News and Announcements
Share your story
Do you have a news or success story to share with the TWU Music Department? If so, please fill out our Alumni News Form. To update your current address and contact information, please fill out our Alumni Update Form.
In a year of unexpected challenges, TWU music therapy program faculty Drs. Lauren DiMaio, Della Molloy-Daugherty and Rebecca West have teamed up to create an innovative, holistic and social justice-driven curriculum with new opportunities for student-client connection and community collaboration.
Professional musician, sound engineer, entrepreneur and full-time graduate student NaTasha Rogers has a lot on her plate these days, but she juggles it all with a spirit of profound positivity and infinite strength, even in the face of adversity.
Kathleen Montes began her career as a music teacher, but when her father passed away from cancer, she realized music therapy was her true calling. While pursuing her Master of Music Therapy degree at TWU, Kathleen advocated for her own clinical training path in hospice care.
In November, a limited audience of TWU community members were treated to a free TWU Chamber Singers and Concert Choir performance in an unusual location: The third floor of the Oakland Street Parking Garage. The vocal ensembles, led by professor Joni Jensen, DMA, first made use of the open-air space for rehearsals and then decided to transform the spot into a unique, socially-distanced venue for “Untraveled Worlds.”
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Noel Tardy studied classical guitar at Texas Woman’s University, but went to work in accounting. When she picked up the ukulele about 12 years ago she couldn’t put it down. She founded the Lone Star Uke Fest and the nonprofit Ukes in the Classroom program to teach music literacy to children. Now that she’s retired, Tardy is dedicated to music full-time. She has her own ukulele shop in Dallas, UkeLady’s Music Store, where she teaches private lessons and holds workshops.
Texas Woman's University has launched its "Virtual Orchestra 2020" project to help musicians collaborate and make music together, even when they can't be in the same room.
"Like many of you, we find ourselves suddenly unable to meet together and rehearse, and we do not know how long this situation will last.
We've decided to take inspiration from Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir Project, and create our own virtual orchestra, as a way to make music with one another, and we'd like to invite other musicians to join us," said Sam Flippin, project organizer and TWU Orchestra Director.
The project will start with “Adoration,” a piece written by American composer Florence Price, and arranged for string orchestra by Elaine Fine.
If you are a string player and interested in being a part of this project, visit the TWU Virtual Orchestra website for more information.
Sometimes, surprises aren’t just big, they’re transformational, too.
And for Caroline Deitch, whose outstanding academic credentials put her near the top of her senior class at McKinney High School, the surprise was a full-ride scholarship to Texas Woman’s University.
On Wednesday, February 19, the TWU Wind Symphony performed at the Collegiate Band Directors National Association's Southwest regional conference, hosted by Oklahoma University. Carter Biggers designed the program, which included the world premiere of The Rules Have to Change by Paul David Thomas, Remembering the Remarkables by Grace Baugher, Twist by Jodie Blackshaw, Daughters of Texas by John Philip Sousa, Shenandoah by Omar Thomas, and Masquerade by Vincent Persichetti. Two of the composers were in attendance.
The Texas Woman’s University Concert Choir has been selected to perform at the 2020 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Centennial Clinic/Convention Feb. 13 in San Antonio. TWU is one of only two collegiate choral ensembles invited to perform out of more than 150 entries.
TWU alumnus and music therapist Chad Harmon joins Baylor University Medical Center's NICU
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts recently announced the winners of The American Prize in Composition, 2018-19, in the choral music division (octavos). TWU assistant professor and coordinator of music theory, Paul David Thomas, Ph.D., was awarded second place for his composition, Out Damned Spot.
Black Sabbath’s heavy metal music brought Denton musicians Bailey Chatman and Alex Gillen together during a concert. Since then, the now engaged couple has teamed up to form punk duo Heavy Pulp. Gillen earned a master’s degree in classical guitar from Texas Woman’s University and said he tries to incorporate what he has learned in Heavy Pulp’s music.
Verdigris Ensemble’s ION Young Composer Competition is the brainchild of Meredith Tompkins, a Verdigris soprano and board member. Tompkins is a Dallas-based soprano completing her second season with Verdigris. Currently, she is the associate choir director and private voice teacher at Harwood Junior High in Bedford, TX and is an active composer of choral music for young voices. She earned a master’s in vocal pedagogy from TWU in 2014.
2019 Music Education Student Accolades
Lauren Spier - Communism and Ballet: How Swan Lake became the Ideal Example of Soviet Propaganda (Platform Presentation - 2019 Student Creative Arts & Research Symposium)
Hunter Hancock - How the Bard Singeth, Shalt Sing I (Platform Presentation - 2019 Student Creative Arts & Research Symposium)
Zane Rutledge - 2019 Student Pioneer of Excellence Award
Joseph Reyes - 2019 Graduate Assistant Award of Excellence
Amanda Lee Mendoza - 2019 Presser Scholar
Richard Shuster Zongoraestje: Ter-zene-sorozat
April 7, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
FUGA: Budapesti Építészeti Központ
Maurice Ravel: Tükrök
George Crumb: Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik, Ruminations on "Round Midnight" by Thelonius Monk
Philip Glass: Etüdök zongorára, l. kötet, Nr. 2
Joseph Klein: Unweaving a Rainbow
Közerműködick: Krulik Esszter - hegedű
For more information: fuga.org.hu/fevent/ter-zene-sorozat/
The TWU Concert Choir, conducted by Joni Jensen, DMA, professor of voice and director of choral activities, presented a 30-minute program twice at the 2019 American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) 60th Anniversary Jubilee National Conference Friday, March 1, 2019. The conference was held at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in downtown Kansas City.
The invitation to perform was a rare honor, with more than 225 choirs auditioning for 27 conference spots, chosen via a blind, multi-level jury process. "This was truly a landmark experience for all of our members, who were able to see the high caliber they are being associated with, and to realize how far they’ve come- shoulder to shoulder with best choirs, receiving standing ovations. This event legitimizes all the hard work we’ve done. We’ve been stretching our way forward and have finally broken out onto the main stage," said Jensen.
The fifth annual Voices of Women Concert will feature choruses from Texas Woman’s University, the Women's Chorus of Dallas, UNT and the Dallas and Flower Mound school districts.
"The message is — this word may be overused — but it is empowerment. Something that Joni Jensen, conductor of the Texas Woman’s University choir— and I share is this idea the singers should really connect to their full sound when they sing. And I think that’s something that’s often absent in women’s choral music," said Melinda Imthurn, the artistic director of the Women’s Chorus of Dallas, which is organizing the event.
The Texas Music Educators Association held its 99th annual clinic/convention Feb. 13-16, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. The event is the largest of its kind and draws around 29,000 music educators, clinicians, exhibitors, students and their families each year. The TWU Department of Music hosted a booth in the college section of the exhibit hall, which was manned by department faculty and staff.
The following TWU events were chosen through a highly selective, juried review of recordings and proposals submitted.
- Two student groups, the 15-member clarinet choir and the 10-member trombone choir, performed showcase concerts.
- The faculty brass quintet performed a showcase concert on the last morning of the conference.
- Sam Flippin, orchestra conductor, gave a clinic on beginning cello.
- Dr. Paul Thomas, coordinator for music theory, gave a clinic on sound synthesis through aural skills.
- Dr. Carter Biggers gave a clinic on work-life balance for young music educators.
- Four graduate students were selected for a poster presentation on their flute quartet research.
- Two alums had poster presentations.
- Matt Sawyer, a recent alum, gave a clinic on creating confident improvisers.
- Two music therapy alums gave a clinic on lessons and modifications for students on the autism spectrum.
Many TWU Music alumni attended the convention and clinic, and the department expects to expand its alumni reunion to a larger venue in the coming years.
When Christopher Madden, DMA, director of the TWU Community Music Center and assistant professor of piano pedagogy, founded the center in Fall 2018, he wanted to “create a culture of excitement surrounding music study.”
“I wanted to offer affordable music lessons to children and adults in Denton, and provide graduate students with hands-on teaching experience while earning their degrees. The Community Music Center offers a safe, non-competitive and supportive environment for music education. It also provides students with an opportunity for social interaction outside of school or work,” said Madden.
Page last updated 5:24 PM, May 27, 2021