UTA’s Dan Cavanagh Living His American Dream as Pianist, Composer & Educator
By Ryan Hunt
Posted on August 29, 2018, August 29, 2018

As the recently named Chair of The University of Texas at Arlington's Music Department, Dan Cavanagh is living his American Dream as an educator, professional musician and composer.

"As a musician, as a professor, as someone who believes in higher education, this has been a fantastic place to be," Cavanagh said.

As director of UTA's music industry studies program, Cavanagh has helped the school create its own record label. Backstage Arlington gives viewers an inside look at the Music Department's Studio 301 recording studio, which utilizes the latest in engineering technology and is able to record a wide range of music in an isolated and professional environment. Cavanagh also leads the American Jazz Composers Orchestra, a performance group based in Arlington with a large number of UTA faculty and alumni as members.

More than a dozen faculty members, students and alumni from The University of Texas at Arlington are featured on the 2017 album "Patti LaBelle and Friends - Home for the Holidays." Cavanagh arranged "My Favorite Things," "Let it Snow," "The Christmas Song," "Mary, Did You Know?" and "Brazilian Sleigh Bells." Jamar Jones, a lecturer of music industry studies at UTA and an alumnus, produced the 14-song album. The Music Department presents a robust calendar of concerts and performances throughout the year to the Arlington community.

"We do have a very busy schedule of events," Cavanagh said. "We present over 220 concerts a year, ranging from faculty recitals to our large student groups, choir, orchestra, band, to bringing in professionals and guest artists."

Cavanagh's original music continues to be performed across the country and internationally. His jazz piano trio was a finalist in the 2013 Bucharest International Jazz Competition, and he was a finalist in the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano competition.

Mix Tape Tuesday with Dan Cavanagh & Friends has become a regular performance on the first Tuesday of every month at Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar in Downtown Arlington. Cavanagh and his band also perform jazz music at other local venues, like The Grease Monkey Burger Shop and Social Club.

The UT Arlington Department of Music offices are located in the Fine Arts Building, South Section (700 West Greek Row, Arlington, TX 76010). For more information, please call 817-272-3471. You can find a calendar of events on the department's website.

Click here to watch all of the American Dream Chapter videos on the City of Arlington's YouTube channel. You can also visit arlington-tx.gov/news/tag/american-dream-city/.

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