Department of Music

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Celebrate student creativity and fine arts April 11-20 with Arts Week 2022

    The College of Arts and Sciences will elevate a series of student performances, exhibitions and events for the new Arts Week celebration in April.

  • Pianist Kenny Broberg performs for UAB Piano Series on March 27

    Broberg, winner of the 2021 American Pianists Award, will perform works by Medtner, Fauré and Schumann.

  • UAB Department of Music showcases student and faculty performances in PRISM concert March 28

    The all-department concert will feature solo and ensemble performances, including choral, band, piano, voice, computer music and chamber music.

  • UAB presents Chamber Music @ AEIVA, featuring Bayberry String Quartet, on March 10

    The event will feature a tour and Bayberry String Quartet performing works by Mozart and Prokofiev in conjunction with the current AEIVA exhibition “Lily Reeves: Between Futures.”

  • Outstanding graduates of UAB’s piano program to perform alumni recital Feb. 22

    Pianists from around the United States will return from graduate school studies to perform on the UAB Department of Music’s Hamburg Steinway D 9-foot grand piano, in celebration of Distinguished Professor of Piano Yakov Kasman’s 55th birthday.

  • UAB music students named finalists in Alabama Young Composers Competition

    Cameron Johnson and John Richardson are among five students in the state who were honored; they were recognized for their original compositions “After the Dust Has Settled” and “Cyber Megatropolis,” respectively.

  • The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provides scholarships to music and theatre students

    The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In March 2021, the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provided a generous donation to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing received a portion of the gift to provide scholarships to juniors and seniors.

    The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences, both the departments of Theatre and Music awarded scholarships to a total of nine students for academic year 2021-2022. Five students in the Department of Music received scholarships, and four students in the Department of Theatre received scholarships.

    Rachel Thomas, a music education major and scholarship recipient, aspires to become an elementary music teacher after graduation. “This would not be possible without the funding of the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Scholarship,” said Thomas. “This scholarship has helped me continue my learning experience and will be a great help in achieving my goal of becoming a teacher.”

    Nina Ballon, a senior majoring in musical theatre and scholarship recipient, will graduate in Spring 2022. During her tenure at UAB, she has focused on developing her talent as a performer—at the same time, she has developed technical theatre skills too. “It’s good to know or be familiar with all of the other aspects of the theatre world and not limit myself to just performing on stage,” said Ballon. “This scholarship helps me not only achieve my goals but also have the freedom to create goals that I probably wouldn’t have even thought about if I were anywhere else.”

    Clearly, The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is fulfilling its mission by investing in students who will further broaden and advocate for the arts in Alabama and beyod.

  • Performances by the UAB Department of Music announced for winter/spring 2022

    Highlights include UAB Piano Series performances by Marina Lomazov and Kenny Broberg, Chamber Music @ AEIVA, the third annual PRISM concert, and more.

  • UAB music students secured top positions in the state’s young artists piano competition

    UAB students continue the legacy of competing in the Music Teachers National Association’s Young Artist Piano competition.

  • Enjoy the start of the holiday season Nov. 30 at “Christmas at the Alys,” presented by UAB Music

    Enjoy the sounds of the holiday season with UAB choral ensembles and high school choirs from the Greater Birmingham area on Nov. 30 at “Christmas at the Alys.”a