Department of Music

Faculty News

Errante
Steven Errante

Dr. Errante's orchestral arrangements of three Christmas carols, recorded by tenor Federico and the London Symphony Orchestra on his album entitled The Glory of Christmas, were released on iTunes in October of 2015. The tracks are:

What Child is This?

O Come, Immanuel

Silent Night

Michael D'Angelo
Michael D'Angelo

Michael D'Angelo presented a jazz drum set clinic at the NCMEA conference on November 10, 2015, entitled "Demystifying Jazz Drum Set." The presentation discussed the issues and habits of young drum set players in the Jazz style, and how band directors teach younger players to improvise and play more idiomatically in the Jazz style. Also in November, D'Angelo was guest clinician at the Eastern Washington University Jazz Dialogues Festival (Cheney, Wash.), working with and critiquing performances by 56 local and regional middle school, high school and college jazz ensembles. He also performed with the clinicians and gave a master class to festival participants on drum set playing.

Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson

Dr. Daniel Johnson (Department of Music) co-authored a publication for the International Journal of Music Education entitled, "Experienced General Music Teachers' Instructional Decision Making."

In October 2015, Johnson traveled to the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (Heredia, Costa Rica), as a visiting professor, where he presented a series of classes and workshops in music and music education for university students and area music teachers. Also in October, he presented, "Scholarship as Service-Learning, Pre-Professional Engagement, and Artistic Performances," at the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities National Conference (Omaha, Neb).

Johnson is a NextUp Leadership Develop Fellow (UNCW Center for Faculty Leadership) and was selected for the Applied Learning Research Cooperative (UNCW Center for Teaching Excellence). He participated in three professional developments workshops related to STEAM Education (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math): Professional Development sessions for the Southeastern Center for Arts Integration; whole-school workshops with the A+ Schools Program; and a session for the semi-annual Professional Development Day sponsored by the Watson College of Education.

Daniel Johnson (tuba) was the featured soloist with Wilmington Symphony Orchestra on the Masterworks Concert in November 2015, performing the Vaughan-Williams Tuba Concerto. He performed in the Music on Market concert series for the "Sounds of Freedom" concert in November, and as part of the Wilmington City Ballet Orchestra for the December performances of The Nutcracker ballet. Johnson directed the 11th annual Wilmington OctubaFest concert on campus in October 2015, as well as the 12th Annual Tuba Christmas Carols Concerts in Wilmington and in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in December. The Eastern United States Pipe Band Association recently ranked Dr. Daniel Johnson third in a field of 515 bagpipers.

John LaCognata
John LaCognata

Directed by, Dr. John LaCognata, the sixth annual UNCW Honor Band Festival (Thursday-Friday, Dec. 3-5, 2015) saw it's largest participation yet, receiving 340 nominations from 42 schools, of which 207 students were invited to participate, based on their musical accomplishments and their director's assessment and recommendation. Following auditions held the first night of the festival; students were divided into two bands and worked with either Dr. LaCognata or guest conductor Tom Jenner (Millbrook High School band director, Raleigh, N.C.). The festival included concerts by UNCW Jazz Ensemble I on Thursday, UNCW Chamber Winds (featuring a performance by Dr. Helena Spencer, bassoon) and UNCW Wind Symphony on Friday, and a finale concert by festival participants on Saturday. The festival also included full ensemble rehearsals, master classes by Department of Music applied faculty, and a tour of campus led by Department of Music students.

LaCognata was the invited conductor of the 2015 Moore All-County Band Clinic (Nov. 20-21, 2015), which included 86 students from North Moore, Pinecrest, and Union Pines high schools. The two-day clinic included rehearsals and a concluding concert at the North Moore High School Auditorium. He was also the invited adjudicator for several North Carolina band competitions, including: the 15th annual Crystal Coast Band Classic at Havelock High School, Havelock on Oct. 31, 2015 with 22 regional high school bands in attendance; the third annual Pirate Classic held at Topsail High School, Topsail on Oct. 17, 2015, with 13 regional high school bands in attendance; the Mighty Marching Trojans Band Classic held at Garner Magnet High School, Garner on Oct. 10. 2015, with 11 regional high school bands in attendance; the 2015 Screaming Eagle Invitational held at Eugene Ashley High School, Wilmington on Sept. 26, 2015, with 14 regional high school bands in attendance.

Sea of Stones CD cover

Robert Nathanson

Frank Bongiorno

Robert Nathanson

Robert Nathanson recently signed a contract with Innova Records, the label of the American Composers Forum - which supports composers, providing opportunities for new music to flourish and be heard -to release and promote the CD Sea of Stones, produced by Robert Nathanson and David Kechley, and including performances by the Ryoanji Duo (Robert Nathanson, classical guitar, and Frank Bongiorno, saxophone).

John Rack

John Rack

The Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities recently recommended for funding a collaborative faculty/student research project for Dr. John Rack and percussion student Miranda Watkins (B.A., music) entitled "Guide to Playing Timpani in Symphonic Band." The goal of this project is to publish a book on playing timpani in symphonic band.

Waiting for Santa

Jerald Shynett

Karen Kane

Jerald Shynett

Collaboration between UNCW alumni, students and faculty resulted in the release of Vanessa Lynch's (B.A., music '11) Waiting for Santa. The CD featured Lynch on vocals with Department of Music faculty Jerald Shynett, keyboards/vocals; Michael D'Angelo, drums; Taylor Lee, bass (B.A., Music '12); Cameron Tinklenberg (B.A. Music). Two of the selections were co-written by Lynch and Shynett, who was also musical arranger for all tracks. Music faculty member Karen Kane recorded and engineered the project. The CD, available on cdbaby.com. is a sophisticated blend of progressive jazz, pop and classical holiday music.

Helena Spencer
Helena Kopchick Spencer

Dr. Helena Kopchick Spencer received a 2015-16 Charles L. Cahill Award for her combined research-performance project "Transdisciplinary Transformations: Fairy-Tale Vignettes from the Poetry of Anne Sexton to the Music of Jessica Rudman." This project investigates the creative process of musical ekphrasis in composer Jessica Rudman's flute/bassoon duet Transformations (2007), a work inspired by the American poet Anne Sexton's 1971 collection of postmodern feminist retellings of Grimm's fairy tales. The Cahill grant will also support the commission of a second suite of Transformations pieces from Rudman. A performance of Transfomations by Spencer, bassoon,and Sophia Tegart, flute,is scheduled in Beckwith Recital Hall on April 9, 2016. More information will be forthcoming on the department's Events page.

Justin Hoke Open Sky CD cover

Justin Hoke

Justin Hoke

Justin Hoke released the CD Open Sky in November 2015. Open Sky, which is the English translation of the title track Cielo Abierto, includes works by Barrios, Satie, Scarlatti, Brouwer and more. Open Sky was made possible by a grant through the Arts Council of Wilmington, and was recorded at Low Tide Studios with Department of Music faculty member Karen Kane as recording engineer. The CD was previewed at a recital on Nov. 19; Hoke appeared on WHQR public radio's Midday Interview prior to the recital.

Joe Hickman
Joe Hickman

Carus Publishing (the chorale division of the German music publisher Carus-Verlag and one of the leading music publishers of vocal music worldwide) will publish Dr. Joe Hickman's reduction of the full orchestral score of the Haydn Creation score to one for a smaller chamber orchestra. Creation, was performed March 2015 in Beckwith Recital Hall by UNCW Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and soloists, with a chamber orchestra whose size was limited by the size of the stage, a not uncommon challenge in the presentation of choral works.