Magazine Names UNC Jazz Band, Orchestra Among World's Best

The country's leading jazz magazine has once again recognized a UNC jazz band and the university's symphony orchestra among the world's best.

UNC's Jazz Lab Band I (Best College Big Band) and the University Symphony Orchestra (Best College Classical Ensemble) were winners of DownBeat magazine's 36th Annual Student Music Awards, "Setting the Pace, Raising the Bar."

UNC jazz ensembles have received more than 100 DownBeat awards. UNC Jazz Lab Band I, directed by Dana Landry, has won seven DownBeat awards in the past nine years — four of those awards were for "Best College Big Band." Landry said the following recorded performances were submitted as part of the application for the award:

  • Everything I Love, composed by Cole Porter and arranged by UNC alumnus Steve Owen.
  • Wail, composed by UNC Jazz Studies Associate Professor Erik Applegate.
  • Sneak Out, composed by David von Kampen and published by UNC Jazz Press.

For the University Symphony Orchestra, directed by Russell Guyver, the award marks the 10th time since 1999 the group has been named best college orchestra or classical ensemble. Guyver said they submitted recordings of live performances of excerpts from Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz, and Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements.

"This is an international award, any college classical ensemble is eligible to enter, so this represents a significant achievement for the UNC School of Music," Guyver said.

The winners were announced in Downbeat's June issue available at

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