Utah Symphony goes on the record with two Prokofiev scores and new concertmaster

Fri, Nov 11, 2016 - 4:12pm

By Catherine Reese Newton

The Utah Symphony soon will head back to the recording studio — in Abravanel Hall. Performances of two Prokofiev works will be recorded live for commercial release, the orchestra's fourth such project with Reference Recordings under music director Thierry Fischer.

The two suites, derived from Prokofiev's film scores for "Lieutenant Kijé" and "Alexander Nevsky," will bookend a third Prokofiev composition: his Violin Concerto No. 2, which will feature new concertmaster Madeline Adkins in her concerto debut with the orchestra.

Adkins' tenure...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

Alumni award recipients announced

Tue, Oct 25, 2016 - 10:21pm

Next week, seven UNT alumni will be recognized by the UNT Alumni Association during the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards dinner.

Three will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards for achieving prominence in their professions: Bryan Milner, senior vice president of loan originations at Wells Fargo Capital Finance; Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer, president of Valbel West; and Jim McNatt, former owner of Jim McNatt Auto Group.

Two will get the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, which recognizes those under 40 for their career achievements: Beau LaMothe, chief commercial officer of third-party logistics provider PGL...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

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...