UNCP Wind Ensemble Performing at 2014 North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference

The UNC Pembroke Wind Ensemble will perform at the 2014 North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) conference in Winston-Salem on Monday, November 10 at 3PM.  The wind ensemble had to submit recordings and other application materials to be considered among many other ensembles in the state who would like to perform for all the music teachers in the state.  This great opportunity allows some of the outstanding music students at UNCP to be heard throughout the state. 


The UNCP band first played at a general session of the NCMEA conference in 2005.  They performed again in 2008 under invitation from the North Carolina Bandmasters Association.  That concert featured composer Samuel Hazo and his music.  This year’s invitation is again from the NC Bandmaster’s association. 

UNCP Trumpet Ensemble Performing at International Trumpet Guild Conference

The UNCP Trumpet Ensemble will be performing at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Pennsylvania on May 20th! Congratulations trumpet ensemble!

UNCP Voice Students Place Highly at 2014 NATS Competition

UNCP voice students NATS competition winners: Ally Ivey, First Place, JR/SR Musical Theatre Women, Ieisha Jones, First Place, FR/SO Musical Theatre Women, Nygel Robinson, Second Place, JR/SR Musical Theatre Men (students of Tracy Thomas),  Fabian Griffith, First Place, FR/SO Classical Men (student of Dr. Jaeyoon Kim.). These students will all advance to the national competition in New York!

Dr. Tracy Wiggins Selected to Present at Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in December

Dr. Tracy Wiggins, director of percussion at UNCP, has been selected to present a clinic on timpani performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago this December. Midwest is the largest conference for band and orchestra instruments in the United States and has an extensive application process in order to be selected. This will be tremendous exposure for the UNCP music program at the highest levels in our field!

Dr. Tracy Wiggins Presents at The Percussive Arts Society International Convention and NCMEA

Dr. Wiggins was a member of a panel discussion at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in November. The panel focused on the use of technology in the education of musicians. He also presented a clinic on this same topic at the North Carolina Music Educators In-Service Conference in November as well.

UNCP Percussion Group Performs With Grammy Winners Eighth Blackbird

The UNCP percussion group was selected to participate in a performance of "Inuksuit" by John Luther Adams in April. The performance was organized by the Grammy Winning chamber group Eighth Blackbird and was held on the campus of the University of Richmond. The UNCP percussionists and Dr. Wiggins joined forces with 90 other performers including students from Furman, Florida State University and Eastman!

UNCP Starts Cage Anniversay Celebration

The 2012 year marks the 100th anniversay of the birth of composer John Cage. Music programs throughout the world will be holding special programs, festivals and more in celebration of the composers works. UNCP will host 3 events in celebration of Cage the composer. The first was held in April and featured guest artist Stephen Drury performing solo works for piano by Cage. Drury is the artists director of the Callithumpian Consort and was a frequent collaborator with Cage. The second event will be held on April 26th and will be UNCP's first Musicircus. This evening event will feature a number of Cage's compositions, writings and more being performed by UNCP students and faculty throughout Moore Hall. Many of the events will occur at the same time and the audience will be free to walk through the hall and sample all of the performances. In September Dr. Tracy Wiggins will perform a solo recital of Cage's works on Sepetember 4th, the evening before Cage's 100th birthday!

UNCP Hosts Percussion Guest Artists

This spring the UNCP Percussion Studio hosted guest artists Nathan Daughtrey, Gene Koshinski and Benjamin Toth. Daughtrey performed hisConcerto for Vibraphone with the UNCP Percussion Ensemble. Toth and Koshinski were the guest artists for the Seventh UNCP Percussion Ensemble Festival.

UNCP Live Streams First Concert

March 3, 2011 was the first live webcast from Moore Hall of a concert by our music department. There were 51 computers that logged in to the broadcast from around the country. Our guest artists students watched the feed live in their band room at Lee University in Tennessee. The feed was also broadcast in the corporate office of the Yamaha musical instrument corporation in California.There were also comments from others on Twitter about the live broadcast! There will be continued streaming of events as we work to make UNCP a better known commodity outside of our region. March 18th and 19th UNCP will become the first school in the United States to stream live all performances and clinics from a Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion!

Entrepreneurship Program at UNCP Receives Lemelson Foundation Grant 

The Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship received a Lemelson Foundation grant for $8,000 to develop courses on campus and in the region.  The grant is targeting course development in Music Entrepreneurship, recreational tourism in the Physical Education Department and a biotechnology research program.  The Lemelson grant is considered to be one of the four most prestigious in the field of entrepreneurship and was given to only 20 schools this year out of the 350 who were eligible.  In addition to UNCP, some other schools that were awarded the Lemelson grant include MIT, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, and Ohio State.  Headed by Thomas Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Dr. Mike Menefee, the group of professors involved in acquiring the grant includes Larry Arnold and Aaron Vandermeer (Music), Jamie Litty (Mass Comm) Marian Wooten (Recreation Management), and Len Holmes (Biotechnology).  

The Lemelson Foundation supports inventors, invention and innovation at every stage. This helps ensure that great ideas and great inventors will continue to serve the U.S. and the world. Headquartered in Portland, Ore., the foundation funds programs and projects to “cultivate the next generation of inventors and to ensure that inventors everywhere have access to the tools and resources they need to realize their ideas.”  The Lemelson grant will allow students the opportunity to study current best practices in entrepreneurship. This project has the potential to directly impact the economic activity of the area. 

"The grant is noteworthy for two reasons," Dr. Menefee said.  “First, we got this grant on our first year of eligibility with the NCIIA (National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance), an initiative of the Lemelson Foundation,” he said. “Three hundred and fifty institutions were eligible for the grant.  Second, this grant opens the door for additional funding from the foundation and elsewhere.” 

The Music Business program (MUSB) at UNCP was among the first programs of its kind to partner with Entrepreneurship Studies.  MUSB continues to work closely with the Thomas Center to develop curriculum, write grants, and provide extended support for the entrepreneurial efforts of its students.  This will serve to help incubate original methods, technologies, and artistic ideas.  The grant also provides the opportunity to compete for much greater funding in the future. 

If you have questions about the Music Business program at UNCP, please contact Aaron Vandermeer at

UNCP to Host Honor Jazz Ensemble Festival

Guest artist

The Jazz Studies program at UNCP will host its first annual Honor Jazz Ensemble Festival on Saturday, February 19th.  The festival will feature two honor ensembles comprised of the regions best high school jazz musicians as well as a performance by the UNCP Jazz Ensemble featuring renowned composer, educator, and trombonist Brent Wallarab from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.  Festival events for participants will take place throughout the day with the culminating performance at 5:00pm in the University Center Annex.  The concert is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Aaron Vandermeer at

UNCP Jazz Ensemble to Host Saxophone Artist Kenni Holmen

Kenni Holman

On Thursday, November 11th, the UNCP Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Aaron Vandermeer, will present a concert featuring performing/recording artist Kenni Holmen at 7:30pm in the University Center Annex. 

One of the most active recording and touring musicians from the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, he has performed with Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, T.C. Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Donny Osmond, The Rev. Billy Graham Crusade, The Glen Miller Orchestra, Doc Severinson, Garrison Keilor, The Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra just to name a few. Kenni has recorded with Janet Jackson, Rod Stewart, Prince, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Baby Face, Mandy Moore, and many others.  He is also featured with Prince’s horn section called “The HornHeads” who have toured throughout the United States and Europe since 1992.

This event is free and open to the public.

Joanna Ross Hersey Releases Tuba Solo Compact Disc

UNC Pembroke faculty members Joanna Ross Hersey and Seung-Ah Kim have teamed up to produce a new solo recording for 2010, entitled O quam mirabilis, featuring new music for tuba.   The music on this recording spans nine hundred years of music composition, representing the rich, vibrant history of women in the field of music composition.  From the mystic and otherworldly echos of Hildegard von Bingen’s Medieval church music, to the modern concertos being composed today, music by women deserves more of a place in the classical repertoire.  The music of O quam mirabilis will transport the listener from the Medici court in Florence, Italy to the modern American southwest and beyond.  Dr. Kim’s brilliant piano collaboration brings energy and spirit to performances of German lieder by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn and Alma Mahler, as well as modern concertos by Nadia Boulanger and Libby Larsen.   In addition to solo tuba music, the album features two new works for tuba euphonium quartet, with Dr. Hersey performing on both tuba and euphonium.  The final piece on this recording features tuba, guitar and synthesizer in an electronic setting, and was co-composed by Dr. Hersey and her husband, electronic musician William Bendrot.   For more information, visit Dr. Hersey at her website,

UNCP Honor Band

Robert Sheldon

Robert Sheldon will be the guest conductor for the high school band at this year’s UNCP Honor Band.  The UNCP Honor Band involves over 200 public school band students from over 60 public schools.  This year, the event is on March 26, 2011. 

Robert Sheldon (b. Feb 3, 1954) has taught instrumental music in the Florida and Illinois public schools, and has served on the faculty at Florida State University where he taught conducting and instrumental music education classes, and directed the university bands.  As Concert Band Editor for Alfred Music Publishing, he maintains an active composition and conducting schedule, and regularly accepts commissions for new works.  Sheldon received the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Miami and the Master of Fine Arts in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Florida.

UNCP To Host Eastern Region Day of Percussion

March 18th and 19th, 2011 percussionists from all over the Eastern half of North Carolina will descend upon the UNCP campus for the Eastern Region Percussion Ensemble Festival. This festival is sponsored by the North Carolina Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. The festival will open on March 18th with a guest artist recital by Dr. Thomas Burritt from the University of Texas at Austin. The 19th will feature performances by groups from ECU, UNCG, UNCP, area high school and more! That day will also feature clinics by Dr. Burritt, Dr. Jon Weber from Michigan State University and drumset/percussion artist Derron Bell from Texas.

Marching Percussion Great Visits UNCP

Marching percussion clinician Bret Kuhn visited UNCP in August to spend a day working with the UNCP drumline. During the day he taught sectionals with the snare drum and tenor drums sections, met with instrumental music majors for a session on working with percussionists and then coached the full 2010 Spirit of the Carolinas Drumline. Mr. Kuhn has been the percussion caption head and arranger for the Cavaliers drum and bugle corps and is currently the program coordinator for the Colts drum and bugle corps. This day was a great way to start the 2010 season!!

UNCP Hosts Summer Percussion Workshop

June 19th, 2010 the Spirit of the Carolinas hosted their summer marching percussion workshop. This year UNCP joined forces with the Yamaha Corporation to host the first UNCP/Yamaha Sounds of Summer. The camp was well attended by students from throughout the state of North Carolina. Dr. Tracy Wiggins served as clinician for the day. Planning is already under way for the next camp to be held in June of 2011!

UNCP Percussion Ensemble Presents World Premiere

On April the 16th the UNCP Percussion Ensemble gave the premiere performance of david Macbride's "Percussion Park" on the University Quad. This outdoor performance allowed the audience to walk through the "park" to hear the various works in any combination in which they wished. The composer was in attendance and said " I thought it went very well and that the audience really got the sense of the work.  Please give my sincerest thanks and appreciation to the Percussion Ensemble (as well as Soo, Alyson, Jordan, and Leigh); everyone had a unified sense of purpose, and contributed immensely to the success of the performance."

UNCP Receives NASM Accreditation Renewal

In a letter to department chair Tim Altman the National Association of Schools of Music reported: "The Commission voted to accept the response and continue the institution in good standing with the degree listing indicated below" (all of our degrees are listed- BA, BA with Elective Studies in Business, BM in Music Education, Master of Arts in Music Education, [BM in Music Theatre and MAT are in italics])."  This means that we continue our full accreditation and our next full review will be in the 2016-2017 Academic Year!