Briefly in the arts

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UNT musician earns spot in Disney band

A University of North Texas College of Music graduate student spent the past year in the Disneyland All-American College Band.

Alto saxophonist Brendon Wilkins performed with some of the best collegiate musicians in the country while learning tips from the industry’s top jazz musicians last summer in the band.

“It was terrific. I have never had an experience quite like this,” said Wilkins, 24, a member of the 2016 band. “I learned a lot about what it takes to make it as a professional musician.”

Wilkins is the most recent UNT student to earn a coveted spot in the Disneyland All-American College Band.

No other university in the country has had more students chosen to participate in the band, which began in 1971. The 21-piece ensemble performs at the Disneyland Resort in California for 11 weeks each summer. As part of the program, students earn school credit by completing a major educational project and train with industry professionals such as Wayne Bergeron, Gregg Field and Rick Baptist.

UNT has 64 band alumni. University of Southern California is second with 37, and Indiana University is third with 30 members.


TWU student selected for global dance project

Yeajean Choi, a master of fine arts student in the Department of Dance at Texas Woman’s University, is one of eight choreographers be chosen for the World Dance Alliance’s 2017 International Young Choreographer Project.

Choi is also the only U.S. student to chosen for the project.

She will participate in the project’s three-week residency program in Taiwan in July.

Eight emerging choreographers, representing six countries and four divisions of the alliance, were selected through an adjudicated process. Choi will be the only choreographer representing WDA Americas. She joins three dancers from the Asia Pacific region, three from Taiwan and one from Europe.

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Choi earned her bachelor of fine arts and master of interdisciplinary studies of arts degrees from Sung Kyun Kwan University in 2012 and 2014, respectively. She is pursuing her master of fine arts degree at the TWU Department of Dance, where she also serves as digital media coordinator. Choi specializes in multimedia choreography, and teaches Korean dance at her Dallas non-profit, the Jean Korean Dance Company.


Frida Kahlo remembered in pictures

A Dallas gallery exhibits a special selection of photographs of the influential Mexican Surrealist painter and icon, Frida Kahlo, through April.

PDNB Gallery, a gallery devoted to photography that is run by Denton residents Burt and Missy Finger, will present the photos of Kahlo at the same time the Dallas Museum of Art will show “Mexico 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde.”

The show highlights the playful and candid portraits of Kahlo taken by artist and close companion, the late Lucienne Bloch.

By an encounter with the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, Bloch met Kahlo. The two developed a deep friendship. During Diego’s turbulent stay in the United States, Bloch became an important figure in Kahlo’s life and also would document many of Diego’s prominent mural works including “Unity Panel” at the New Workers School in New York, 1933, (included in the exhibition). Bloch also took the only surviving photographs of the controversial Rockefeller Center mural, which was destroyed in 1934.

The show includes photographs of Kahlo by master photographer and Kahlo’s long time lover, Nickolas Muray. Finally, photos by Delilah Montoya paying homage to Kahlo are part of the show.

The exhibit runs through April 15. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery is in the Dallas Design District at 154 Glass St. For more information, visit

— Staff reports

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