Alumni Information

Recent Alumni News

In addition to these recent accomplishments, a record of significant past achievements by students and alumni may be found here.

  • Landscape Series: 1 by alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) is one of five works selected (out of 288 submissions from composers in 36 countries) as a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Gaudeamus Award in Composition. His work will receive a performance at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2017, at which time the award winner will be announced.

  • Alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University, beginning in the fall of 2017.

  • Alumnus composer Ben Johansen (PhD 2012) has been appointed Lecturer in Composition/Music Technology at Baylor University, beginning in the fall of 2017.

  • Nothing in the Nothingness, an opera by alumnus composer Daniel Zajicek, was one of eight works selected for performance in Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers 2017 program on 4-5 May 2017. As part of the performance, Daniel and his librettist, John Grimmett, will be in residence at Fort Worth Opera for a week of rehearsals and workshopping.

  • Eight UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2017 Conference at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, 20-22 April 2017: faculty composers Andrew May and Jon Nelson; student composers Miguel Espinel, Timothy Harenda and Michael Smith; and alumni composers Elainie Lillios, Jon Anderson, and Eli Fieldsteel. Also performing at the conference is faculty flutist Elizabeth McNutt.

  • Graduate composers Michael Smith, Jacob Thiede, Bihe Wen, and Jinghong Zhang will have works presented and performed at the National Student Electronic Music Event (NSEME 2017), 10-11 March 2017 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was recently selected as a composer fellow for the 2017 Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong. Daniel will be working in collaboration with Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, co-founder/associate artistic director of the New York Festival of Song, Michael Barrett, acclaimed tenor Jonathan Blalock, and internationally renowned composer and artistic director of IC 2017 Bright Sheng on performances of his cycle, Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016).

  • Electroacoustic works Contemplating Larry by alumna composer Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) and Regression by graduate composer Bihe Wen were two of thirteen prizewinners selected from a pool of 109 composers from 25 different countries in the Concours de Composition Acousmatique Métamorphoses 2016. The prizewinning works are included on the CD recording Métamorphoses 2016, released in February 2017.

  • Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016) by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was premiered on 28 November 2016 at Romania's Festivalul Internațional Craiova Muzicală, commissioned and premiered by soprano Veronica Anușca and pianist Mihai Murariu.

  • Guitar Construction #2: Progressive Fracture, a work by alumnus composer Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009), was selected for performance at several venues in 2016, including the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (13-19 June), the VU Symposium (Park City, UT, 5-7 July), Sound and Music Computing Conference (Hamburg, Germany, 31 August - 3 September), Electronic Music Midwest (Chicago, IL, 13-15 October), and Diffrazioni Multimedia Festival (Florence, Italy, 21-27 November).

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was one of three winners of the 2017 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. Daniel will receive a $1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that the choral ensemble The Esoterics will premiere at the POLYPHONOS Concert in October of 2017. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

  • Alumnus composer Sam Melnick (BM 2015) was selected as one of eight finalists (out of over 60 submissions from 13 countries) in Novus New Music, Inc's first annual call for scores (2016).

  • Alumnus composer Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he will serve as the Director of the Experimental Music Studios and teach courses in electroacoustic composition and engineering.

  • Alumna composer Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) was one of twelve recipients of the prestigious 2016 Barlow Endowment Commission, to compose a new work for the new music ensemble Bent Frequency.

  • Alumnus Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was especially active and productive during the summer 2016. He was a production intern at the Ojai Music Festival (Ojai, CA, 9-12 June), where he worked alongside artistic director Peter Sellars, as well as festival artists Kaija Saariaho, Roomful of Teeth, and Claire Chase and the International Contemporary Ensemble, among others. He was a Composer and Vocal Fellow for the 2016 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (26 June - 7 July), where he collaborated with soprano Estelí Gomez on a performance of a scene from his opera The Holy Courtesan. He was also Composer-In-Residence for the 2016 ICon Arts Academy (20-30 July), where his newly-commissioned work, Two Reflections on The Belovéd for soprano and percussion quartet, was premiered by the ICon Arts Percussion Group, conducted by acclaimed Romanian percussionist Mircea Ardeleanu, with soprano Veronica Anușca. Radio Romania Cultural called the performance, “perhaps the most interesting part of the program."

  • Jonathan Camacho (BA 2008) recently composed the film score for the movie Destination: Team USA, a collaboration between United Airlines, Tribeca Digital Studios and Resonance Story Company. The film is the first to be commissioned by a U.S.-based airline and the first film to be premiered on a U.S. airline flight. The movie will run as the in-flight movie on all United Airlines flights for 3 months starting 1 July 2016. Jonathan also produced and co-wrote the song for the end credits, titled "Higher Stronger," which features Moses Uvere and Sarah Sellers (American Idol Season 10).

  • Composition alumnus Jason Fick (PhD 2012) was recently appointed Assistant Professor and Director of Music Technology at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR), beginning in the fall 2016. Jason previously served as Associate Professor of Audio Production at the Art Institute of Dallas.

  • 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 in 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) on 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.