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School of Music News

  • Spring 2016 - Dr. Brendan McConville (Associate Professor, Music Theory/Composition) has been selected for a core Fulbright scholar grant from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for 2015 – 2016. His research and teaching activities as part of the Fulbright award will take place in Italy during the spring and summer in 2016. A goal of this award will be compose a new work for voice, piano, and multimedia. He will also conduct research on the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio and capture sounds from the Italian countryside in locations where D'Annunzio penned his famous poem, "La Pioggia nel Pineto" (The Rain in the Pine Forest). The recorded sounds will then be integrated into the fabric of a new multi-­‐movement setting of "La Pioggia." He will also be teaching a seminar called "Recent American Compositional Trends and Analysis" at the Conservatorio Luisa D'Annunzio in Pescara, Italy.
  • August 2015 – Several professors have been nominated as semi-finalists for The American Prize. Dr. Jorge Variego (Lecturer, Music Theory/Composition) and Dr. Andrew Sigler (Lecturer, Music Composition) are semi-finalists in the American Prize in Chamber Music Competition, professional division. Dr. Sigler is nominated for his composition "finding the air up there" and Dr. Variego for his piece "Walls." Dr. Kevin Class (Associate Professor, Collaborative Piano) is also a finalist in thePiano Performance (solo)—professional division. Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobs (Retired Professor of Music Composition) is also nominated in the Composition—Chamber Music (professional division) for his composition "Canopy of Dreams, The Pine Planters."
  • March 2015 – Tennessee Cello Workshop Award Winners include: Junior High School Division - Aaron Chen of Arden, NC, and Katelyn Hedrick, of Sevierville, TN, Co-first prize; Eleanor Liske-Doorandish of Eggleston, VA, third prize. High School Division - David Bender of Franklin, TN, first prize; Daniel Hong of Knoxville, TN, second prize; Caleb Dean of Memphis, TN, third prize. Collegiate Competition - Hannah Moses and Wesley Skinner from the Cleveland Institute of Music, co-first prize; Matthew Liversedge from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, third prize.
  • February 2015 - Saxophone graduate student Junwen Jia won the United States Open Music Competition in Oakland, CA for the Instrumental Solo - Intermediate/Advanced category today.
  • January 2015 - Dr. Andrew Sigler will serve a three-year term for an At-Large Board Member position of the National Association of Composers/USA (NACUSA) National Advisory Council.
  • October 2014 – The Natalie L. Halsam Music Center was awarded a Merit Award in Architecture by the American Institute of Architects East Tennessee Chapter (local chapter) at their awards program in October 2014.  This is the same level of award that it was presented by the state chapter in Summer 2014.
  • Natalie L. Haslam Music Center nominated for a 2014 People's Choice Awards by the American Institute of Architects, East Tennessee Chapter
    Four recent campus construction and renovation projects, including the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, have been nominated for 2014 People's Choice Awards by the American Institute of Architects, East Tennessee Chapter. Alumni of the College of Architecture and Design were involved in all but one of the twenty-five projects. Other projects are the One Stop Express Student Services Center in Hodges Library, the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building (pictured), and Pat Summitt Plaza.
  • October 2014 -- Congratulations to our 2014 Tennessee State NATS Competition Finalists
    • Meghan Mayes - 1st Place Freshman Women
    • Evan Price - 1st Place Freshmen Men
    • Ben Mason - 2nd Place Sophomore Men
    • Brett Hopper - 3rd Place Sophomore Men
    • Meghan Mayes - 1st Place Musical Theatre Underclass
    • Tyler Padgett - 2nd Place Musical Theatre Underclass 
    • Breyon Latrell Wess - 1st Place Junior Men
    • Jack Francis - 2nd Place Junior Men
    • David Buchanan - 1st Place Senior Men
    • Emily Hagens - 1st Place Musical Theatre Upperclass
    • Andrea Markowitz - 1st Place Senior Women
    • Alexandria Shiner - 1st Place Advanced Women 
    • Kacie Kenton - 2nd Place Advanced Women

    2014 Tennessee State NATS Competition Finalists 2014 Tennessee State NATS Competition Finalists

  • September 2014 - Kenneth Jacobs (Professor of Music Composition, retired 2014) won 2nd place in the American Prize: Orchestra Division prize for his composition "Approaching Northern Darkness." The judges said Ken Jacobs has "...a distinct individual voice."
    The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories. (More information about the prizes and contests: )
    Ken Jacobs' music, artwork, and photography are featured at
  • September 2014 - Andrew Sigler (Lecturer in Music Composition) has won second prize in the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers for his composition "finding the air up there".  The piece will be performed in Houston on November 1.
    The competition is open to junior, high school, college and professional composers, with cash awards for first and second place in each category. The top two winners will also have the opportunity to hear their works publicly performed and recorded during Foundation for Modern Music's 2014-2015 season.
    Through the competition, Foundation for Modern Music honors its late Artistic Director Robert Avalon, who helped develop and initiate several important new projects for the Foundation, including this competition for young, college and mid-career composers. More information on this competition can be found at
  •  September 2014 - Music Building Honored with State's Second Highest Architecture Award
    Tennessee's chapter of the American Institute of Architects has awarded the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center with the second-highest design honor in the state. (more information: TN today article – won't link for me)
  • August 2014 - Pride of the Southland Band Kicks off 2014 Season with New Music, Surprises
    Fans of the Pride of the Southland Band are in for new music and surprises this season when UT's beloved marching band takes the field. The band will debut new music it will play in the stands for cheers and chants during UT's August 31 season opener against Utah State.
  • August 2014 - Dr. Jacqueline Avila has been awarded a UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year.
    This postdoctoral fellowship will allow Jacqueline to conduct research and complete her book, tentatively titled CineSonidos: Cinematic Music and Identity in Early Mexican Film (1896-1952). Her book is an examination of meaning and cultural representation in Mexican film music during the industry’s early sound period. This project is a continuation of her work previously completed for her dissertation.  This fellowship will allow her to spend extended time in Mexico during the upcoming academic year.

  • May 2014 - Dr. Kenneth Jacobs retired in May 2014 after 40 years of teaching composition at UT. We wish him happiness in his retirement!
  • May 2014 - Dr. Karen Ladd retired in May 2014 after 21 ears of teaching at UT. We wish her well in her retirement!
  • Marvelene MooreMay 2014 - Marvelene Moore to Retire
    After 35 1/2 years of teaching in the School of Music, Dr. Marvelene Moore has decided to retire effective July 31, 2014.  She says: “My years as a Professor of Music Education have brought me great joy and fulfillment.  I have especially enjoyed working with the students and with all the faculty. I wish you much success in the future.” Please join us in congratulating Dr. Moore on her years of service to UT!
  • April 2014 - Music Student to Perform at Carnegie Hall Friday
    Carson Hayes, a senior music major, was a featured solo pianist at a special concert at New York's Carnegie Hall on Friday, April 25. The 8:00 p.m. concert took place in the Weill Recital Hall as part of the InterHarmony International Music Festival's concert series.
  • April 2014 – School of Music Honors Convocation announces winners of awards and scholarships. (More information can be found in Noteworthy 2014)

    School of Music Winners: Yi-Ting Huang, piano; Carson Hayes, piano; UTopia Saxophone Quartet: Ryan Bright, soprano saxophone; Mark Cook, alto saxophone; Jake Lane, tenor saxophone; Nick Lloyd, baritone saxophone; Nathan Williamson, djembe

    First Place: Nathan Reeves for his paper "Claudio Monteverdi's Pianto della Madonna: Marian Piety, Eroticism, and Lament in Seventeenth-Century Venice."
    Second Place: Tyler Mitchell for his paper "Defiance in Tragedie en musique: Lully and Quinault's Empowering of the Feminine in Armide."

    Honorable Mention: Lydia Kabalen in the Student Paper Contest for her paper "A Turn in Music Education: The Tanglewood Symposium."
    Honorable Mention: Natalie Renfroe in the Student Paper Contest for her paper "Gender Distribution: History of Women in the College Band."


    STUDENT AMBASSADORS, 2014–15: Olivia Anderson, Liza Cooper, Marissa Mitchell, Erin Murphy, Jasmeen Pantleay, Noah Tuten

    Landon Paul, music education; Benjamin Stevenson, music theory/composition; Carson Hayes, piano performance; Kyle Bothof, studio music and jazz; Alex Ward, voice performance





    PRESSER SCHOLARSHIP: Elizabeth Cooper


    Rachel Brown; Jessie Anne Compton; Lindsey Cope; Peter Johnson; Kevin Nolan; Zachary Pentecost; Marshall Rollings; Shelise Washington; Sandra Wells; Elizabeth Williams
  • March 2014 – Hillary Herndon (Associate Professor, Viola) and graduate student Emily Zaita traveled to Cange, Haiti over spring break to an annual music camp which provides string lessons to students in the area. They helped conduct daily rehearsals for three band groups, three string groups, a recorder class, as well as taught individual lessons in everything from percussion to conducting.  Herndon and Zaita also carried four string instruments, several clarinets, an oboe, reeds, extra strings, mouthpieces, sheet music, and even a xylophone to donate.  More info . . .
  • February 2014 - UT School of Music hosted the 2014 Joint Conference of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic chapters of the College Music Society and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction.
    In conjunction with this conference was the Doc Seversinsen International Composition Contest. Winners of this contest had their pieces played at the gala concert on Friday, February 14, 2013. More information on the conference can be found at and the winning pieces of the Doc Severinsen contest can be heard on .
  • Sande MacMorranDecember 2013 - Sande MacMorran to retire
    After 39 1/2 years at the University of Tennessee, Sande MacMorran will be retiring December 31, 2013.  Please join me in thanking Sande for his years of service to the School of Music and in wishing him only the best in his retirement endeavors.
  • September 2013 - UT School of Music’s Natalie L. Haslam Music Center dedication ceremonies held September 12-13, 2013
    The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center was dedicated on September 12-13, 2013 with a concert and a dedication ceremony. Cutting the ribbon at the dedication were Natalie and Jim Haslam, Governor Bill Haslam, Sandra Powell, Jim Powell, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, Sen. Lamar Alexander, UT President Joe DiPietro, Arts &Sciences Dean Theresa Lee, School of Music Director Jeff Pappas, Margie Stephens and student Megan Brooker.
    Link for more information:

    Ribbon Cutting
  • September 2013 - Original “Tennessee Waltz” manuscript given to UT
    US Senator Lamar Alexander, his wife, Honey, and three other couples - Ashley and Lew Conner, Denise and Steve Smith, and Colleen and Ted Welch  - purchased the original manuscript of the “Tennessee Waltz” in August. The manuscript was presented to UT at the dedication of the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center on July 13, 2013. The manuscript will be displayed in the new music building.

  • Fay AdamsSeptember 2013 - Practice room G031 dedicated to Fay Adams
    On September 5, 2013, a practice room in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center (room G031) was dedicated to Fay Adams.  Her two sons, Andy and John, led the development campaign to get this room named in her honor, and many family and friends were there to share in this wonderful moment with her. Congratulations, Fay!
  • The School of Music moves into the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center in July 2013.  In 2004, Natalie and Jim Haslam and the Haslam Family Foundation gave the University of Tennessee $32.5 million. The largest allotment of this money, $10 million, went to the UT School of Music to help build a new music facility. The new music building was designed by Associated Music Center Architects, a joint venture of BarberMcMurry architects and Blankenship & Partners( The contractor for the building was Johnson & Galyon, Inc.
  • All-Steinway SchoolSeptember 2013 - School of Music is an All-Steinway School
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s School of Music is an All-Steinway School, meaning that at least 90 percent of its pianos are Steinway-designed pianos.  The pianos include 35 upright pianos, along with 19 6-foot, 2-inch grand pianos, 13 7-foot grand pianos and one 9-foot concert grand piano. The delivery of the pianos to UT’s new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center in August 2013 completes the university’s privately financed $3.5 million campaign to become an All-Steinway School.


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