The University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music has the largest enrollment for public university music programs in the U.S. and is one of the world's most respected comprehensive music schools.

Its Bruce Hall dormitory is home to the Music & Jazz Living Learning Communities and cultivates a rich, creative environment for all its residents. Since 1964, 100 UNT College of Music alumni have worked on projects nominated for Grammy Awards, and an incredible 53 of those have won the prestigious award.

One of the secrets to student success is supplying them with the equipment necessary to succeed. First-rate practice rooms with advanced acoustical technology fall into that category. To make sure students could get the most out of their practice time, the school partnered with Wenger to install brand new Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with the latest Virtual Acoustic Environment (VAE®) technology in Bruce Hall, home to hundreds of student musicians.

Remove and Refurbish

UNT was one of the first schools in the country to install Wenger sound isolation practice rooms. For 45 years, those rooms served thousands of students well. But the rooms were in need of repairs. The college was interested in learning about new features and new technology that new rooms could provide.

“The design had changed significantly over the years, so we couldn’t make repairs in a cost-effective way,” explains Neal Jorgenson of Wenger Corporation. “The fans also weren’t working very well anymore, so it was uncomfortable for the students in the rooms. UNT agreed to install new rooms to give the musicians a much better place to play.”

Records indicated the old rooms had been used 6,700 times in the 2016-2017 academic year alone. It was no wonder they needed replacing.

The process began with a site visit so that Jorgenson could see the existing practice rooms. Right away, he noticed a big problem.

“There were some 9-foot high beams in the rooms that we needed to tear out,” Jorgenson says. “We need at least ten feet of height, so we drew up the plans, got some feedback from UNT, and had to vet everything through the fire marshal. Then we began tearing out the old rooms and making room for the new.”

Install and Instruct

Jorgenson’s team installed 13 Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with built-in VAE technology.

VAE technology offers more realistic acoustical simulations, creating the sensation of being enveloped by the sound. This innovative approach enables musicians to hear themselves in various performance venues, from a large recital hall to a cathedral to a small auditorium. VAE allows the musicians to record and play back their practice sessions, helping them adapt and improve their performance. Those recordings can also be downloaded to other devices for sharing or performing accompaniments.

The sound isolation rooms are quieter than any other on the market. They’re also strategically located in the basement of Bruce Hall, allowing its residents to practice at any time of day without disturbing anyone nearby.

VAE technology also allows teachers to follow the assessment strategy recommended in the National Standards for Music Education, and increase their ability to evaluate the progress of more students in less time.

“The students were very excited to explore this technology,” explains Penny Gustafson, Assistant Director of Housing and Business Operations at UNT. “Given the creative drive of our typical music majors, we were confident that these rooms would be beneficial.”

The final step was for a team of acoustical equipment experts to show the students and teachers how to use the system to maximize its benefits.

New Rooms, Clear Sound

The new rooms were a big hit.

“The students love the VAE technology,” Gustafson says. “They particularly enjoy being able to record themselves and track progress over the course of the semester or year. Music professors were also eager to listen to their students’ recordings and offer feedback.”

Gustafson says students have also found the spaces useful for recording podcasts, music for personal projects, or sound clips for film. The rooms are used an average of 500 hours each week. Because of their popularity, UNT had to implement a one-hour limit per person to give all residents an opportunity to use the rooms.

The practice rooms are also used as a recruiting tool, providing a major draw for prospective freshmen music majors and their families when considering their options for undergraduate music studies.

Throughout the process, Gustafson appreciated the customer service Jorgenson provided.

“Neal has been extremely informative, patient, and supportive,” Gustafson says. “When we hit bumps in the road with project management, we called on him to intervene, and he always took care of us.”

Long List of Wenger Products

The SoundLok practice rooms join other Wenger Corporation products elsewhere on campus. The auditorium boasts a beautiful Diva® Full Stage Acoustical Shell to help both performers on stage and audience members hear the best possible sound. The rooms also contain StageTek® seated risers, as well as musician and cello chairs and Wenger’s Classic 50® Music Stands.

Wenger Corporation’s hallmark is to build quality, durable, lasting products that stand the test of time.

SoundLok rooms that lasted 45 years prove the point. And now, the new and improved rooms will serve thousands of future students for many more years to come.

Susan L. Smith, Music for All Educational Consultant, kicks off a new live webinar series exclusively on BAND, the mobile app in the Director Hub.

The webinar will focus on concert festival preparation for young or small bands. 

This FREE Webinar will include tips for success for the concert band conductor with a small or young band. The first half of this online clinic will be informative with suggestions that have worked for the clinician in the past.

The second half will focus on specific questions or needs of the attendees.

Fill out the form below to ensure your questions get answered! The webinar will be available in the Director hub at the conclusion of the event.

Join the hub and RSVP here:

Question form:

Stop by the Music for All booth and talk with the following members of our Education team

Susan Smith will be in the booth on Wednesday, 12/18 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. to talk about the National Chamber Music Festival and small band initiatives for marching bands!

Come meet Music for All Educational Consultant Zachary Harris, adjunct professor at William Carey University. Zachary will be in the booth each daydiscussing our urban education initiatives and the I-65 Corridor Collaborative.

Wed. 12/18 - 9:30 a.m. – Noon
Thurs. 12/19 - 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Fri. 12/20 - 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Let’s talk about the Honor Band in the Rose Parade®! January 15, 2020 is the application and audition deadline for students.

Meet with Richard Saucedo on Thursday 12/19 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. to learn more.


Want to learn more about Music for All Affiliate Regional Music Festivals and the Directors’ Academy at the Music for All National Festival?

Scott Casagrande and Stan Schoonover will be available on Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – Noon to talk with you.

David Starnes, our Summer Symposium Camp Director will be available on Thursday 12/19 from 9:00-11:00 am to talk about summer camp and the many opportunities for students and directors.

Having worked with Fran Kick for over two decades, Music for All shares in his passion and mission to develop student leadership in all students, rather than just let it happen with a selected few. Come by on Friday 12/20 from 9 a.m.-Noon to talk about student leadership opportunities at the Summer Symposium!

Check out the following Music for All master educators and clinicians at the 2019 Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic!

Bobby Lambert, Wando H.S., SC: Wind Symphony Performance; Thursday, December 19, 8:30 a.m. Skyline Ballroom W375E

Cheryl Floyd, Hill Country M.S., TX retired: “Once More with Feeling: The Music Really Matters”; Friday, December 20, 8:30 a.m. Ballroom W183

Daniel Malacon, Timber Creek H.S., TX: Timber Creek Saxophone Ensemble Performance; Thursday, December 19, 4:30 p.m. Ballroom W190

Dave Gerhart, Yamaha Corporation of America: “Percussion Methods 102: Revisited”; Thursday December 19, 4:30 p.m. Meeting Room W186

Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, Music for All Senior Educational Advisor: Music Parents Sessions, Wednesday December 18, 4:30 p.m. and Thursday December 19, 2:00 p.m. Meeting room W193 and “It is Better to Illuminate than to Shine: A Credo for All Teachers and Conductors”, Thursday December19, 3:00 p.m. Meeting Room W185 Moderator for “An Interview with Julie Giroux” Friday December 20, 10:30 a.m. Ballroom W183

Freddy Martin, Westminster Schools, GA: “Go Play Outside! A Contextual Discussion on the Benefits, Drawbacks, and Stigmas associated with Outdoor Brass Playing”; Thursday December 19, 11:30 a.m. Meeting Room W184

H. Robert Reynolds, Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California Chat Room “The Two Kinds of Knowledge and the Two Kinds of Conductors” Wednesday December 18, 11:30 a.m. Meeting Room W193 2nd Annual Midwest Clinic Reynolds Conducting Institute Thursday December 19, 10:00 a.m & 2:30 p.m. & Friday Decmeber 20, 9:00 a.m. Meeting Room W178 Open Rehearsal with the University of Texas (Austin) Chamber Winds; Thursday December 19, 1:30 p.m. Meeting Room W178 Guest conductor, Players from the University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble; Saturday December 21 10:00 a.m. Ballroom W183

Jarrett Lipman and Alan Sharps, Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX: Wind Ensemble Performance;Thursday December 19, 1:00 p.m., Skyline Ballroom W375AB

Jeffrey Grogan, Oklahoma City University, OK: “Leading Rehearsals that Inspire”; Wednesday December 18, 10:30 a.m. Ballroom W183

Jerrell Horton, Vestavia Hills H.S., AL: “Relationships that Resonate: Creating a Culture of Leadership and Inclusion through United Sound”; Wednesday December 18, 3:00 p.m. Meeting Room W186

John Phillips, University of Western Ontario retired: “The Concert was Great! But What Did They Learn? Using Reflective Practice to Support Student Achievement”; Friday December 20, 10:30 a.m. Meeting Room W186

Jon Gomez, East Valley Youth Symphony, AZ: “Changing Classroom Management Struggles into Successful Results”; Thursday December 19, 1:00 p.m. Meeting Room W185

Julie Duty, United Sound: “Relationships that Resonate: Creating a Culture of Leadership and Inclusion through United Sound”; Wednesday December 18, 3:00 p.m. Meeting Room W186

Julie Giroux, Clinician/Composer/Conductor: “An Interview with Julie Giroux”; Friday December 20, 10:30 a.m. Ballroom W183

Matt McCready, Union Public Schools, OK: “Teaching through Poverty: Removing Barriers for Participation and Performance”; Thursday December 19, 11:30 a.m. Meeting Room W179

Richard Floyd, UIL Director Emeritus, TX: “Once More with Feeling: The Music Really Matters”; Friday, December 20, 8:30 a.m. Ballroom W183

Richard Saucedo, Carmel H.S., IN retired: Rehearsal Lab – Small School High School Band; Thursday December 19, 4:30 p.m. Ballroom W183

Robert T. Herrings III, Artie Henry Middle School, TX: “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”; Thursday December 19, 3:00 p.m. Meeting Room W181

Mast had been through numerous rounds of buying music equipment for his students at Klein Cain High School and other schools in Houston, Texas: from chairs to stands to storage - and everything in between.

He had always turned to Wenger Corporation, a single-company solution for his music education and performing arts needs.

Klein Cain was no exception. Built in 2017, the school had a variety of equipment requirements for its band, orchestra, and choir rehearsal rooms, main theatre, and black box theatre. Wenger Corporation’s Wenger, J.R. Clancy, and GearBoss brands were the preferred solutions.

“The district saw the advantage of buying quality Wenger products to avoid problems later,” Mast says. “We do it right the first time.”

Quality Investment

In the music education department, Mast and his team selected Wenger’s Student Chairs and Classic 50® Music Stands. Both are durable and the chairs are comfortable and support good posture.

UltraStor® Instrument Cabinets were chosen in the Band and Orchestra rooms to keep the students’ instruments protected, organized and safe when not in use. The bolt-through Wenger design provides increased durability for long-term use.

The StageTek® risers in the rehearsal rooms provide a strong, yet lightweight solution for the band, orchestra, and choirs. The refined, smart design is the product of extensive research, engineering, and technical advancements in materials and manufacturing. The result is a lighter, stronger staging system that’s easier to handle and faster to set up.

Elevated Performance

To enhance the school’s performing arts infrastructure, Wenger designed and manufactured a Diva® Full-Stage Acoustical Shell, enabling them to make acoustic adjustments to best suit each ensemble.

“The Diva shell enables our auditorium’s acoustics to complement and support band, orchestra, and choir, who all require different configurations,” Mast says.

One of the primary benefits in addition to superior sound for the performers and audience is the shell’s versatility. During busy months, it’s often set up or reconfigured every other day. Striking the nine towers and three clouds takes only thirty minutes.

J.R. Clancy provided a full counterweight rigging system in the auditorium. This one-stop solution simplifies coordination for the general contractor and gives the customer a cost-saving package discount. It also means a single point of contact for the school.

Finally, a black box theatre was designed for more intimate performances. Crews included StageTek® risers and chairs for audience seating, which are durable, lightweight, and easy to configure. Move & Store Carts enable the space to be cleared quickly. An adjacent dressing room with Wenger make-up stations and Rack n’ Roll Garment Racks give performers the perfect space to get ready and store costumes or concert wear.

Lighting Integration

In both the auditorium and black box theatre, Wenger Corporation provided lighting integration. Theatrical spotlights, utility lighting, and the integration of emergency lighting with the controls system were an integral part of the auditorium’s hybrid lighting system. In the black box theatre, Wenger implemented power, networking, and controls for a separate hybrid system for ease of use and control.

“We can really shine when a school needs quality equipment in their music education and performing arts spaces,” says Stacy Hanson, Marketing Communications Director at Wenger Corporation. “Our proven solutions offer limitless options, integrated solutions, and outstanding service and support – all of which help students and staff operate efficiently and effectively.”

“Wenger Corporation is always looking forward, listening to customers, and improving their products,” Mast says. “We’re proud to partner with them and include their products in our schools to help our students perform to the best of their abilities.”

To learn more about Wenger Corporation, please visit

We hope that everyone will be joining us on Thanksgiving Day by watching the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! We cannot wait to watch and support all of the amazing marching bands that will be featured throughout the parade. Some of the nation's finest will come together for the 93rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and we are so excited to see them all in this legendary event.

Make sure you tune in on NBC and join us in supporting these incredible ensembles as they perform for nearly 50 million television viewers nationwide! The parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 28 and will conclude at 12 PM in all time zones.

Below is a list of all of the marching bands you will see in the parade:

Awesome Second Time Arounders Marching Band 
St. Petersburg, FL

Blue Springs H.S. Marching Band
Blue Springs, MO

Catalina Foothills H.S. Marching Band
Tucson, AZ

Franklin Regional H.S. Marching Band
Murrysville, PA

Macy's Great American Marching Band

Madison Central H.S. Band
Richmond, KY

Martin Luther King Jr. H.S. Marching Band
Lithonia, GA

Morgan State University Marching Band
Baltimore, MD

NYPD Marching Band
New York

Ronald Regan H.S. Marching Band
San Antonio, TX

Western Carolina University Marching Band
Cullowhee, NC

For more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade visit

HSPVA is one of the top-ranked performing arts schools in the country, whose mission is to provide a balanced program of challenging academics and rigorous training in the arts. The school focuses on six art areas: vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theatre, visual art, and creative writing.

HSPVA was originally built in 1971 and had experienced piecemeal renovations as the school aged. It was bursting at the seams with more students across the country interested in attending. After an extensive search for a new facility, school administration decided to open a new location in downtown Houston and design a building to meet the growing needs of the school.

Updated Technology

The $88 million project would ultimately feature specialized performance and fine arts spaces to enhance the artistic environment of the school. Architects created a five-story, 168,000-square-foot building featuring a dramatic front entrance with double-high glass windows and a wide stairwell, 800-seat main theater with a balcony, dance and music studios, 150-seat recital hall, 200-seat theater, 190-seat black box theater, rehearsal rooms, modern outdoor dining area, two levels of underground parking and an outdoor roof terrace.

The beautiful exterior needed to be matched with first-class music education equipment on the inside.

Band, Orchestra, and Vocal Rehearsal Spaces

For any student practicing their instrument, keeping environmental noise out is critical. A sound isolation practice room can help them fine-tune their performance and concentrate on their craft.

Administration opted for Wenger’s SoundLok® Practice Rooms with superior sound isolation. Each room is 25 percent quieter than any other practice room available. Built-in absorption and diffusion enables the musician to clearly hear the best possible sound. The rooms also have built-in virtual acoustic environment (VAE®) technology, allowing the musician to learn how to adapt to performing in different performance spaces and get immediate feedback with record/playback during the practice session.

“Our students are really enjoying the new practice rooms and experimenting with the virtual acoustics,” Orchestra Director Dr. Brad Smith says. “We also like the fact that there are glass doors on them so we can see what’s going on and potentially help them if they need assistance.”

To round out the first-rate equipment, music administrators also chose the company’s durable stands and chairs to serve a variety of performance needs. They opted for cabinets that keep instruments well organized when not in use, and a portable stage and riser system to prepare them for any number of rehearsal situations.

“I am most excited about the shelving and the music library in the new space,” Dr. Smith says. “Being able to organize all of our instruments, sheet music and other items means I can devote more time to the students, rather than searching for miscellaneous items.”

Denney Theatre

The heart and soul of the building is the 800-seat Denney Theatre, which is utilized for a variety of performance types ranging from orchestra and choral to dance, theatre, and lectures. To enhance the sound quality and ability to cater to these performers, teams installed a new custom acoustical shell, a motion control system, rigging systems and hoists and lightweight choral risers that can easily be set up or stored as needed.

“Students are getting great experience working with this cutting-edge equipment,” explains Costume Design Manager Paul Davis. “The students are very pleased with the new equipment,” says Choral Director Pat Bonner. “This is advanced equipment that they haven’t seen in other schools.”

She says it’s also a treat for the staff to have a superior shell and risers after years of making due with inferior equipment.

“We have worked so hard for so long that we have earned the right to be proud of this lovely theatre, which is the jewel of our campus,” Bonner says. “Audiences that come will enjoy it just as much as we do.”

Black Box Theatre

One of the main benefits of a Black Box Theatre is its versatility. The simplicity of the space is used to create a flexible stage and audience interaction. The use of staging and lighting in Black Box Theatres can range from extremely minimal to very elaborate, depending on the performance.

Portable audience seating and risers included in this space provided flexible configurations for the theatre’s many needs. They’re lightweight, strong, and easy and quick to set up or move.

Time to Shine

With all of the new equipment successfully installed, it was time for the school to open its doors. Everybody raved.

“HSPVA is now able to provide the best music education for our students, and to prepare them to be the best musicians they can be in the future with his new facility,” Dr. Smith says. “Our students and faculty now have access to practice and performance facilities that are some of the best in the industry. Very few high school students around the nation have access to this type of space.”

The equipment in the new facility is providing students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to improve their performances, continuing the school’s long-standing tradition and nationwide acknowledgement of excellence.

“Kinder HSPVA is truly a school like no other,” says Principal Scott Allen. “As I walk the hallways of the school and observe students studying and participating in the creative arts, I realize how fortunate they are to have a fine arts campus to attend in the Houston Independent School District.”

Get a Glimpse of HSPVA’s Rehearsal Room

For more about HSPVA, please click here. For more about Wenger’s Music Education solutions, please visit

What is your hometown? City, State.
Hinsdale, New Hampshire

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Muldrow High School in Oklahoma! I currently go to Arkansas Tech University and plan to graduate with my Music Education degree May 2020.


What is your musical background?
I have been involved with music ever since 6th grade! I was instantly in love with the flute and continued on to hold several leadership positions in my high school band. I now serve as a 2nd year teaching assistant with the Arkansas Tech Band of Distinction and am also a 3rd year member of our Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

What has been your favorite part of this internship experience?
I’ve loved being able to contribute to something bigger than myself, but working with Music for All has also allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and shown me resources I didn’t know existed for music educators. I get to live somewhere new while experiencing a different side of music!


What is an interesting fact about you?
I am a pro Olympic player of Facebook Messenger games... including the basketball one.

Who are your top three favorite artists?
The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball, and Nova & the Experience

Would you rather be able to talk to animals or speak all the foreign languages?
While I would like to know what’s running through my cat’s head, I think it’d be better to be able to communicate with an infinite number of people! Plus, I assume that means I would be able to read Egyptian Hieroglyphics too!

What division at camp would you want to participate in if you were still in school?
That’s so hard to choose, but I think I would lean more toward Marching Band!


What are you currently reading?
I have been pulling inspiration from a book called Words I Wish I Wrote by Robert Fulghum a lot recently!

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” -Jennifer Lee

What show have you binge watched recently?
Somewhat unashamed to say I binged the Society recently on a whim.

What actor or actress would play you in a movie written about your life?
Well, this was a bit hard to figure out, but I think Awkwafina!


What is your hometown? City, State.
Madison, IN.

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Madison Consolidated High School and Ball State University. I graduated from Ball State in May of this year.


What is your musical background?
I played the trumpet until high school, but I am more into music business now. Besides being the Advancement Intern at Music for All, I also work at a concert venue and had an externship with Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival this summer.


What has been your favorite part of this internship experience?
It is cool to learn about how nonprofits are funded and be a part of that process. Music for All does so much good for students and educators across the nation, and I love being a little piece that enables us to do these great things.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I recently won a regional Emmy for a documentary I produced.


Who are your top three favorite artists?
Walk the Moon, Judah and the Lion, and Vance Joy.

Would you rather be able to talk to animals or speak all the foreign languages?
I would love to speak all of the foreign languages. Communication between people of different cultures is so important for growth and learning, and language can be such a barrier.

What division at camp would you want to participate in if you were still in school?
Jazz Band for sure! That was my favorite when I played the trumpet.

What are you currently reading?
I have not had time to recently, but I love Nicholas Sparks. I will probably read his most recent novel soon..

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Life is what happens when you are outside of your comfort zone.”

What show have you binge watched recently?
I watched all of Stranger Things 3 recently. It was so good, and I sobbed like a baby. Now I am starting Queer Eye Season 4.

What actor or actress would play you in a movie written about your life?
I would say probably Jennifer Lawrence because she is goofy, tall, and loves to eat!

Many places you can shop, including the following brands, have loyalty programs:

  • AmazonSmile: Support MFA while shopping on Amazon! Visit, select Music for All, and start shopping. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Music for All.
  • Soon you will be able to shop at Goodshop, Kroger, Target, and other retailers, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated back to “Music for All”.

Donate your car or truck to MFA– CARS

      1.Picks up your vehicle
      2.Gives you the full market value for your vehicle
      3.Completes all the state and federal tax forms required for your tax deduction
      4.Music for All receives the vehicle’s sale without tying up the staff with paperwork.
      5.And, when you utilize CARS, you can donate most anything on wheels.

This is a hassle free way to give to MFA and a good way to get your garage or driveway back to what it was intended for.

Watch how it works:

Im Interested

Appreciated stock, held for more than one year, can be the ideal choice for individuals who want their gifts to make the biggest impact for the lowest possible cost. The secret ingredient: double tax benefits.

This is how it works. Suppose Ann gives MFA 100 shares of a stock she purchased 10 years ago for $1,000. That stock has risen to its current fair market value of $5,000. Today, Ann can deduct the full $5,000 on this year’s income tax return. The $4,000 capital gain is not taxed, even though the gain is quadruple the purchase price. Avoiding capital gains tax and receiving an income tax deduction makes it possible to give stock at the lowest possible after-tax cost.

Which stocks are best to give? The best choices depend on your portfolio, investment goals, and taxes. There are no definite rules for suitable stocks, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Stocks must have been held for more than one year to deduct the appreciation.
  • Stocks with the greatest amount of appreciation provide the most leverage for the untaxed gain.
  • Investors who follow set portfolio ratios (e.g., 40% stocks, 40% municipal bonds, and 20% cash) might choose to give a stock that would provide an opportunity to reposition investments, balance ratios, and enjoy valuable tax relief.
  • A stock that lowered or cut its dividend might be a good option.

If you have questions, speak with your tax advisor or stockbroker. Then, contact Paul St. Angelo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 317.636.2263 for instructions on stock transfers.

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