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music Accomplishments

Jun 16, 2017
Jonathan Rhodes Lee (Music) presented his research on George Frideric Handel's oratorio Joseph and His Brethren at the prestigious Hallische Händel-Festspiele (Halle Handel Festival). Each year, an international group of Handel specialists gathers in Halle, the city of the composer's birth, to share research on a given theme. This year's conference, titled "Zwischen Originalgenie und Plagiator: Händels komositorische Methode und ihre Deutungen" (Between Original Genius and Plagiarizer: Handel's Compositional Methods and their Meanings), focused on Handel's borrowing practices. Lee's presentation discovered a close relationship between Händel's Joseph and Antonio Caldara's Giuseppe that had been hitherto unnoted in scholarly literature. This research will be published in the 2018 edition of the Händel Jahrbuch, a German journal overseen by the Georg Friedrich Händel Gesellschaft and Bärenreiter press.

May 2, 2017
Jonathan Rhodes Lee (Music) presented his research at the biennial meeting of the American Handel Society (AHS) at Princeton University in April. The AHS is North America's most prestigious scholarly society devoted to the study of Handel's life and works, and its meeting attracts scholars from around the world. Lee's paper was on the oratorio Joseph and His Brethren, which he is currently editing for the Hallische-Händel Ausgabe. 

Apr 27, 2017
Michael Spicer (Music) won a prestigious 2017 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award for outstanding performance in the Graduate College Jazz Composition Category.

Apr 14, 2017
The UNLV Wind Orchestra has received numerous outstanding reviews for its latest CD, The Return. (This is the Wind Orchestra's 10th release for label Klavier, and its 19th since it began releasing music in 1994.) Fanfare recently interviewed director Thomas Leslie (Music) about the wind orchestra program and its tremendous success both in Las Vegas and around the world. Read the interview.

Apr 4, 2017
UNLV Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dave Loeb (Music),  won first place at the prestigious 2017 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, tying with the University of the Arts from Philadelphia. UNLV Jazz will perform in September in the Monterey Jazz Festival. Dean Nancy Uscher and all of the College of Fine Arts are extremely proud of these brilliant students for their world class performance. 

Feb 23, 2017
David Loeb (Music) was honored as a guest performer and featured presenter at the 2017 Las Vegas Philharmonic Gala at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center on Feb. 9. UNLV's director of jazz studies, Loeb also conducted the Show Stoppers Orchestra for Lady Gaga's performance in the Encore Theater at The Wynn Hotel in December. In addition, he was the pianist for the 2016 Grammy Award-winning recording for Best Engineered and Produced Release in the Classical category, Ask Your Mama, with poetry by Langston Hughes and composed by Laura Karpman. The recording included drummer QuestLove, opera singers Angela Brown and Janai Burger, jazz vocalist Nena Freelon, jazz  saxophonist Ben Wendel, and many others with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, conducted by George Manahan. It was recorded at Skywalker Sound.

Feb 14, 2017
Jonathan Rhodes Lee (Music) has just had his  critical edition of the harpsichord works of Pierre Nicolas La Font published by A-R editions as part of its "Recent Researches in the Music of the Classical Era." This publication was also the recipient of an award from the James R. Anthony Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This edition presents the newly rediscovered harpsichord works of La Font (ca. 1725–ca. 1791), which survive in a single known copy now housed at the University of California, Berkeley. La Font was organist at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and published two volumes of keyboard music, in 1759 and 1773 respectively. The surviving copy of the Premier Livre comprises 17 pieces (including one with violin accompaniment), the last of which is left incomplete. The reemergence of these pieces makes it possible to connect the composer with some of the most important musical and aristocratic families of mid-eighteenth-century France, and brings La Font’s virtuosic music back from obscurity, providing a valuable addition to the harpsichord repertoire.

Feb 13, 2017
Linda Lister and UNLV Opera Theatre (both Music) won second place in the Musical Theatre Division of the National Opera Association Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition. Lister serves as director of UNLV Opera.

Feb 10, 2017
UNLV Jazz Ensemble I (Music) has been invited, through a rigorous audition process among some of the top university jazz ensembles in the nation, to compete as a finalist in the 2017 College Big Band Division at the prestigious Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, in Monterey, California. Other universities to be represented include USC, Cal State Northridge, Azusa Pacific, Cal State Sacramento, and the University of the Arts. Congratulations to our talented UNLV Jazz Ensemble 1 students for this distinguished honor. 

Feb 9, 2017
Jennifer Bellor (Music) composed a piece, "Chase the Stars,"  that recently was awarded The American Prize in the orchestra category. Written for soprano, rapper, flute, bass clarinet, string quartet, percussion, electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, "Chase the Stars" was commissioned by ShoutHouse in 2015, and Bellor later recorded the piece with rapper Rasar Amani, along with UNLV students and faculty, for her album "Stay." The text is from the poem, "Ah, Why Because the Dazzling Sun" by Emily Brönte, with original lyrics by Amani.