Thank you for considering the University of North Texas as the future home for your trombone education. The following information has been compiled to assist you in making your decision. After studying this information closely, feel free to ask about anything that is not covered below.
The Admissions and Auditions Process
•Students are considered only for the specific degree program indicated on their admissions application. If a student wishes to be considered for more than one program, it should be made clear to the audition committee at the time of the audition.
•Most players audition without accompaniment, although they may bring an accompanist to their audition if they choose. Students may also bring a CD accompaniment to the audition if they wish. The College of Music does not provide accompanists for auditions.
•Because of the large number of applicants, combined with a limited number of open spaces, some otherwise acceptable students may be placed on a waiting list until a space becomes available.
•The College of Music usually sends acceptance letters by March 15 or sooner. If a student has not heard from the College of Music about his/her admission status by this time, he/she should contact Tony Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance.
About the UNT Trombone Studio
•The trombone faculty includes professors Tony Baker, Natalie Mannix, Steven Menard, and Ryan Haines. In addition, an outstanding staff of graduate teaching assistants (called teaching fellows or TFs) is utilized to supplement the trombone instruction.
•A limited number of competitive trombone scholarships are available. These College of Music scholarships are typically $1000 per year awards and also carry an out-of-state tuition waiver. The scholarships are renewable for 4 years, based on satisfactory musical progress and continued academic excellence. Students are automatically considered for these scholarships as a part of the admission audition. Students who have done well on the SAT or ACT tests and have a high class ranking should also pursue academic scholarships at UNT since academic scholarships are considerably larger awards than the College of Music offers. These scholarships are also renewable, pending the maintenance of the required grade point average and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
•New doctoral students are eligible for a $1000 scholarship from the UNT Toulouse Graduate School that also waives non-resident tuition and are renewable for a second year. A separate application is required.
•Teaching fellowship (TF) openings are dependent on projected staffing needs in the trombone studio. Teaching fellows tend to hold these positions for two to three years. Teaching fellows receive a stipend for their services and are eligible for various scholarships in addition to their fellowship.
How the Program Works
• Teacher assignments are made at the beginning of the school year and are reviewed each semester. Fall studio placement auditions for all new and returning trombone students are held as a part of the fall ensemble auditions.
•New students are given the opportunity to request a preferred teacher. While every effort is made to honor these requests, the teacher assignments will inevitably depend on the student’s level of audition preparation, available space in a particular studio and what the faculty believes is in the best interest for the student. Perceived teacher/student compatibility is also considered in this important decision.
•Students initially placed in TF studios frequently move into a faculty studio when progress is demonstrated and space becomes available. In fact, many outstanding UNT alumni began their trombone studies with a TF. Progress and seriousness of purpose are the best ways for a student to move into a faculty studio.
•In general, students study with only one teacher, with occasional ‘supplemental’ instruction from another teacher during the course of the semester. There are, however, other ways to receive instruction from more than one teacher. One way is to study more than one style and/or instrument. For example, it is possible for a student to study jazz trombone with one teacher and classical trombone with another. It is also possible to study tenor trombone with one teacher and alto or bass trombone with another. Another way to receive instruction from more than one teacher is to study with one teacher for a period of time and then, after discussions and agreement with the current teacher, move to a different studio. Though the instruction is not concurrent, it is consecutive, thus allowing a student who will be at UNT for some time to receive instruction from more than one teacher.
•UNT has several trombone choirs. Each semester, trombonists audition to participate in the top trombone choir of 16 players. A freshman trombone choir is also organized so that the new young students can bond together as they establish themselves in their first year and gain valuable basic information. The remaining trombone students are divided equally into choirs of 12–16 players each. These choirs are conducted by both faculty and TFs and meet one hour per week. An award-winning jazz trombone ensemble called the U-Tubes, comprised of 8 trombones and rhythm section, holds auditions concurrent with the jazz lab bands. Participation in one of these ensembles is required of all trombone students.
•At the beginning of each school year auditions for ensembles and studio placement are held. Personnel rosters for the various bands and orchestras are based on this audition, as are the trombone teaching studio assignments. Music for this audition is made available to all new and returning students on August 1 on the College of Music Wind Studies web site at http://www.music.unt.edu/windstudies/. At the conclusion of these auditions, some students are advanced to a “call-back” second round, which is then heard by the wind ensemble and orchestra faculty. The personnel for the orchestras, wind symphony, symphonic band, concert band and brass band are determined by these auditions.
• Lab Band auditions are held at the beginning of each semester, separate from the studio/ensemble placement auditions described above. These auditions are strictly sight-reading, although jazz improvisation skills may be considered. There is no music to prepare for this audition, but it is a good idea to practice sight-reading jazz music, particularly big band trombone music.
•The Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and Texas as a whole, has one of the strongest and most active school band traditions in the country. Many band programs require their students to study privately, and to facilitate this, private instruction is offered on the school premises five days a week. This creates a huge need for qualified private instructors on all instruments. A UNT student who is willing to network with private instructors and band directors can easily carve out a nice part-time job teaching privately. Some schools are interested in only hiring graduate students, but undergraduate upperclassmen can often find private teaching opportunities as well. The rates vary slightly, but one can expect a $35–40 hourly rate on average.
•As with any metropolitan area, professional opportunities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region are varied and challenging to obtain. If a student who plays and carries him/herself at a professional level is willing to do a little research via the internet and word of mouth, attend performances of professional ensembles, ‘network’ with other professional musicians (some of whom may be fellow students), and allow time for professional relationships to develop, the rewards can be very satisfying.
•Because of its geographical location and stature, the UNT trombone program is fortunate to regularly host world-class trombone artists and teachers. A detailed list of past guest artists can be viewed at Recent Guest Artists.
•One of the strengths of the UNT College of Music is the myriad of performing opportunities for students. Trombone students are encouraged to gain as broad a performing experience as possible while at UNT. This being stated, students are expected to meet the ensemble requirements for their degree first and foremost. The trombone faculty actively guides students’ ensemble choices to ensure that the broad base of performing experience can be achieved while being attentive to the overall classload.
•Trombonists are encouraged to participate in the jazz lab bands, regardless of previous jazz experience. While the top bands are usually filled with experienced jazz players, there is plenty of room in the lower bands for the novice to develop his/her skills.
•The trombone students have recently organized themselves into an official UNT-sanctioned organization called Trombones @ North Texas (TNT). Fund-raising events assist the faculty with special projects, including guest artists.
•The UNT trombone studio has a 60-year tradition of producing graduates who go on to become leaders in the profession. A long list of alumni can be seen here.
• UNT owns a limited number of professional quality trombones for temporary use. These may be rented (as available) until players have the opportunity to purchase their own.
•There is no specific brand of instrument required in the UNT trombone studio. however, students are expected to own professional-quality instruments suitable for college/pre-professional study.
•Small-bore tenor trombones are highly recommended for lab band participation, particularly in the top bands. The concert bands and orchestras, because of the literature and type of sound traditionally needed for these ensembles, require larger bore instruments. Bass trombonists can usually play the same instrument for both lab bands and classical ensembles, provided he/she can produce a stylistically appropriate tone quality for each ensemble.
•The time necessary to complete a degree depends on many factors, but here are some reasonable estimates.
Bachelor (music education or jazz studies)—5 years including student-teaching (may be reduced by attending summer school)
Bachelor (performance)—4 to 5 years (depending on summer school participation)
Masters (performance or jazz studies)—2 to 3 years (depending on summer school participation)
Doctorate (performance or jazz studies—3 years for course work; 2 years for qualifying examination and lecture recital
Upcoming Concerts of Interest
Plus! Every Wednesday evening the UNT Lab Bands and/or U-Tubes will be playing at the UNT Union Syndicate 9:00 pm to midnight
Special Note: Select concerts from the Winspear Performance Hall and Voertman Hall are simulcast and can be viewed from the convenience of your computer by visiting http://recording.music.unt.edu/live. An archive of past live concerts can be found on our youtube channel.