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ERIC Number: EJ808842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug-8
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Jazz Leader Helps a Band Take Giant Steps
Kelderman, Eric
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n48 pA6 Aug 2008
This article profiles Neil Slater, the longtime leader of the jazz program at the University of North Texas who encouraged both musical perfection and artistic freedom among his star pupils. Standards are high at North Texas, which has become a Camelot where aspiring jazz musicians have come to hone their skills since 1947, when it offered one of the nation's first degrees in jazz, which the university originally labeled as "dance band," to minimize controversy. The One O'Clock Lab Band, the best of the college's nine large jazz ensembles, is the figurative Round Table where just 19 elite performers prepare for their future musical quests. Mr. Slater has ruled the jazz realm at the university for 27 years. He will retire this month after taking the One O'Clock band on a three-week trip during which it performed at some of the world's most famous jazz venues, including Montreux, Switzerland, and the North Sea Festival, in Rotterdam, Holland. Mr. Slater is the third and longest-serving director of the jazz program founded 61 years ago by a graduate student, Murray Eugene Hall. Mr. Slater's ultimate goal--larger and more difficult than just building a premier college jazz band--has been to ready the 250 students who major in jazz for a profession flooded with talented musicians who compete for a declining number of opportunities.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; Switzerland; Texas