Conducting Symposium and Wind Ensemble Concert

Allan MacMurray

Allan McMurray, Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Conducting at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will be the featured speaker and clinician at the 2016 University of Arkansas Conducting Symposium on March 4-5 at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center.
The symposium will include a performance by the University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center.  Tickets for the concert may be purchased here.
“We are excited to have Allan McMurray join us for a three-day residency.  As one of the leaders in conducting pedagogy, he will bring so much insight to our students regarding the art and craft of conducting” said Christopher Knighten, director of university bands.  “His residency also allows us to invite public school music teachers from throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma to engage with the University of Arkansas Bands and Department of Music as a resource to further their own skills and artistry.”
The University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble will serve as a lab band for symposium participants.  Each participant will spend time conducting the ensemble, receive feedback from the clinician panel, and attend lectures that explore the art of conducting.
Attendees will include current University of Arkansas music students, regional band directors, and prospective graduate students.
Considered one of the world’s leading teachers of conducting, Allan McMurray was director of bands at the University of Colorado-Boulder for 35 years.  He has guest conducted and taught in 45 states and 15 foreign countries. He has been a featured visiting professor at over 200 universities and conservatories nationally.


UA Bands Debut New App for 2016-17 Audition Season

The University of Arkansas Bands Program announces a new mobile app available for prospective students, alumni, and fans. The app is free and available for all Apple and Android mobile devices.

“The creation of the University of Arkansas Bands app significantly enhances our efforts to reach out to prospective students, alumni, and Razorback fans” said Chris Knighten, director of university bands. “Through app updates and notifications to mobile devices, we will be able to enhance our recruitment efforts with a consistent flow of information going out to future band members.”

Prospective students will be able to use the app to learn more about the program and to sign-up for an audition date for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“Between early January and mid-April, we will hear almost 275 auditions by prospective Razorback Band members,” said Knighten.  “While almost all of them have been admitted to the University of Arkansas by the time they audition, some students have been admitted to several institutions and still have not made their final decision about college. These auditions allow us to hear each student play their instrument, but more importantly, they give our band faculty and staff the opportunity to make a personal connection with prospective students and their family members.”

The app will also link all current social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“This will also help us share more information about Alumni Band events, upcoming performances by one of the four concert bands, a photo gallery, and links to the University of Arkansas Bands YouTube channel” said Knighten.

The app also includes a Soundcloud audio player that will allow the viewer to listen to some of the most popular University of Arkansas school songs such as the Fight Song and William Tell.

The University of Arkansas Bands Program, inside the Department of Music in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, began in 1874 and is one of the oldest band programs in the country. The program has six ensembles including the Razorback Marching Band, Hogwild Band, and four concert bands with over 400 student members representing every college at the university.

More information on the program’s spring audition season can be found at the University of Arkansas Bands website or by calling 479-575-4100.

2016-17 Audition Dates

Prospective music major dates in 2016:

  • Monday, Jan. 25
  • Monday, Feb. 8
  • Monday, Feb. 22
  • Monday, March 7
  • Monday, March 28
  • Monday, April 11

Prospective non-music major dates in 2016:

  • Friday, Jan. 29
  • Friday, Feb. 12
  • Friday, Feb. 26
  • Friday, March 11
  • Friday, April 1
  • Friday, April 15
  • Friday, April 29

(Original article posted here.)

Free Family Screening of Dr. Seuss’s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

Grinch WriteupThe Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center, in partnership with University Housing, the Suzuki Music School, the Community Music School, and the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will host a free screening of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be reserved by emailing

The Music Living Learning Community, Kappa Kappa Psi band service fraternity, and Tau Beta Sigma band service sorority are leading a food drive in conjunction with the screening.  Guests are encouraged to bring a canned food to benefit the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry. The center’s most needed items are cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, canned tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach.

“One of the main purposes of the center is to engage the Northwest Arkansas community in exciting and meaningful ways” said Nicole Cotton, Managing Director of the Faulkner Performing Arts Center. “Partnering with so many university offices to reach out to the community while also helping the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry tackle food insecurity shows the strength of campus collaboration.”

The film, starring Jim Carrey, is based on Dr. Suess’ 1957 eponymous book about the lonely Grinch’s schemes to end Christmas in Whoville. The movie is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America.

The Faulkner Performing Arts Center is housed in the fully renovated and remodeled Field House building. The state-of-the-art performance center will host almost 200 events a year, primarily by ensembles and vocal groups from the Department of Music. The auditorium seats about 600 people and the stage accommodates as many as 250 performers.

(Original article posted here.)

University Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert: Czech Mates

Featured oboist Dr. Theresa Delaplain.

This winter, the Department of Music is pleased to present “Czech Mates”, the U of A University Symphony Orchestra’s winter concert. Conducted by Dr. Robert Mueller, and joined by faculty oboist Dr. Theresa Delaplain, the Orchestra will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “from the New World”. With Dr. Delaplain, the Orchestra will also perform Martinu’s Concerto for the Oboe. Both featured composers are Czech, Dvorak a Romantic era composer, and Martinu a modern composer.

The concert will be held at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center on December 7, 2015 at 7:30 PM. Tickets for this event are $10 for the public and $5 for students, faculty and staff, and seniors (55+). Tickets may be purchased here.

Parking is available in the Stadium Drive Parking Facility, where parking is free after 5pm. Entrance to the parking facility is on Stadium Drive, and the facility’s elevator will take patrons to street level. Turn left, and it is a short walk to the Faulkner Performing Arts Center.

For more information about this event, feel free to contact the Music Department at 479-575-4701.


Faculty Spotlight: Publication by Dr. Daniel Abrahams

Faculty member Dr. Daniel Abrahams, visiting assistant professor of Music Education, will be featured in the upcoming second edition of The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development. The book, set to be published November 21st by Oxford University Press, seeks to examine the intersections between child development, music theory, and music instruction. Scholars from around the world offer their research into the diversity and complexities of childhood development and music education.

Dr. Abrahams is featured as a contributing author of a chapter entitled “The Child as Apprentice”. This chapter elaborates on three different proposed models of apprenticeship within the teacher-student context, and how each model draws influence from different psychological theories. Traditional apprenticeship, cognitive apprenticeship, and sociotransformative apprenticeship each offer varying methods of learning and mentoring. Dr. Abrahams’ research is a crucial contribution to the field of music education.

The Department of Music applauds Dr. Abrahams’ commitment, perseverance, and continued accomplishments.

The Child as Musician may be purchased here.

Arkansas New Music Ensemble: Fall Concert

2015-11-16_04-07-48-PMScreenShot2015-11-08at5.52.13PMThe University of Arkansas New Music Ensemble will hold its inaugural concert in the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov 20. The public is invited and tickets can be purchased online.

The Arkansas New Music Ensemble, part of the Department of Music in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, is focused on performing music by current composers that taps into the events and happenings of today.

“The ensemble is about art commenting on the times in which we live,” said Jamal Duncan, director of the New Music Ensemble. “It’s about the experience we have as humans and how music connects to it.”

“Performing new music has expanded my understanding of instrumental music. It doesn’t all have to be classical music; instruments can be used to make exciting, rhythmic, and modern music that can intrigue an audience without following the typical standards of music” said flute music major Emily Johnson.

Johnson will be featured in a solo performance of Ian Clarke’s TRKs. “New music has allowed me to explore the many ways of interpreting music, and how that music can relate to different people and their emotions,” said Johnson. “It has also helped me understand that no matter what your preference in genre may be, music is still music.”

The ensemble membership varies in size and makeup from solo performers to mixed chamber ensembles of winds, strings and percussion.

Concert repertoire includes:

  • “Chicago, 2012” by Mason Bates
  • “TRKs” by Ian Clarke
  • “Test Drive” by Michael Goodman
  • “Trying” by David Skidmore
  • “Christian Zeal and Activity” by John Adams

(Article originally posted here.)

Winners of the 2015 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Regional Vocal Competition

The Music Department is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Southern Regional Vocal Competition! Held at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, in Monroe, LA, this year’s contest marked the 40th consecutive year of the competition.  NATS celebrates the art of singing through a series of competitions and programs that are designed to showcase the talented singers and performers who are soon to be rising stars in the profession. The following students placed in the competition.

The winners are as follows:

Category of Junior Men

First Place Winner – Christopher Senty (Dr. Park’s studio)

Category of Younger Advanced Men

First Place Winner – Judd Burns (Dr. Park’s studio)

Category of Older Advanced Women

First Place Winner – Lisa Kulczak (Dr. Park’s studio)

We are deeply proud of all of the participants in this year’s competition, and encourage all students to participate in next year’s competition.

Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony Concert: Monday, November 16th at 7:30pm

Nov 16 Wind Ensemble Wind SymphonyThe University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony will end their fall concert season with performances at 7:30 p.m.Monday, Nov. 16, at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center. The concerts may also be seen via live stream from the program’s website.

Today’s concert ends a week-long residency with renowned Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo. Gjeilo has been working in the United State since 2001, when he moved here to attend the Julliard School in New York City. Gjeilo is on campus as the McIlroy Family Visiting Professor.

The McIlroy Professorship supports the teaching and work of a professional artist who imparts highly specialized knowledge that is valuable to the community-at-large and essential to students’ artistic, educational, and career enrichment.

The public is invited and tickets may be purchased online.

The programs are as follows:

Wind Symphony, W. Dale Warren, conductor

Savannah River Holiday by Ron Nelson

Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon by Percy Grainger, arr. by Chal Ragsdale, Benjamin Lorenzo, guest conductor

Scenes from “The Louvre” by Normal Dello

Serenity by Ola Gjello

Poem for Flute and Wind Ensemble by Charles T. Griffes, Ronda Mains, flute

Suite for the Ballet “Pineplle Poll” by Sir Arthur Sullivan, arr. by Mackerras/Duthoit

Wind Ensemble, Christopher Knighten, conductor

Sweelinck Variations, Book III: Unter der Linden goüne by

David Noon

Passage by Scott Lindroth

Suite Française by Darius Milhaud , Jamal Duncan, guest conductor

Meridian by Ola Gjeilo


Fall 2015 Guest Lecture: Dr. Kunio Hara

Dr. Kunio HaraThe Department of Music is pleased to host musicologist Dr. Kunio Hara, visiting from the University of South Carolina.  On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Dr. Hara will deliver two lectures on the operas of Puccini and Japanese music.

The first lecture will be held in Room 104 of Mullins Library at 9:30 AM. In this lecture, he will discuss the historical background of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

The second lecture will be in Room 148 of the JB Hunt Building at 11 AM. Dr. Hara will focus on operatic orientalism and Puccini.

Dr. Hara received his doctoral degree in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. A prolific scholar, Dr. Hara has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences, including those hosted by the American Musicological Society and the American Comparative Literature Association. His research areas focus on Western music in Japan, exoticism and orientalism in music, and the operas of Giacomo Puccini.

We at the Department are delighted to have him here!