UNT College of Music, first to offer Jazz degree

This Week in Texas Music History

UNT College of Music, first to offer Jazz degree

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a university that offered the nation’s first degree in jazz studies.

On December 17, 1939, the College of Music at the University of North Texas in Denton received its accreditation. Music had been in the university’s curriculum since 1890, but this national recognition helped the College of Music grow into one of the most prestigious music programs in the country. By the 1940s, UNT offered several music degrees and had a number of student bands performing in concerts and on radio. In 1947, UNT became the first university in the country to offer a degree in jazz. The school’s jazz program is home to the famed “One O’Clock Lab Band,” which has toured internationally and won Grammy nominations for its recordings.

Ranked among the top fifteen music schools in the nation, the College of Music at the University of North Texas counts among its distinguished alumni such popular artists as Herb Ellis and Norah Jones.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a television host who entertained and educated his audience.