Department of Music

  • Rejoice in bright, beautiful sounds of the season at Christmas at the Alys on Nov. 29

    Students from local high school choirs will join UAB choirs in this festive annual performance filled with traditional holiday favorites and standard choral classics.

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  • Henry Panion III inducted into National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle

    A producer, composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor and educator, Panion was invited to join the elite honor society for dedicating at least 25 years to television excellence.

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  • Music complements medicine for student with opera training, nursing degree

    Nurse Laura Melton studied classical music repertoire at UAB while earning her degree and performed in Italy this summer after missing out on the trip due to the pandemic.

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  • Price thrives on collaboration

    While growing up in Central Alabama, William Price, D.M.A., relished opportunities to collaborate with his fellow students and friends on musical projects.

    While growing up in Central Alabama, William Price, D.M.A., relished opportunities to collaborate with his fellow students and friends on musical projects. From writing percussion parts for the marching band at Jemison High School to playing drums in local bands, Price was constantly making music with other people.

    “It was always a good feeling to be able to contribute to the overall songwriting or composing process,” said Price, now Professor in the UAB Department of Music.

    As a teenager, Price was an avid music listener too, often enjoying genre-defying artists that challenged the ways in which he thought about and wrote music. One artist that profoundly influenced him was Frank Zappa.

    “I started analyzing his music. How does it work? What are the cultural influences within his music?” said Price. “He’s influenced by a lot of different music: rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, early doo wop, and classical—that spoke to me as well.”

    As Price examined these “stylistic dichotomies,” he began to discover other artists who also transcended labels, including the post-modern composer John Zorn and, later in life, Tom Waits.

    Eventually, Price brought his musical talents and scholarly interests to the University of North Alabama where he studied music education. After completing his bachelor’s degree at UNA, Price enrolled in Louisiana State University and pursued his Master of Music in Music Composition. He continued his studies at LSU and eventually earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Composition in 2004.

    After LSU, Price moved back to Alabama and continued composing while also serving as an adjunct instructor at the University of Montevallo. Around this time, he joined the Birmingham Art Music Alliance where he met Mike Angell, former Associate Professor of Music Technology at UAB. Price was familiar with UAB because his father, uncle, and wife all studied at the institution, and, during his conversation with Angell, he learned that a new position was about to open in the Department of Music.

    “[Angell] said, ‘Well, our theory professor is retiring and we’re going to open it up to a visiting professor search, and you should apply for it,’” said Price. “I applied for the job… and it worked out well and they offered me the position. I was a visiting assistant professor for a year. Then, they opened it up to a full-time tenure-earning position. 17 years later, I’ve still been in the position. UAB is a good place to be.”

    During his nearly two-decade career at UAB, Price has taught a range of courses (including music theory, music composition, and orchestration) and actively conducted research. In addition, Price has composed music for several of his colleagues in the Department of Music. His most recent collaborative project is with James Zingara, D.M.A., Associate Professor in the department and a world-class trumpet player.

    “Jim has been a great collaborator,” said Price. “He said, ‘Hey, would you mind writing something for piccolo trumpet and electronics?’”

    Electroacoustic music compositions are often built with a computer and later performed in a concert hall. Price liked the idea of combining live instruments with samples and other pre-recorded elements, so he agreed to compose the piece which is now titled “Hit and Run.” When composing the piece, Price notes that he found inspiration from many different sources, including ambulance sirens.

    “I started incorporating things that sounded a little bit like an ambulance,” said Price. “As the trumpet goes up and then back down, the general contour of the trumpet line alludes to a siren—not a literal representation of the ambulance but something similar to it.”

    Although Price is still tweaking the balance of the live version of “Hit and Run,” he has enjoyed watching Zingara perform the piece recently. Specifically, Zingara shared the composition at the 2021 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference in Denton, Texas; this year’s Pensacola ComposerFest at Pensacola State College; and at a recent faculty recital in the Hulsey Recital Hall at UAB.

    As Price looks ahead, he sees plenty of opportunities to collaborate with more musicians at UAB and across the country. It is the same spark that brought him to music in the first place. He is currently editing a new piece for solo clarinet with Denise Gainey, D.M.A., Professor of Music and Associate Chair in the Department of Music, and composing a new work for the UAB Chamber Trio.

    “I’ve grown more as a composer and as an artist when I’ve collaborated with other musicians,” said Price. “In the end, I’ve learned more from collaborating with my colleagues at UAB and outside of UAB than anything.”

    Explore the following the videos to hear some of Price’s compositions:

    [widgetkit id="84" name="Price thrives on collaboration - VIDEOS"]

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  • Explore UAB’s off-grid Sustainable Community, Oct. 1

    During the event, visitors can take tours of the Solar House and Solar Community, plus shop a vintage market, purchase plants from local shops and more.

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  • Join AEIVA for free community events celebrating Thornton Dial exhibition

    From a lunch and learn to a screening of APT’s “Monograph” with newly discovered footage of Dial, “Chamber Music @ AEIVA” and a spoken word evening, join AEIVA for free events this fall.

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  • New performances this fall announced by the UAB Department of Music

    The College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music presents recitals and concerts by students, faculty and guest artists, and many of the performances are free.

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  • UAB voice professor releases new album, will present free performance Sept. 19

    “These Distances Between Us: 21st Century Songs of Longing” by Emily Jaworski Koriath, DMA, and her husband, Tad, focuses on 21st century compositions by living composers.

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  • Sept. 17, join the 2022 UAB Marching Blazers for All-Star High School Band Day

    Outstanding high school music students can practice and perform with the Marching Blazers for the UAB vs. Georgia Southern game half-time show, entertaining a crowd of thousands in Birmingham’s Protective Stadium.

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  • UAB’s AEIVA presents “I, Too, Am Alabama,” a retrospective of artist Thornton Dial Sr.

    The UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts will present the first major retrospective exhibition in Alabama of legendary artist Thornton Dial Sr. from Sept. 9-Dec. 10. A free panel discussion and opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

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  • For The World Games 2022, Birmingham puts on its biggest shows ever — with help from UAB artists

    UAB faculty, staff and students are helping create, organize and perform in the massive opening and closing ceremonies, happening July 7 and July 17 at Protective Stadium.

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  • Free Fourth of July concert with UAB Summer Band outside Bartow Arena

    Bring blankets, chairs and picnics for the 7 p.m. concert, then stay to watch the fireworks show from atop Red Mountain.

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  • 22 faculty receive grants to fund developmental projects at UAB

    The grant program funds early-career faculty to advance their skills and careers across campus and beyond.

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  • 22 faculty receive grants to fund developmental projects

    The UAB Faculty Development Grant Program supports junior faculty with funding to pursue research, creative works and scholarly activity.

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  • UAB Department of Music hosts summer band camp for junior high, high school students, June 12-18

    Rising seventh- through 12th-grade students can register today for a comprehensive, music-making summer camp experience in the Magic City.

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  • Employees recognized at 2021 UAB Service Awards

    Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022.

    Dean Kecia M. Thomas with Kim Hazelwood at the UAB Service Awards reception.Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022. These dedicated colleagues were honored for their number of years of employment at UAB as of December 31, 2021.

     

    The UAB Service Awards are given to active employees beginning at five years of employment and at each five-year milestone. Employees who reach 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service are invited to a reception on behalf of UAB President Ray L. Watts and presented with a service award pin, certificate, and a gift of gratitude.

     

    This year, Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology and co-director of the Undergraduate Immunology Program, was honored for 50 years of service to UAB. Dr. Gregory Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy and director of the Early Medical School Acceptance Program, was honored for 45 years of service. Congratulations to all our colleagues for their dedication and commitment to the University’s mission and vision.

    50-Year Recipient: Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology

    20-Year Recipients

    • Kimberly H. Hazelwood, College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office
    • Erin Wright, Art and Art History
    • Tanja Matthews, Chemistry
    • Dr. Jacqueline Nikles, Chemistry
    • Daniel L. Butcher, English
    • Dr. Gale M. Temple, English
    • Dr. Lourdes M. Sanchez-Lopez, Foreign Languages and Literatures
    • Dr. Stephen J. Miller, History
    • Dr. John Heith Copes, Criminal Justice
    • Dr. Reinhard E. Fambrough, Music
    • Dr. Gitendra Uswatte, Psychology
    45-Year Recipient: Dr. Gregory E. Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy

    25-Year Recipients

    • James R. Grimes, Advising
    • Margaret Amsler, Biology
    • Leslie C. Hendon, Biology
    • Adriana S. Addison, Psychology
    • Dr. Karlene K. Ball, Psychology
    • Wanda R. Fisher, Psychology
    • Pamela Y. Robinson, Psychology

    30-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Tracy P. Hamilton, Chemistry
    • Dr. Kathryn D. Morgan, Criminal Justice and African American Studies
    • Kimberly A. Schnormeier, Theatre

    35-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Edwin W. Cook III, Psychology
    • Dr. Edward Taub, Psychology

    40-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Howard L. Irving, Music
    • Dr. Franklin R. Amthor, Psychology

    45-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Gregory E. Pence, Philosophy

    50-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, Biology

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  • Award-winning UAB pianists to perform with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra on April 16

    For this free inaugural ASO/UAB Music Concerto Winners concert, alumna Mira Walker ’20 and graduating senior Dina Kasman will each play a different piano concerto by Sergei Prokofiev.

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  • Welsh choir to perform with UAB Gospel Choir in concert April 18

    The pandemic delayed their plans, but Côr yr Urdd — a national collegiate choir from Wales — will come to Birmingham to perform with the UAB Gospel Choir for its concert Monday, April 18.

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  • Mental health discussion on high-stakes performance anxiety is April 18

    Presented by UAB Arts in Medicine, experts will provide insight into what happens physically and mentally surrounding a high-stakes performance and how performers can address the fear.

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  • UAB Professor Emeritus honored through gifts to his academic department – and one of his favorite pastimes

    The sister of Dr. Edward L. Wills chose to celebrate her brother’s career in physics and his lifetime of trumpet-playing.

    When giving back to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in her brother’s memory, Physics Professor Emeritus Edward L. Wills’ sister Mary Buckman chose both a professional and a personal recipient: Naturally, the Physics department, housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, and the UAB Summer Community Band, which Wills participated in each summer and deeply enjoyed.

    A $100,000 gift to the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences established an endowed scholarship in his name, The Edward L. Wills Endowed Scholarship in Physics. Alongside it, a $50,000 gift was given to the UAB Summer Band, comprised of adult amateur and professional musicians from around the Birmingham metro. The band rehearses Monday nights in June and performs an annual Fourth of July concert on UAB’s campus. Wills played the trumpet in the band while a student at Auburn University (he’d later return annually to Homecoming to play on the field with the Auburn Alumni Band). After retirement, he joined the UAB Summer Community Band, where he formed friendships and continually honed his trumpet-playing skills before his death in September 2020.

    “Ed spent a lot of time in his last years playing the trumpet with the Birmingham Community Concert Band, and also played each Fourth of July with the UAB Summer Band that has always performed before the fireworks show at UAB,” said Todd DeVore, Ph.D., one of Wills’ colleagues in the UAB Department of Physics. “One of his yearly highlights, until his very last years, was playing with the Auburn Alumni Band at the halftime of Auburn’s Homecoming football game. He is missed by friends who knew him from all these activities.”

    Wills’ gift to the Summer Community Band will allow it to grow as an ensemble, said Dr. Sean Murray, Director of Bands at UAB.

    “We will use this support to offer more diverse musical offerings and allow for a more professional presentation at our annual July 4 concert,” he said.

    Wills was born and raised in Birmingham and graduated from Woodlawn High School before heading off to Auburn and, later, the University of Virginia for graduate school and the University of Georgia for a post-doctoral appointment, where he studied nuclear physics.

    “Ed loved Birmingham, so getting hired by UAB Physics in the early days of the department was a good fit for him,” DeVore said. “Ed quietly supported several Birmingham institutions and organizations he cared about over the years. When I attend an event at the Alabama Theatre, I like to sit in the chair with his name on it.”

    Wills was committed to seeing his hometown of Birmingham thrive, DeVore said; he was equally as passionate about UAB. In his later years, Wills–known affectionately as “Doc” to his closest friends at UAB–bought season tickets to UAB football games and, even when he was no longer well enough to attend himself, shared his tickets with others who might enjoy attending. As a professor, students appreciated his down-to-earth nature and sense of humor, DeVore said, and his $100,000 gift to the department will help others appreciate the discipline as much as he did.

    “I would say his gift is important to physics because it helps support scholarships for Alabama students who may follow in his physics footsteps,” DeVore said. “We have many talented high school students in this state, but many do not see regular evidence of STEM opportunities we have here in Alabama and at UAB. Scholarships are an important tool to help students and they help us promote the attractive physics tracks we have to offer.”

    After joining the UAB faculty in 1973, Wills oversaw the undergraduate lab program for many years and was involved in numerous experimental research efforts while at UAB, including blood flow studies with the Department of Neurology. He taught both undergraduate and graduate classes and, when he wasn’t teaching or playing trumpet, was an avid organizer of class reunions for his fellow graduates of Woodlawn High School. He was also a board member of Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and a frequent supporter of Birmingham’s Jimmie Hale Mission.

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