

Specht and his wife Alice Wilson Specht, Dean of Libraries at Hardin-Simmons University, have one daughter Mary Helen Specht, who teaches creative writing at St. Edwards University in Austin.

He is the author of The Women There Don’t Treat You Mean: Abilene in Song (State House Press, 2006) and co-editor of The Roots of Texas Music (Texas A&M University Press, 2003) and Abilene Stories, From Then to Now (Abilene Christian University Press, 2013).

In addition, he has published several articles on a variety of Texas music topics.  He is currently working on an oil field song project, Smell That Sweet Perfume: Oil Patch Songs on Record.  Specht told Contemporary Authors: “The Lone Star State and all things Texan continue to inspire my writing.”

Alumni ticket price is $30 and student ticket price is $20. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Alumni Dinner, visit

Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship

Tuesday April 2, 2013 the Spring 2013 IDEA Competition finalists came forward to present their creative ideas to five North Texas professionals. This is The Murphy Center’s seventh semester of holding this competition, and with over 36,000 students on the UNT campus there are hundreds of ideas that can change the world. The Murphy Center offers this IDEA competition to provide an opportunity for students to express their creativity.

The twelve finalists were given five minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel of North Texas Entrepreneurs. Each presentation had its own unique and innovative idea and each finalist was challenged by the panel of entrepreneurs; making the students expand their thoughts to make their idea a real-world application. All twelve finalists were able to benefit just by getting the chance to see where their idea could be expanded, how it could be integrated into world-live applications and to hear the thoughts of professionals who have already succeeded in their own ideas.

The final four winners were Jonathon Gathy presenting his idea of Flashbotz, an action figure with a unique code allowing you to unlock that character and other exclusive content on a vast, browser based video game website. Kelly Mason presenting Rentable Bicycles, she envisions rentable bicycle stations set up at main areas around UNT, allowing a student to rent a bike for an hour or two or even the whole day if needed. Kinnari Rulkar, a TAMS student, won with her idea of wanting to discover and protect the stories of war veterans; Preserving History: One Story at a Time. Derrick Wright presented a way to solve university marketing with an online tool called, “Notify,” this tool would be available to UNT students and faculty and would provide an effective way to connect marketer’s advertisements to the people they are relevant to.

All twelve finalists provided excellent presentations but only four could be chosen. Each winner received $250 and dinner with the judges on the night of the event. The Murphy Center welcomes all UNT Alumni to attend our next competition, Fall of 2013, to hear the ideas’ first hand.

Student Alumni Association

SAA will be serving food at the alumni pavilion 11-1:30 prior to the spring game April 13th. They will accept donations to help their scholarship fund!


2013 North Texas Hall of Fame Weekend (April 12-14)

The weekend’s events include the Green and White Spring Football Game, the athletic-surplus equipment garage sale, recruitment programs for admitted and prospective Greek students, ribbon cutting of the new basketball practice facility, Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, North Texas Touchdown 5k and the Flag Football game, and two North Texas tennis matches at Waranch Tennis Complex. The North Texas All-Century Football Team will also be revealed during the Green-White game.   For additional information go to

2013 Football Schedule

The 2013 North Texas Mean Green football schedule of opponents has been released.  For additional information go to

2013 Football Season Ticket Deposit

Book your deposit today!  Deposits are $50 per seat.  For additional information call (940)565-2527 or email or book online HERE

Scrappy’s Pals

North Texas Athletics is committed to providing groups in the community with opportunities to attend Mean Green sporting events.  Scrappy’s Pals is designed to offer at-risk youth, disabled person and disadvantaged youth the opportunity to experience the higher education atmosphere offered through Mean Green sporting events.  Find out how you can help support this program by contacting the North Texas Athletic Ticket Office at (940) 565-2527 or

For Mean Green tickets, parking, tailgating, and Apogee Stadium information call 940-565-2527 or visit

UNT Foundation

Ken Newman Receives Dean Duce Award
Since 1976, Trinity University’s Health Care Administration Alumni Association has annually presented the Leonard Duce Award to a distinguished alumnus for his or her leadership and significant contribution in the field of Health Care Administration.  This award is in honor of the late Leonard A. Duce, Ph.D., who served as the first Dean of the Graduate School at Trinity University, in 1962.  He also played a key role in establishing the Health Care Administration department which is now one of the top programs in the nation.

This year at the Alumni Association’s annual Dean Duce Award Dinner, held in Chicago, Ken Newman (’70) was named the 2013 recipient of this award.  Ken received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UNT and went on to complete his Master of Science degree in healthcare administration at Trinity. He is the original co-founder of Horizon Health Corporation in 1981.

In addition to being Chair of the UNT Foundation, Ken is also involved in numerous civic organizations and corporate boards.


April 8th, 2013 | Posted in Congratulations



Lisa Bost-Sandberg (DMA performance – student of Terri Sundberg and Elizabeth McNutt, Related Field composition – student of Andrew May) will be appearing as a flutist-composer at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans, August 8-11, 2013.  She is writing a new flute duo, Etching NOLA, which will receive its world premiere at the convention; also, she had a performance proposal accepted to perform her piece Fluxion for solo flute and improvise with a colleague.

Graduate student in musicology, Clare Carrasco, has won a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Intensive Language Course Grant ( to advance her dissertation about musical expressionism in the years following World War I. DAAD Grants go to students who stand to make significant contributions to their fields of study. Clare’s research advisor, Dr. Margaret Notley, wrote a comprehensive letter of recommendation for her.

Derek Chester (DMA student of Jennifer lane and TDF Award recipient) has been chosen as this year’s outstanding graduate student by the Division of Vocal Studies. Derek has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Voice at Northern Colorado University and a summer faculty position at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival at Luther College. In February, Derek’s students at J. J. Pearce High School won first division rankings in solo and ensemble. During March, he will perform the Evangelist in St. John Passion with Ascension Music in New York City, the role of Acis in Acis & Galatea with Ars Lyrica in Houston, and as tenor soloist in St. Matthew Passion in River Forest, IL and B minor Mass with the Grand Philharmonic in Ontario, Canada.

Addison Frei (piano) and Jordan Gheen (trumpet) have been selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program with artistic director Jason Moran at the Kennedy Center on March 11-22, 2013.   Faculty are Jason Moran, residency director; Carmen Lundy, vocalist; Peven Everett, trumpeter; Marc Cary, pianist; Dwayne Burno, bassist; Craig Handy, saxophonist; Nate Smith, percussionist.  Participants must be performers and composers.

Jacob A. Garcia has an article being published in the March issue of Percussive Notes.

Saule Garcia (Tlenchiyeva), student of Vladimir Viardo, was invited for the second time to participate in Marilyn Horne’s annual workshop “Song Continues…” at Carnegie Hall in New York in January 2013.  She successfully worked in Marilyn Horne’s, Jessye Norman’s and Dalton Baldwin’s masterclasses and received professional training from renowned pianists Warren Jones and Ken Noda.

Melissa Hatheway was recently notified by the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) that she won the 2013 Alice G. Brandfonbrener Young Investigator Award.  Ms. Hatheway is an Honors College student pursuing an undergraduate music education degree and mentored by Dr. Kris Chesky.   This international research award is highly competitive and usually given to a graduate student pursuing performing arts medicine research as part of a medical degree.  Melissa will present her epidemiology research on the Green Brigade Marching Band and receive this prestigious award during the annual conference of PAMA this summer in Aspen.

Christopher Jackson, DMA candidate in choral conducting, has been appointed director of choral activities at Lycoming (PA) University.

Seula Lee (violin student of Philip Lewis) won the Grand Prize in the Coeur d’Alene Young Artists’ Competition in Washington and will perform Sibelius’s Concerto with the Spokane Symphony in March.

Freshman composition student Brandon Maahs is one of ten selected composers whose works will be performed on the 3rd Annual Texas Young Composers Concert by the Austin Symphony Orchestra at Long Center for the Performing Arts (Austin, TX) on April 3, 2013.

Alyssa Narum (mezzo-soprano) has been selected as the 2013-14 Presser Undergraduate Scholar for the UNT College of Music.  A student of Dr. Linda Di Fiore, Regents Professor of Voice, Alyssa has participated since her freshman year in A Cappella Choir, Collegium Singers, and UNT Opera, and has been featured as a soloist with each of these groups.  She performed the role of Stefano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, was the only undergraduate student to be chosen one of the four finalists for the Division of Vocal Studies in the concerto competition, and was featured in two roles in the 2011 Opera Gala.  Alyssa was a finalist in the most recent UNT Winspear Opera Competition and was selected as Outstanding Undergraduate in Vocal Studies in 2012.  The Presser Undergraduate Scholar award is presented annually to a student entering his or her senior year who has shown extraordinary musical and academic accomplishments.  The winner is nominated and selected by UNT music faculty and receives the award from the Presser Foundation, which awards annual scholarships, grants, and  funds for the furthering of music education and music in America.  The organization was founded in 1916 by Theodore Presser, a music publisher and philanthropist.

Marcin Parys (first-year DMA student of Adam Wodnicki) won the Isabel Scionti Scholarship Competition held at TWU on February 9, 2013.

Jason Powell won the 2013 Student Conference Award given by the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).  Jason is a 4th year Ph.D. Computer Science Engineering student mentored by Dr. Kris Chesky.  Mr. Powell is conducting research in the College of Music that focuses on automated sound measurement systems.  The monetary award was presented Feb. 23 during the NHCA annual conference in St Petersburg, Florida.

Kristyn Son, a DMA flute student under the guidance of Dr. Mary Karen Clardy, won first prize in the Kentucky Flute Society Young Artist Competition.  She performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on March 3, as winner of New York’s Protégé Competition.  Kristyn will perform CPE Bach’s Concerto in D minor with the Symphony Orchestra on March 6 in Winspear Hall.

Juan Vizcarra (DMA student of Joseph Banowetz) has provided the link to volume one of Richard Wagner’s piano transcriptions made by August Stradal [].  Juan recorded it last July at UNT and it has just been released by Toccata Classics.

Five current and former UNT double bass students have been chosen for the semifinals of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition at the Eastman School in June. Of only 10 chosen for the semifinals of the classical competition, four are UNT students – former students Tian Yang Liu (China) and Lauren Pierce (USA) and current students Heran Yang (Singapore) and Mariechen Meyer (South Africa). Former student Gavin Kelso (USA) was selected to the semifinals of the jazz competition.

Linda Di Fiore student news:

Laura Begley, MM student, is the second cover for the role of Tina, sung by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, for the Dallas Opera production of Argento’s Aspern Papers.

Christian Bester, DMA student, was recently accepted as an intern in the prestigious NATS Intern Program, which pairs young voice teachers with master teachers for an intensive two-week residency.  There are four master teachers and 12 interns chosen each year on a national level.  The program is competitive and based on evidence of the applicant’s teaching and singing.  Linda Di Fiore served as a Master Teacher for the program in 2004.

Chaazi Munyanya, MM student, is the recent winner of the Winspear Opera Competition, worth $15,000 per year, at UNT.  The competition was judged by Diane Zola of  Houston Grand Opera.  Chaazi will be attending the Wolf Trap Summer Opera program this summer.

Alyssa Narum, BM student and recent recipient of the undergraduate Presser Award at UNT, was recently a finalist and the youngest participant in the Winspear Opera Competition held at UNT.

Laurel Smerdjian, MM student, is covering the role of Sonja, sung by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cook, in the Dallas Opera production of Argento’s Aspern Papers.


Ten UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2013 Conference at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, MN, 18-20 April 2013: faculty composers Panayiotis Kokoras and Jon Christopher Nelson; doctoral composer Mark Oliveiro; alumni composers Jon Anderson, Greg Dixon, Eli Fieldsteel, Dave Gedosh, Elainie Lillios, and L. Scott Price; and former faculty composer Butch Rovan.

Jon Anderson‘s electroacoustic work for fixed media, dash.em, was selected for performance at the regional Society of Composers Inc. Conference hosted by Clarke University. His work for fixed media and video, luft am morgen, was selected for performance at the 2013 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at the Graduate Center at CUNY. Both works were also invited for performance at the 2013 Electronic Music Midwest Mini-Festival, part of the New Sounds Festival 2013 hosted by Western Michigan University.

Maria José Romero participated in the 2013 National Society of Arts and Letters Instrumental Competition, Bloomington Chapter, and won 2nd place!  She earned a MM in the studio of Julia Bushkova.

Soprano Kathryn Summersett (MM 2011 in studio of Jennifer Lane), who is now pursuing her DMA at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, has been chosen as one of six singers out of many who auditioned for the Boston Early Music Festival’s Young Artists Training Program. Kathryn will sing the role of Bellante and understudy the role of Edilia in Handel’s Almira. Immediately after BEMF, she will tour China with ensemble Sacabuche.

Yoonjoo Yang, DMA 2011 in studio of Jennifer Lane, performed Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in Seoul, Korea with Ensemble Trois C, semi-staged and from memory, on the anniversary of the composer’s birthday.  Her dissertation entitled “The Twelve-Tone Song Cycles of Donald Martino” captured the interest of visiting artist, Yehudi Wyner during his visit to UNT.

Linda Di Fiore alumni news:

Casey Finnigan, BM 2009, was recently accepted into the Florida Grand Opera Apprentice Program.  He is currently finishing a two-year Young Artist Program with Kansas City Lyric where he is appearing in their production of Der Fliegender Hollander.

Laura Krumm, BM 2011, will be featured in main stage roles with San Francisco Opera in their 2013-14 season.  She is currently an Adler Fellow in their Young Artist Program.

Catherine Martin, BM 2005, is currently performing the role of Amneris in Aida with Santa Barbara Opera.  She will be covering Delora Zajick in the same role at Houston Grand Opera.


Kris Chesky presented a pre-conference workshop titled “Hearing Conservation in Music Education” last week during the annual conference of the National Hearing Conservation Association.  This workshop was an outreach program designed to assist local music educators, school administrators, hearing conservationists, and local health professionals to respond to new NASM Health and Safety accreditation standards.  Together with Dr. Amyn Amlani (UNT Audiology), he presented a conference session titled “Accountability in Schools of Music Requires a Noise Exposure Assessment Standard” last week in St. Petersburg, Florida during the annual meeting of the National Hearing Conservation Association.  This session was part of an ongoing to effort to steer the National Institutes of Occupational Health and Safety to adopt a new hearing conservation standard that is specifically designed to address music-related hearing concerns in the education sector.

Richard Croft and his brother Dwayne appear in an article entitled “Sibling Revelry” in the February 2013 issue of Classical Singer.   Two pairs of brothers and a set of sisters, all in the midst of active singing careers, tell what it’s like to share genes, a profession, and the stage as siblings.

Linda Di Fiore recently presented masterclasses at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Luther has over 150 voice students in the program.  She will be judging the finals of the Denver Opera Guild Competition in March.  Di Fiore will be teaching  and performing again in the Amalfi Coast Music Festival this summer.  Linda and her daughter Julia appear in an article entitled “Wonder Women” in the February 2013 issue of Classical Singer.  Singers who are also moms discuss balancing careers, family life, and personal life.  They admit that it’s not always easy and they’re not always successful, but they all agree that it’s worth it.

On February 23 Panayiotis Kokoras’ work Hiss and Whistle for alto recorder, tenor voice and electronics was premiered by Ensemble UMS ‘n JIP in Thessaloniki at Solon Michalidis Hall.

UMS ‘n JIP is one of the most innovative and accomplished Swiss contemporary music ensembles. Founded in 2007 by Ulrike Mayer-Spohn [UMS] and Javier Hagen [JIP], it is, alongside Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Kronos Quartet and Ensemble Recherche, one of the most active contemporary music ensembles worldwide commissioning around 10-15 works and performing more than 100 international concerts annually, including mobile chamber operas & multimedia performances.  See  On February 15 during the CCRMA at Bing’s Festival, CCRMA Ensemble premiered West Pole Reloaded for piano, celleto and electronics at Bing Concert Hall, the new hall on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, California. Performers of the ensemble included: Chrysi Nanou (piano), Chris Chafe (celletto) and Rob Hamilton (electronics). Concert title Sonic Bing!  On February 26, guitarist Christelle Sery performed Slide for classical guitar and electronics at Theatre Comedie Nation in Paris. Réalisation informatique: Alexis Baskind.  See and  Performance of Breakwater on February 16 by Minas Borboudakis on piano and Felix Dreher on electronics & sound direction at Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens.

See and

During the month of February, Associate Professor of Voice, Jennifer Lane, garnered rave reviews for performances of Bach and Handel in Seattle and Ft. Townsend, WA. In March, Professor Lane will give masterclasses at Morehead University, University of Louisville, The Peabody Institute, Baldwin-Wallace College, and the University of Alabama, and, this summer, will join the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College. She will return to Hawaii for The Enchanted Isle Vocal Workshop. Professor Lane will perform Messiah with Tempesta di Mare in Philadelphia with Ah Young Hong and William Sharp, and will perform and record Darius Milhaud’s L’Orestie with the University of Michigan Music Society in Ann Arbor. She will perform the Verdi Requiem with the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble.

Cathy Ragland was an invited presenter and workshop facilitator for “Composing, Performing and Innovating Tejano Conjunto Music,” which also featured the only female pioneering Texas-Mexican accordionist Eva Ybarra, at the National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies Tejas Foco Conference at the University of Texas-Pan American, February 22-24.  She also served on the program organizing committee.

Retired Faculty

Deanna and Cody Garner are enjoying the beauty and majesty of Colorado. They live in Broomfield, which is 12 miles from Boulder.  Cody is teaching voice privately and giving occasional masterclasses. The lure of snow skiing has brought Cody back after 40 years and he has also taken up fly fishing. Deanna is healthier than she has been in years and stays busy organizing and hosting various events. We are enjoying the good life. Retirement really is what it’s cracked up to be!!!  Deanna is also our travel agent. Our favorite trips are to see the grandchildren in Texas and my former students in performance.  The singing business is taking a hit like most fine arts, however some singers are managing to “hang on” and are living their dreams of singing on the stage.  Cody’s “boys” are singing literally all over the world: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England, Spain, Canada, Japan, China and throughout the United States. They all cherish their days at North Texas and continue to sing its praises wherever they go.  Keep singing Scott Scully, Michael Mayes, Gerardo Garciacano, David Portillo and Nathan Carlisle.

My thanks to the hundreds of jazz students who in their busy professional lives these days continue to correspond with me.  I’m also honored to have received the Sammons “Jazz Artist of the Year (2012)” award, and to Hal Leonard for publishing my textbook on jazz arranging.  Warmest congratulations also to my a cappella group The New Collection on their first CD “My Romance” – looking forward to their performance April 21 at Denton’s Campus Theater. –Paris Rutherford


To promote the International Janáček Festival and Conference, Feb. 6-9, the Bancroft String Quartet appeared on WRR Classical 101 on Feb. 5.