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UNT Insider | October 2006 Issue | Faculty Focus

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Lab band director earns Jazz Artist of the Year Award

From a UNT News Service press release

Neil Slater

Order the Lab 2006 CD

The famed One O’Clock Lab Band, which Neil Slater directs, released its latest CD Sept. 27. Lab 2006, available for $15, includes a new composition by Slater, a Grammy-nominated composer, titled Call Waiting.

To purchase your copy, visit the jazz studies office in the Music Building, Room 284; call (940) 565-3743; send e-mail to or visit

Proceeds from the album will benefit scholarships, tours and related activities in the jazz studies division.

DENTON (UNT), Texas - Neil Slater, director of the internationally renowned One O'Clock Lab Band at UNT, was recently named Sammons Jazz Artist of the Year by the Sammons Center for the Arts, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas.

Slater, chair of the jazz division in the UNT College of Music, was presented with the award Sept. 20 at the annual full board meeting of the Sammons Center.

"I am honored to be recognized by the Sammons Center for the Arts," Slater said. "Sammons Jazz has proven its dedication to this music by presenting concerts featuring outstanding jazz artists from the Dallas Metroplex, and I am pleased to have been chosen for this award."

Slater joined the UNT College of Music as a faculty member in 1981, after founding the jazz studies program and establishing bachelor's and master's programs in jazz at the University of Bridgeport, Conn. An acclaimed composer and director, he earned a Grammy nomination in 1993 and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in 1995. Slater has composed more than 60 pieces for jazz ensembles, as well as the symphony orchestra, mixed chamber groups, a capella chorus and theater. A pianist, he is a former member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra-in-Residence program and has recorded and performed with such artists as Joe Morello, Don Elliott, Sal Salvador, Frank Strozier, and Mel Lewis. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has recognized Slater each year since 1987.

Slater earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and a master of music degree in composition from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn. He has also studied at Columbia University.

The Sammons Center is a multi-purpose arts center used by artists for rehearsals, workshops and conferences. The center opened in 1988 in the historic Turtle Creek Pump Station.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Ellen Rossetti (940) 369-7912

Read other stories in this issue:
October 2006

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