Jazz Students Continue to Shine

Recently, graduate student Alejandro Serrano Ayuso was selected as one of four pianists to participate in this year’s Dallas Jazz Piano Society’s “Rising Stars” concert.

The concert, which will take place at the Sammons Center for the Arts in Dallas, is slated for 7:30 p.m. April 9. Ayuso, who was nominated by faculty mentors, said he is honored and excited about the opportunity to represent UT Arlington and the Department of Music.

“I’ll be playing with other top-caliber rhythm players with no rehearsal,” said Ayuso, a native of Granada, Spain. “So this will be a good learning experience for me and a test of my skills.”

In recent years, several undergraduate students have also earned recognition through competitive performance. In 2012, Sam Garner finished third in the Kathleen T. and Phillip B. Phillips, M.D., Jazz Piano Competition in Pensacola, Fla. In 2013, Chris Milyo placed as an alternate in the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Jazz Competition. Associate Professor Dan Cavanagh (Music), who is also the associate director of jazz studies, said the performance accolades have enabled UTA students to excel at the graduate level.

“Our undergraduate students consistently have success getting good graduate school offers,” Cavanagh said. “Right now, we have six former students holding graduate teaching assistantships at good jazz programs across the country, including here at UT Arlington.”

For more information about the jazz studies program, contact Cavanagh at cavanagh@uta.edu or program director Tim Ishii at tishii@uta.edu.

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