Performance with teeth

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Bonica Ayala
Courtesy photo/Bonica Ayala
Grammy-winning vocal band Roomful of Teeth will serve as artist-in-residence at the University of North Texas for 2016-17.

Vocal band to perform during residency at UNT

Roomful of Teeth, a Grammy-award winning ensemble group and the current UNT College of Music artist-in-residence, brings its brew of choral music, indigenous vocals and intricate harmonies to UNT’s Voertman Hall on Monday night.

The group often characterizes itself as a “vocal band,” a fitting descriptor given the group’s adventurous tastes. Jazz flavors fuse with folksy notions and lively rhythmic phrases.

Among its members is University of North Texas alumnus Cameron Beauchamp, who said he was eager to be back in Denton.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how the school of music has changed, connecting with former professors and eating my way through lots of old favorite restaurants,” he said. “With such an incredibly vast and diverse school of music, we’ll have endless possibilities of collaboration.”

As an artist-in-residence group, Roomful of Teeth will work with students while developing its own projects.

The ensemble won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2013 for its debut studio album, Roomful of Teeth. It released its second album, Render, in 2015.

Member Caroline Shaw won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for her composition Partita for 8 Voices, which was included on the group’s inaugural album. Shaw used spoken phrases to create a percussive structure throughout the piece, weaving wordless vocals in and out of movements punctuated by spoken word. The vocal band performs a cappella pieces effortlessly.

Another member of the eight-person group is Thann Scoggin, who received his degree in performance from UNT in 2004, as well as his master’s in library science in 2007.

Warren Henry, a music education professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs, expects the group to make a splash while at UNT.

“Part of our mission in the College of Music is to provide experiences for students that enhance and enrich their degree requirements,” Henry said. “Having Roomful of Teeth in residence means that our students can integrate with the members of the ensemble in ways that would not be possible with just a one-day visit.”

Another performance by Roomful of Teeth is slated for April, when the group will perform at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

The group’s residency is sponsored by UNT’s Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts.

Next week’s concert is at 8 p.m. Monday in Paul Voertman Concert Hall, in the Music Building at 415 Ave. C. Admission is free, but interested guests are asked to reserve their seats at www.thempac.com.


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