Associate Professor of Practice in Piano Pedagogy
Margarita Denenburg will begin her appointment in the 2020-2021 academic year. She leaves a position as Associate Professor of Keyboard Studies at Heidelberg University, where she currently serves as president elect for the Ohio Music Teachers Association. Denenburg has been recognized for her teaching effectiveness through several campus and statewide awards, including the Merit Faculty Award, the Innovative Teaching Award, and the Excellence in Education Award for the state of Ohio. During the 2019-2020 season, she was scheduled for solo concerts at Grand Valley State University, Cedarville University, and Heidelberg University; as well as duo concerts with Dr. Gerald Evans at Heidelberg University, The Music Settlement in Cleveland, and Lorain County Community College. Denenburg has published multiple articles in American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and Piano Pedagogy Forum. She presented at the Music Teachers National Association conference, the national conference of the College Music Society, National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, the Ohio Music Teacher Association as well as several College Music Society regional conferences. She holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California.
Assistant Professor of Musicology & Ethnomusicology
James Gabrillo will begin his appointment in the 2020-2021 academic year. His research and teaching focus on the cultural histories of global multimedia and music industries in the 20th and 21st centuries. Gabrillo’s book in progress, Sounds of Where We Are, will provide a detailed account of Manila’s musical culture from the 1990s onward. Gabrillo comes to UT from a position at The New School, where he taught cultural studies and ethnography. Prior to that, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University after earning his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from The University of Cambridge. He will be teaching courses titled “Global Popular Music” and “Popular Music, Criticism, Journalism” this fall.
Billy R. Hunter Jr.
Professor of Trumpet
Austin nativeBilly R. Hunter, Jr. has been named Professor of Trumpet and will begin his appointment in the 2020-2021 academic year. He is currently principal trumpet with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and also the Classical Tahoe Orchestra in Lake Tahoe. He has performed as guest principal with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Germany, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, and most recently The Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition to orchestral playing, Hunter is also an avid soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and clinician worldwide. He has appeared as soloist with the South African International Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch, SA, Chineke! Orchestra in London, and the New World Symphony in Miami, amongst several other orchestras in states throughout the US, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Hunter comes to UT from positions at the Manhattan School of Music and the Peabody Institute. He earned his M.M. from The Juilliard School and his B.M. from the Butler School of Music.
Assistant Professor of Composition
French-Brazilian artist Januibe Tejera has been named Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of the UT Electronic Music Studios; he will begin his appointment in the Spring 2021 semester. His work connects contemporary music with oral music traditions, new technology, and theatrical elements, all with an eye toward music as a multi-sensory experience. Tejera has received commissions from Ensemble intercontemporain, the Siemens Foundation, IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), Ensemble PHACE, Ensemble TM+, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Additionally, his productions have appeared at major European festivals such as Musica Festival Strasbourg, Festival Présences, Festival ManiFeste, Festival Ensems, Darmstadt Festival, and Milano Musica. Tejera holds advanced degrees from the Conservatoire de Paris and from IRCAM. He has been an artist-fellow with Casa de Velázquez (Madrid), Fundación Ibermúsica, Fondation Salabert, and the Sacatar Foundation.
Assistant Professor of Composition
Omar Thomas will begin his appointment in the 2020-2021 academic year. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg and has studied with multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider. Thomas also contributed horn arrangements to Dianne Reeves' Grammy award-winning album Beautiful Life and received the 2019 William D. Revelli Award from the National Band Association for his piece Come Sunday. Thomas comes from a position at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he taught music theory, jazz arranging, and jazz harmonization. His prior appointments include Berklee College of Music and a teaching fellowship at Harvard University. He received his M.M. from New England Conservatory.