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Bill Snodgrass, jazz alumni gather to play for scholarship funds

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Friday, October 3, 2008

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Media Contact: Teresa Newton

ARLINGTON - Former students and the founder of the UT Arlington Jazz Orchestra jazz things up at the Fourth annual UTA Jazz Alumni Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Irons Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building, 700 Greek Row Drive.

The annual concert has raised more than $10,000 for scholarships for UT Arlington jazz students. Admission is free, but donations to the scholarship fund are accepted.

Former jazz students from Austin, Houston, Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri return to perform in a big band conducted by Bill Snodgrass, the jazz program director for 30 years. Snodgrass retired in 2004 and now teaches at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

This year’s concert will feature James Davis and Caroline Anson Davis of Chicago, both 2004 graduates of the University’s jazz program.

Caroline Anson Davis, who plays alto saxophone, earned a spot on the Sisters in Jazz group of the International Association of Jazz Educators. She performs with her husband, James Davis, in the James Davis Quintet and ZING!, as well as the Tomorrow Music Orchestra. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music at UT Arlington. She is pursuing a doctorate in music at Northwestern University, the alma mater of Dan Burkholder, who founded the UT Arlington jazz program in 1947.

James Davis, a trumpeter, completed residencies in 2008 at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Music Festival in Highland Park, Ill. He is a former lead trumpet player in the UTA Jazz Orchestra. Davis has toured as a featured soloist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the University of North Texas One O’clock Lab Band. Davis earned a bachelor of music degree from UT Arlington and a master of music degree in trumpet performance from UNT. He is director of the jazz band at Triton College in River Grove, Ill.

UT Arlington’s Jazz Orchestra, directed by Tim Ishii, also performs.

A reception will follow the concert.

The UT Arlington jazz program has produced many musicians who perform or teach, including:

*  Danny Mekonnen, a graduate teaching fellow at Harvard University.
*  Deno Taglioli of Plano, the founder and leader of Emerald City Band, Dallas’ internationally famous cover band.
*  Brian Piper of Lewisville, a composer, arranger and jazz pianist and featured artist at the last Newport Jazz Festival.
*  Todd Baldwin, trombonist for the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, D.C.
*  Steve Trczinski, director of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Band and Allied Forces Band in Naples, Italy.
*  Hashem Assadullahi, director of jazz studies at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Former jazz student are encouraged to reconnect through the UTA Jazz Alumni Web site at www.utajazzalumni.com.

Call the music department at (817) 272-3471 for more information.

Checks, payable to “UTA JAZZ” and marked “scholarship donation” can be mailed to Ishii at the music department, Box 19105, Arlington, 76019.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.