Students can still gather virtually with their ensemble colleagues by enrolling in a Community Seminar. They meet weekly for 50 minutes and will cover a wide array of topics with some truly stellar guests. Everyone is welcome.

Jazz Orchestra

Fridays 3–4pm

22345 (Undergraduate) or 22395 (Graduate)

Led by Professor Jeff Hellmer along with the jazz faculty, and open to all jazz studies majors, this seminar will include sessions on a variety of jazz topics. Presenters will include UT jazz faculty and distinguished guests.

Symphony Orchestra

Fridays 1–2pm

22350 (Undergraduate) or 22400 (Graduate)

The Spring 2021 Symphony Orchestra Community Seminar will be a detailed study of orchestral instruments and their ancient instrument-predecessors. Distinguished and world-renowned guest speakers will regularly join Professor Farkhad Khudyev to examine the inherent qualities of orchestral instruments and their vital role in symphonic literature. The seminar is designed to help students gain in-depth knowledge of the symphony orchestra and use it to improve their own art of listening and performance.

Concert Chorale

Fridays 12–1pm

22340 (Undergraduate) or 22390 (Graduate)

Students in the Spring 2021 Choral Community Seminar will be joined by a number of distinguished guests for conversations relating to the choral art. Professional conductors Eph Ehly (UMKC professor emeritus) and Ryan Heller (conductor of Chorus Austin), as well as special guest Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”) will discuss their professional journeys. The Butler School’s own alumni will speak to students about building successful careers in music post-graduation. Various exercises will be assigned throughout the semester to help students develop and advance their sight-seeing skills, and regular meetings—coupled with a mutual passion for singing together — will keep vocal students connected. 

Wind Ensemble

Fridays 12–1pm

22355 (Undergraduate) or 22405 (Graduate)

Led by Professor Jerry Junkin, the Wind Ensemble Community Seminar will focus on all matters relating to ensembles, and will give students a chance to engage in worthwhile and fulfilling conversations with a host of distinguished guests. At a time when live performances are being hindered by the pandemic, this seminar will bring world-renowned musicians and award-winning composers together with ensemble students in a different way—by providing a space for discussions on topics such as audition preparation, career trajectories, musicians in the public sphere, and many others. 

Tentative list of distinguished guests:

January 22 - Jerry Junkin and Andrew Parker 

January 29 - John Corigliano (Pulitzer Prize, Grawemeyer, and Academy Award-winning composer)

February 5 - Huei-Yuan Pan (freelance percussionist and influencer)

February 12 - no class (TMEA)

February 19 - Tom Rolfs (principal trumpet, Boston Symphony Orchestra)

February 26 -  Weston Sprott (second trombone, MET)- on audition preparation

March 5 - Marin Alsop (music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra)

March 12 - Christopher Martin (principal trumpet, New York Philharmonic)

March 19 - no class, spring break

March 26 -  Miles Maner (contra bassoonist and associate principal bassoon, Chicago Symphony)

April 2 - Jens Lindemann (trumpet soloist, Professor of Trumpet, UCLA) -on musicians as public speakers

April 9 - José Sibaja (trumpet soloist, Boston Brass, Blair School of Music) and Giancarlo Guerrero (music director and conductor, Nashville Symphony)

April 16 - Cameron Leach (percussionist) on beginning a career as a soloist, in the midst of a pandemic!

April 23 - Anthony McGill (principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic)

April 30 (in Hong Kong) - Jerry Junkin and Victor Tam, (oboist, founder, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia)

May 7 - Jerry Junkin

Butler Opera Productions

Fridays 1–2pm

22330 (Undergraduate)  or 22380 (Graduate)

“Songs My Mother Taught Me”

Throughout the semester, and with guidance from the instructor and guest artists, students will explore the underrepresented vocal repertory of the world. Each student will do the diligent work of unearthing the art songs and operatic arias of their heritage, and, under the close mentorship of the instructor, will perform them in a final concert. The result will be a colorful, multi-language, multi-cultural recital celebrating unknown repertory and with it, a love for the arts, music, singing, and humanity. 

In this seminar, we will discuss Yiddish/Hebrew/Jewish, Russian, Georgian, Korean/Chinese, Finnish/Nordic, American/Latin American art songs and operas, as well as repertory by oppressed composers under the Nazi Regime, and the legacy of Black composers both in the USA and worldwide.

Tentative Schedule

January 22 - Introduction and overview of the seminar 

January 29 - Maestro James Conlon: Recovered Voices – repertory by composers suppressed by Nazi Regime Part 1 

February 5 - Maestro James Conlon: Recovered Voices – repertory by composers suppressed by Nazi Regime Part 2

February 12 - Dr. John Churchwell: Lost treasures in American art song literature 

February 19 - Myra Huang: Asian Art Song Repertory

February 26 - Cori Ellison: Yiddish, Hebrew and Jewish Melodies  

March 5 - Dr. César Cañón: Underrepresented Voices of Latin America

March 12 - Dr. Nino Sanikidze and Dr. Tamara Sanikidze: Nestled between Europe and Asia – Georgia’s Unique polyphony and its rich impact on classical repertory

March 26 - Ana Moiseeva and Dr. Tamara Sanikidze: From Armenian folk melodies to art song and opera

April 2 - Prof. Sidney Outlaw: Black composers' legacy in the United States and abroad

April 9 - Cori Ellison: Finnish and Nordic folk songs

April 12 - “Songs my mother taught me” Group A
Rehearsal in Bates Recital Hall 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Recorded Recital in Bates Recital Hall 7:30 - 8:30pm
April 14 - “Songs my mother taught me” Group B
Rehearsal in Bates Recital Hall 3:30-4:30pm
Recorded Recital in Bates Recital Hall 7:30 - 8:30pm

Chamber Music

Fridays 12–1pm

22335 (Undergraduate) or 22385 (Graduate)

Led by Professor William Fedkenheuer, you will have an opportunity to explore ways musicians with high levels of training or with music degrees show up in the real world. The intent is to broaden your vision of what is possible for you in the future, and to help you build some of the skills needed to craft your career.

We will be joined by guests from around the world and across campus, and ranging from world-class performers and teachers to artists with administrative or non-musical careers in areas such as science, business and tech. Through interviews, we will discover just how diverse the lifestyles and careers of musicians are, and how the unique lives they have built sustain them artistically and financially. We will examine stories of perseverance, and learn about all the ways artists are changing our world with the skills and mindsets they gained from their music training. Their abundance of experience and expertise will serve to demonstrate the utility of your own skills and the innumerable ways in which they can be applied.

How do artists show up in the real world? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!