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Read about the highlights from 2019-2020.

A new monthly concert series was established this year, titled First Fridays! Co-sponsored by Arts Everywhere, this casual Friday concert in the rotunda saw performances by student ensembles on the first Friday of each month!

Carolina Choir and UNC Chamber Singers perform holiday songs in the Hill Hall atrium on December 6, 2019, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

UNC Opera participated in NASA Day during University Research week with a special preview performance of their fall opera, Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione. Set on the moon and with a retro-futuristic aesthetic this opera was Mozart as never seen before!

UNC Opera performs Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione (Scipio’s Dream)
UNC Opera performs Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione (Scipio’s Dream) on NASA Day, 2019. (Alyssa LaFaro)

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Severine Neff was awarded Lifetime Membership by the Society for Music Theory in November 2019. This is the highest honor bestowed by the organization on a music theorist, given not only for their exceptional scholarly contributions but also their work as teachers and mentors, and their outstanding service to the field of music theory.

Severine Neff
Severine Neff at SMT. (Photo Courtesy of Jocelyn Neal)

The 2020 Spectrum Concert saw the completion of our Centennial Challenge, seeking to raise $100K for 100 years of music. Gifts from friends like you helped us exceed our goal by almost 50 percent! Our final total for the challenge was $147,534.09.

Finishing the year apart was tough, but the department came together to create one final piece of music for the year: Carolina Stomp! This arrangement by Lee Weisert of the alma mater, Hark the Sound, saw almost 100 students, faculty, and staff participate in our first-ever department-wide virtual recording project! Read more about the project and watch the video here.

Screenshot of department wide virtual project Carolina Stomp!
Screenshot from Carolina Stomp!

This summer the department was thrilled to welcome jazz saxophonist Rahsaan Barber to the faculty. Assistant Professor Barber has been a guest artist with the jazz program multiple times before joining the faculty this summer. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Rahsaan enjoys a career that encompasses performing and recording in an ever-expanding range of musical styles, including jazz, blues, funk, classical, fusion, soul, Latin, and world music.

Assistant Professor Rahsaan Barber (Photo Courtesy of RB)