|Years active 1948–present|
Active from 1948
Genres Jazz, Big band
Record label North Texas Jazz
|Albums Lab 2011, Lab 75, Lab 2010|
Nominations Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Similar Steve Wiest, Wayne Bergeron, Alan Baylock, Leon Breeden, Denis DiBlasio
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The One O’Clock Lab Band for 69 years has been the premier ensemble of the Jazz Studies Division at the University of North Texas College of Music in Denton. The band has performed and toured in Australia, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, and The Netherlands. Since the 1970s, the band’s albums have received seven Grammy nominations, including two for Lab 2009. Steve Wiest, a three-time Grammy-nominated composer-arranger-director and Associate Professor of Music, directed the O'Clock Lab Band from 2008 through the summer of 2014. Jay Saunders, a veteran of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, has been interim director since 2014. The One O’Clock is the highest of nine peer lab bands at the college, each named for its hour of rehearsal and each a standard 19-piece big band instrumentation — five saxophones, five trombones, five trumpets, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The One O'Clock evolved from an extracurricular stage band founded in 1927 into a curricular laboratory dance band in 1947, when North Texas launched the first jazz degree program in the world. For the next 20 years — until 1967 — North Texas was the only US university that offered a degree in jazz studies.
- Unt one o clock lab band alan baylock intensities in ten cities
- Unt one o clock lab band ray noble cherokee
- Stage band
- Aces of Collegeland
- The Lab Band Voice of America Jazz Hour
- Recent albums
- Major tours festivals concerts
- Notable One OClock alumni
Unt one o clock lab band ray noble cherokee
The "Lab Band" portion of the name is drawn from the its original long name – "Laboratory Dance Band." Gene Hall, the founding director, coined the phrase in 1946. "Laboratory" signified the school's practical curricular application of artistic disciplines in various music settings such as ensembles, small chamber groups, bands, orchestras, choirs, keyboard ensembles, and guitar ensembles. "Dance" was dropped in the early 1960s, to reflect the wider developing aspects of big band music. The academic degree name, "Dance Band," however, stood until 1978, when it was renamed "Jazz Education" and renamed again in 1981 as "Jazz Studies."
Leon Breeden (1921–2010) presided when "The One O'Clock" was added as part of the official name in the early 1960s. North Texas has several lab bands, each bearing the name of their respective rehearsal times.
When Leon Breeden took over the Lab Band Program in 1959, there were four lab bands, then referred to as "Units:" One O'Clock, Two O'Clock, Three O'Clock, and Five O'Clock. At that time, the Two O'Clock was the premier band, known as Laboratory Dance Band A.
Beginning in 1927, new faculty member Floyd Graham began directing and emceeing Saturday night stage shows at North Texas State Teachers College, planning the programs and holding auditions every Saturday afternoon for prospective entertainers. Years earlier, as early as 1923, WBAP Fort Worth broadcast a nationally syndicated show of the stage band, which then was a twenty-two-piece orchestra, on Friday nights directed by James Willis Smith (1875–1937), professor of mathematics at North Texas from 1908 to 1927.
The Stage Band (1927-mid-1930s) served as a proving ground for Ann Sheridan, Joan Blondell, and Louise Tobin. Actress Nancy Jane Gates first performed with the Stage Band in 1929, when she was three, and continued singing through graduation from Denton High School. The Moonbeams, a quartet of four female vocalists, got their start with the Saturday night stage show in 1946. Two years later, they were touring with the Vaughn Monroe Band as the Moonmaids.
Charter Members from 1927 Stage Band
Notable Members from the Fall 1940 Stage BandSaxophonesTromboneTrumpetsViolinRhythm section
Note † Capt. James Richard Allen was missing in action at sea, World War II
Aces of Collegeland
The Aces, under the directorship of Floyd Graham, evolved out of the Saturday Night Stage Shows, which were presented weekly from 1927 to 1961. Annually, from 1962 to 1970, the Aces, together with other acts, traveled and performed for civic organizations, veterans’ hospitals, WFAA radio, and Texas military bases. The Aces of Collegeland was never offered for academic credit.
The Lab Band: Voice of America Jazz Hour
Willis Conover (1920–1996), jazz host on Voice of America, broadcast six nights a week to an audience that, at the peak of the Cold War, was estimated to be 30 million regular listeners in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union — and as many as 100 million worldwide. Conover, who had heard the One O'Clock Lab Band several times, including as judge at the 1960 Notre Dame Jazz Festival (when Leonard Bernstein was on the festival's board), asked Leon Breeden, in 1967, for recordings of certain numbers. Later that year, Conover featured the One O'Clock Lab Band in an hour broadcast to an estimated audience of 40 million. Every year thereafter, the One O’Clock supplied a professional quality studio engineered album to Conover.
Jazz was, as Mr. Conover liked to say, "the music of freedom;" and to those who had no freedom, it became a metaphor of hope. Conover was known as the most famous American virtually no American had ever heard of. By law, the Voice of America broadcasts — broadcasts that made him a household name in Europe, Asia and Latin America — could not be beamed to the United States, where Mr. Conover was known mainly to dedicated jazz fans.
- "Sno Peas," composed by Phil Markowitz and arranged by Richard DeRosa
- "Dark Matters," composed by Dave Richards
- "Another Other," composed by Neil Slater
- "Li'l Darlin'," composed by Neal Hefti and arranged by Kevin Swaim
- "Unformal," composed by Dave Richards
- "Time Sensitive," composed by Neil Slater
- "Here Comes McBride," composed by Dave Brubeck and arranged by Dave Richards
- "November," composed by John Guari
- "Ice-Nine," composed by Steve Wiest
- "House of Cards" (video), Kevin Swaim
- "Not Yet", Neil Slater
- "The Oracle" (video), Kevin Swaim
- "New Cydonia" (video), Steve Wiest
- "Fly Me to the Moon," Bart Howard, arr. Tierney Sutton, adapt. Dave Richards
- "Prime Directive," Dave Holland, arr. Josh Dresser
- "Newport," Slide Hampton
- "Pretzel Logic," Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, arr. Fred Sturm
- "Sword Fight," Dave Richards
- "Modus Operandy" (video), composed by Michael Brecker, arranged by Kevin Swaim
- "Duplicity," composed and arranged by Colin Campbell
- "Perseverance," composed and arranged by Richard DeRosa
- "Hip Pickles," composed and arranged by Lou Marini, Jr.
- "Nail in the Coffin," composed and arranged by Kevin Swaim
- "Doublethink," composed and arranged by Sean Nelson
- "Yesterdays" (video), music Jerome Kern, lyrics by Otto Harbach, arranged by Bill Holman
- "Special Interests," composed and arranged by Neil Slater
- "The Last Theme Song," by Steve Wiest
- "Be That Way," by Tyler Mire
- "Abby Song," by Jenny Kellogg
- "Shiny Stockings," by Frank Foster
- "The Fifth Shade," by Steve Wiest
- "The Sparrow Was Gone in an Instant," by Aaron Hedenstrom
- "Fugue for Thought," by Richard DeRosa
- "From Above," by Aaron Hedenstrom
- "3rd & 55th," by Neil Slater
- "Race to the Finish," by Drew Zaremba
- "Take the 'A' Train," by Billy Strayhorn, arranged by Richard DeRosa
- "Old West," by Aaron Hedenstrom
- "Somewhere on the 33rd Parallel," Keith Karns
- "Denton Standard Time," by Steve Wiest
- "As Time Goes By," by Herman Hupfeld, arranged by Drew Zaremba
- "Will or Would?" by Neil Slater
- "The Square," by Keith Karns
- "Honeybee," by Aaron Hedenstrom
- "Traffic Jam," by Jenny Kellogg
The band has a history of yearly studio recordings dating back to the 1967, known simply by the title Lab 'XX, the two-digit abbreviation being the year in which the 20th-century recording was made (ex. "Lab '85" or "Lab '00"); in the case of 21st-century recordings, the year is not abbreviated (ex. "Lab 2001" or "Lab 2006.")
Selections include performances directed by Gene Hall and Leon Breeden
Directed by Leon Breeden
Directed by Leon Breeden (continued)
Directed by Neil Slater
Directed by Steve Wiest
Directed by Jay Saunders
- Lab 75 was the first nomination bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) to a student group All arrangements and original compositions on the album were by Lyle Mays, who also played keyboards on the album. By vote, members of the One O'Clock selected all the compositions. This was and still is the only time that an entire Lab Band album has been composed and arranged by a single student member.
- "Got a Match" was arranged by Mike Bogle (UNT MM/Jazz '87 MM/Mas '89). The original composition was by Chick Corea.
- "Values" was composed and arranged by Neil Slater.
Major tours, festivals & concerts
The One O'Clock has performed at music festivals around the world including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand and the Netherlands. The One also performed often at the annual IAJE conference.
Under the direction of Gene Hall
Under the direction of Leon Breeden
Under the direction of Neil Slater
Under the direction of Steve Wiest
Notable One O'Clock alumni
1924-1937 – Stage Band, Dance Band, Pit Orchestra; 1937-1949 – The Aces of Collegeland
1947-1959 – Laboratory Dance Bands
1959–1969 One O'Clock Lab Band
Student & faculty composers/arrangers for the One O'Clock (non-members)
The Last Theme Song2011
New CydoniaLab 2010 · 2010