Breaking their silence

Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - 7:55pm

By Cassandra Jaramillo

Texas songwriter and musician Sara Hickman had a talk with her mom, two daughters and husband before deciding to put the most painful experiences of her life online.

“My oldest daughter said, ‘It’s your choice, Mom,’” Hickman said. “I’m very blessed that my family understands the good that comes out of sharing my heart.”

Hickman recently chronicled 14 sexual harassment and assault incidents and a rape in her Facebook status. She did that after hearing presidential candidate Donald Trump describe banter about groping women as “locker room talk.”

As a survivor, Hickman said, she...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

Hubbard returns to North Texas for 70th

Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - 8:05pm

University of North Texas alumnus and singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard returns to North Texas to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Hubbard is touring in support of his latest record, The Ruffian’s Misfortune, and stops in Dallas for gigs at the Kessler at 8 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 11.

Hubbard’s best loved music explores the murkier side of the human condition, and though the songwriter has considered taking a stroll back to a lighter, more Gordon Lightfoot sort of folk, Ruffian’s Misfortune is still down in the muck.

Tickets cost $22 to $34. For tickets for the Thursday show,...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

Former Beauty Queen Ashleigh Smith Found Her Calling as a Globe-Trotting Jazz Singer

Fri, Oct 7, 2016 - 4:00am

By Eva Raggio

The odds are ever in Ashleigh Smith's favor, whether she's in an international voice competition or competing in a beauty pageant. The University of North Texas alumna is stepping up to the front of the stage after spending six years singing backup for Chrisette Michele.

Her jazzy R&B debut album, Sunkissed, was released in August through Concord Records, a prestigious label whose artists include Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney. Upon its release, the album sat long and pretty on the No. 3 spot on the iTunes jazz charts. The album release will finally be...

Grammy-winning UNT alumna charms jazz students in special pre-fest Q&A

Thu, Sep 22, 2016 - 7:08am

By Lucinda Breeding

Norah Jones was a reluctant sage at a closed question-and-answer session with University of North Texas jazz studies majors Wednesday afternoon.

The Grammy-winning artist is a UNT alumna (she learned that term and others from moderator John Richmond, the brand new dean of the College of Music) who’s in town for Oaktopia music festival. The College of Music invited her to spend about an hour with jazz students and to award her the UNT Presidential Medal of Honor.

Students and faculty packed the recital hall for the session, and only standing room was available along the staircase well...

UNT student stars as famed 1980s 'Preppie Killer' on 'Murder Made Me Famous'

Thu, Aug 4, 2016 - 2:07pm

By Chase Caracostas

The 30th anniversary of the "Preppie Killer" murder is Aug. 26. One of the most well-known killings of the '80s, the murder of Jennifer Levin by Robert Chambers left its mark as the first highly publicized murder in New York City's Central Park.

Hunter Hart Lightner had to figure out how to embody a murderer once he was cast as Chambers in the third episode of season two of Murder Made Me Famous. The episode will air this weekend on REELZChannel at 9 p.m. central time. 

Lightner's past film experience included commercials for Ford, Rooms To Go and...

Tags: Alumni, TV, UNT