Brandon Rogers, a former College of Music student, sang on Fox's American Idol Feb. 20 as one of the top 12 male performers in the competition.
Rogers, a 29-year-old from California, attended UNT from 1996 to 1999 and performed in the UNT Jazz Singers, the centerpiece ensemble of the university's vocal jazz studies program. Now he's facing the show's famed judges, Randy, Simon and Paula - as well as the American public - as he vies for a chance to win the Idol title and a recording contract. His future on the show will be determined Feb. 22.
"He did a very good job and was always reliable," says Paris Rutherford, professor of music and director of the UNT Jazz Singers, when remembering Rogers as a student. "He was exceptionally supportive of his fellow singers."
Rogers was one of several featured soloists on the UNT Jazz Singers' Yesterdays album, along with another well-known former UNT student - Norah Jones. Rutherford directed both in the Jazz Singers, which consists of 12 singers and a four-piece band. The group has repeatedly been named "Best College Jazz Choir" by DownBeat magazine.
You can hear him sing with the UNT Jazz Singers.
You can watch the American Idol interview introducing Brandon Rogers as one of the top 24 finalists. Rogers and Rutherford were featured in a Fox 4 News interview.