Dr. Steven Roberts is associate professor of jazz studies and trumpet at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously, he was assistant professor of trumpet and jazz at Mars Hill College after holding a similar position at Iowa State University. He is an active teacher and freelance musician and has performed with Marcus Roberts, Kirk Whalum, Martha and the Vandellas, Vincent DiMartino, Ryan Anthony, Jon Faddis, Allen Vizzutti, Cecil and Deedee Bridgewater, Chip McNeill, Jim Pugh, Charo and many others.

Dr. Reynolds, B.M. - Samford University, M.M. - Southwestern Theological Seminary, and D.M.A. - University of Illinois, is Associate Professor of Music. As Music Director of the International Cathedral Music Festival, singers and instrumentalists from all over the world have performed under his direction in such historic venues as Salisbury Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Christ Church - Oxford, St. Mary's Church - York, St. Giles Cathedral - Edinburgh, Domkirche - Eisenstadt, St. Etienne-du-Mont - Paris and the Votivekirche and St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

Henry Panion, III, PhD, holds degrees in music education and music theory from Alabama A & M University and the Ohio State University, respectively. He is most known for his work as conductor and arranger for superstar Stevie Wonder, for whose performances and recordings he has led many of the world’s most notable orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, the Birmingham (England) Symphony, the Orchestra of Paris, the Melbourne (Australia) Symphony, the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic, the Ra’anana Philharmonic, the Nice Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The two-CD set Natural Wonder features Dr. Panion conducting his arrangements of many of Stevie Wonder’s award-winning, chart-topping songs with Stevie and the Tokyo Philharmonic.

Cara Morantz joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as Assistant Director of Bands in the fall of 2014. She is a part of the instructional team for the Marching Blazers, the Wind Symphony and Symphony Band, and the Blazer Bands. In addition, she provides instruction in music classes including courses in music education.

Brian Kittredge joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty in 2010 as Director of Choral Activities, where he conducts the University Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, University Chorus, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. The UAB choirs under his direction have been selected as the recording choir for the MorningStar Publication series, featuring premiere performances of K. Lee Scott’s "Gloria" and Michael Trotta’s "I Shall See." Most recently, the UAB Concert Choir was invited to perform in the Championship Competition at the Interkultur World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia in July 2014, and was the featured ensemble in the world premiere performance of Glenn McClure’s "Songs of Freedom," a project commemorating the anniversaries of the Civil Rights Movement and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Concert Choir was also invited to perform at the 2012 Alabama Music Educators Conference in Montgomery, AL.

Dr. Howard Irving (BM Centenary College, MM and PhD Louisiana State University) is Professor of Music. He teaches courses in Music History and Literature and Music Appreciation. He has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, including Current Musicology, Music and Letters, The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, College Music Symposium, and The Music Review. He has served on the editorial board of College Music Symposium and as President of the American Musicological Society's Southern Chapter. Dr. Irving's research interests include eighteenth and nineteenth-century British music criticism and historiography and the keyboard works of Joseph Haydn. His book Ancients and Moderns: William Crotch and the Development of Classical Music was published in 1999 by Ashgate Press.

My Work:

Over the past ten years, my research and music has focused on the use of temporal disruption and its effect on the progress of the musical narrative. In many of my compositions, including Hook, Line, & Sinker, Sans Titre VII, I Forget What Eight Was For, and most recently, Triptych: Three Studies in Gesture and Noise, I have attempted to explore and develop three basic concepts typically associated with discursive semantics: the brief, yet violent ”interjection,” the extended “interruption,” and the longer musical “digression.” It has been my aim to create an energetic and engaging piece that focuses on the juxtaposition of dissimilar tempi, texture, and timbre, yet somehow maintains a sense of continuity and direction.

Dr. James Zingara is currently Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where his responsibilities include applied trumpet and brass methods, coaching and conducting brass ensembles, performing with the UAB Faculty Brass Quintet and coordinating the annual UAB Brass Symposium. From 1998 to 2011 Dr. Zingara was Associate Professor of Music at Troy University in Troy, Alabama where he taught applied trumpet, brass methods, conducted the Troy University Trumpet Ensemble and served as Coordinator of Applied Studies. 

Chris Steele is Staff Pianist and Aural Skills Instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has held previous positions at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as Staff Pianist, and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as both Lecturer of Music Theory and Ear Training as well as Faculty Fellow for the UNCG Grogan College Music Learning Community. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Accompanying and Chamber Music from UNCG where he studied with Andrew Harley and James Douglass, and held assistantships in both accompanying and music theory/ear training. He received two Masters degrees from The Florida State University in Piano Performance and Music Theory where he studied with Carolyn Bridger.

Hailed by the Journal of Singing for the “commendable clarity in her singing as well as rich expressiveness,” soprano Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk’s solo CD of the world premieres of Lori Laitman’s The Secret Exit and Diana Rosenblum’s “Winter Rain” was released by Naxos in 2020. Recorded with frequent partner Denise Gainey, Fanfare noted that “hearing Hurst-Wajszczuk and Gainey work as one on these songs just underlines the music’s power,” since they “feel each and every nuance.” Sakira Ventura celebrates “the perfect articulation of the soprano, who seems to sculpt each one of the syllables of text.” Following pre-pandemic American, Belgian, and Canadian premieres, the duo will bring The Secret Exit to Austria in 2022.

Denise A. Gainey is Professor of Clarinet and Instrumental Music Education and Associate Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a Backun Artist/Clinican, a Légère Reeds Endorsing Artist, a Silverstein PRO-Team Artist, and has served as an Educational Recording Artist for Carl Fischer Music.

Gene Fambrough, DMA, is currently Assistant Director of Bands and Professor of Percussion at UAB, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He directs the UAB Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Electro-Acoustic Percussion Group, and Blazer Band, serves as percussion arranger and instructor for the UAB Marching Blazers, and is assistant conductor for the UAB Wind Symphony and Symphony Band. His compositions are published by Innovative Percussion and T.A.P. Publications.

Korean-Canadian Bass Won Cho is in demand in both concert and operatic repertoire worldwide thanks to the unique range and beauty of his voice as well as his outstanding acting ability and strong stage presence, appearing with many of the opera houses and orchestras of the US, Canada, Europe, Mid East, Asia, and his native Korea. Critics hailed Cho’s performances as “Expertly played whose deep tones vibrate the seats,” “One wished the score let him sing his overcoat aria twice,” “Won Cho steal(s) the show,” “Deep resonant mellifluous sound," "He sang with a grave, classic beauty," “A particularly dark, melodic yet rafter-ringing bass that is worth the price of admission all by itself.” 

Yakov Kasman’s debut in America in 1997 as Silver Medalist in the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth was the culmination of several competition triumphs and tours in Europe and the Middle East, including top prizes at the 1991 Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome, the 1991 London World Piano Competition, the 1992 Arthur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv, and the 1995 International Prokofiev Competition at St. Petersburg.