First Chair Chats

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As Bob Dylan sang, “The times, they are a-changin’.” To this end, we are proud to present First Chair Chats, a Digital Music Collective at UNT Libraries focused on discussions that are reshaping the music landscape today and tomorrow. Special guests from music pedagogy, production, protection, and preservation will join the UNT Music Library staff in exploring some major changes on the horizon, and how each group is responding to these new opportunities.

Episode 6- Womxn Leaders in Music

Honoring International Women’s day for this First Chair Chats, our invited speakers will explore the role of women identifying figures involved in different aspects of the music industry. During this conversation, we will discuss how the current scene has changed for women and continues to evolve under the lens of the pandemic.

  • Morgan Davis- Music and Arts Librarian
  • Susannah Cleveland- Head of UNT Music Library
  • Megan Heber- Executive Director, Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Meena Malik- Musician, Arts Consultant, and Cultural Organizer
  • Courtney Wright- Jazz Saxophonist and Composer/Arranger

Episode 5- Video Game Music and You

In this extended episode, the First Chair Chats team has partnered with the UNT Media Library to examine how universities have been responding to the increasing interest in video games and their accompanying music and sound. Our invited experts will explore topics about the history of video game music, collection management and cataloging in music libraries, designing music and sound with accessibility in mind, the players perspective, composition techniques, pedagogy, and working in the industry.

Part 1: Ludomusicology, Libraries, Accessibility, the Players Perspective

  • Adam La Spata, UNT Music Library
  • Joshua Dieringer, Cataloger and Arranger
  • Alice Sujana, UNT Music Library
  • Drew Schnurr, Composer
  • Dana Plank, Musicologist
  • Tim Summers, Musicologist
  • Diane Robson, UNT Media Library
  • Stuart Heath, UNT Media Library

Part 2 Composition, Pedagogy, Working in the Industry

  • Bruce Broughton, Composer
  • Matt Hopkins, Composer
  • Eli Rainsberry, Composer
  • Richard Vreeland, Composer

Episode 4- Local Music

One of the many highlights of living in Denton is the treasure-trove of live, local music heard in bars, restaurants, and music halls. Like many industries, the ongoing pandemic has disrupted the performing arts industry. To better understand the challenges local musicians are facing, as well as their creative solutions, Dr. Brian Wright of the UNT College of Music partners with the UNT Libraries to moderate a discussion featuring a panel of guests, many whom are UNT Libraries faculty and staff.

Episode 3 - Great Ideas and Lessons Learned

We are excited to announce the continuation of our First Chair Chats series! Several invited guests from the UNT Libraries and the UNT College of Music will discuss Great Ideas and Lessons Learned about online music education under the lens of the pandemic.

  • April Prince - Principal Lecturer in Music History
  • Gaby Alvarado - Flute Instructor and Music Processing Graduate Services Assistant
  • Blair Liikala - Director of Recording Services and Christopher Walker - Administrative Coordinator for Jazz Studies
  • Eric Nestler - Distinguished Teaching Professor of Saxophone

Our presenters were invited for their experiences with teaching large courses, addressing technology challenges, and teaching music literature courses with large amounts of course materials.

Episode 2 - Music & Coronavirus

Join Jeffrey Snider, Julie Giroux, Andrew Trachsel, and Rachael Zipperer for a comprehensive chat on how the current coronavirus pandemic has affected musicians and how creative artists are handling this issue.

  • Adam La Spata, Ph.D. - UNT Music Special Collections
  • Jeffrey Snider, D.M.A. – UNT Associate Professor, Vocal Studies
  • Julie Giroux – Emmy Award Winning Composer
  • Andrew Trachsel, D.M.A. – UNT Associate Professor, Wind Studies
  • Rachael Zipperer – UNT Archivist

Episode 1 - Music & Copyright

Join Maristella Feustle, Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden, Kevin Hawkins, and John Murphy as they discuss the current landscape of copyright law, and how recent changes to policy will impact works both new and old.

  • Maristella Feustle - Music Special Collections Librarian
  • Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden - Assistant Professor of Music History
  • Kevin Hawkins - Assistant Dean, Scholarly Communication
  • John Murphy - Professor Emeritus of Jazz History, former Chair of the Division of Jazz Studies