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UAB Music Department Alum Lonnie Parsons Receives Rave Reviews as the "Pianoman"

Lonnie_Parsons_Pianoman_SmallBy Alec Harvey -- The Birmingham News 

["Pianomen," at the Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham through April 29; 251-1206; Review gets four out of five stars.]

“Pianomen” really isn’t a play. It’s not theater.

It’s more like a chance for a guy to sit down at the piano, tell us a few stories about his life and, mainly, sing the songs of Billy Joel, Elton John, Barry Manilow and others while three of his friends sing back-up.

Thank goodness that guy is Lonnie Parsons, one of the most talented guys around when it comes to playing the piano and singing. And it doesn’t hurt that his talented trio of friends is made up of Kristi Tingle Higginbotham, Jan D. Hunter and Amy Johnson.


UAB Jazz Ensemble and Music Tech Major Micah Braxton Winners at Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Festival

Micah_Steve_TrophiesCongratulation are in order as The UAB Jazz Ensemble takes the first place award (Band of Distinction) at the 2012 Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Jazz Band Festival. The annual competition is held in Birmingham, AL at the historic Carver District, which serves as home of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. The UAB jazz program is headed by Dr. Steve Roberts. UAB music technology major Micah Braxton  won the Outstanding Soloist award for his performance on drums with the UAB Jazz Combo and the UAB Jazz Ensemble. Held annually, the competition included college jazz programs from throughout the state of Alabama and Mississippi.

Yakov Kasman 2012 Recipient of the Ireland Award

Yakov Kasman has been named recipient of the 2012 Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction.  “Yakov emulates everything this prize was created to celebrate,” says Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Thomas M. DiLorenzo.  “The level of prestige and honor he brings to the Department of Music, the College, and UAB is priceless.”

UAB presents the award annually to a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences for professional and academic achievements and contributions to the university and local community. The prize, made possible by the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Endowment for Scholarly Distinction, comes with $5,000 cash and a Steuben crystal engraved award.


Yakov Kasman on Jury for Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy

UAB Professor of Piano Yakov Kasman, D.M.A., has been invited to be a member of the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition juryin Bolzano, Italy. The competition for young pianists is considered one of the world’s top music competitions.
Kasman will represent the United States and Russia as one of the seven-member jury for the competition’s preliminary, happening Aug. 22-31, 2012.


UAB Students Win at Annual NATS Competition

Five UAB singers, all students of Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, recently took several prizes at the Alabama NATS competition in Huntsville: Charles Daniel: 2nd place, senior men (right); Shane Bloemetjie: 2nd place, junior men (center); Jake Hemminger: 2nd place, sophomore men (left); Jake Hemminger: 2nd place, sophomore musical theatre men; Valencia Callens: semi-finalist, sophomore women; Mary Katherine Whatley: semi-finalist, sophomore women.