One O'Clock Lab Band

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One O'Clock Lab Band
One O'Clock Lab Band Birdland 2009.jpg
Poster: 2009 Performance in New York
Background information
GenresJazz, Big band
Years active1948–present

The One O’Clock Lab Band for 72 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.[1] Jay Saunders, a veteran of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, has been interim director since 2014.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]


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,[5] known as Laboratory Dance Band A.


Stage band[edit]

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[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Charter Members from 1927 Stage Band

  • Joseph Bailey Woodrum Jr. (1909–1990), drums
  • John Brown, bass

Notable Members from the Fall 1940 Stage Band

Eugene Hall (1913–1993)
Henry Roland Elbert
Manuel Myer
Jimmy Giuffre (1921–2008)
Dick Allen (1920–1944) †
Charles LaRue (1922–2006)
Henry Parker
Tommy Reeves
Alton Roger Averyt (1919–1972)
Guy E. Bush
Fred Sherman Parker
Arthur Davis
Roy Roaston
Rhythm section
Ralph T. Daniel, piano (1921–1985)[9]
Earl Edward Colbert, guitar (1917–1992)
John Brown, bass,
Joseph Bailey Woodrum Jr. (1909–1990), drums

Other members

Judson Samuel Custer (1918–2003), violin


† Capt. James Richard Allen was missing in action at sea, World War II  [a]

Aces of Collegeland[edit]

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.[10]

The Lab Band: Voice of America Jazz Hour[edit]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.

Selected radio transcriptions[edit]

  1. Voices of VISTA (1967?)
    Willis Conover, host
    John Cacavas orchestra and chorus
    Radio transcription disc
    Radio broadcasts of big band music
       Side 1: Show No. 92
           Stan Kenton
    1. "Sabre Dance" (audio via YouTube)
    2. "Anna" (audio via YouTube)
    3. "Somewhere My Love" (audio via YouTube)
    4. "The Sound of Music" (audio via YouTube)
    5. "It Was A Very Good Year" (audio via YouTube)
       Side 2: Show No. 93
           North Texas State University Lab Band
             Leon Breedon (sic) (Breeden), conductor
    Disc manufacturer: M.A. Magnum, Inc.
    OCLC 41437016
    National Archives Identifier: 4723911


1924–1927 James Willis Smith
Professor of mathematics from 1908 to 1927, founded the "college band."
1927–1947 Floyd Graham
Founded several musical groups, including The Aces of Collegeland, a pit orchestra for silent films, and stage bands for weekly variety shows – none of these musical groups were ever offered for college credit.
1946–1947 Charles Holton Meeks
Grad student, fill-in for Gene Hall.[13][14][15]

1947–1959 Gene Hall
Conceived and founded jazz education leading to a degree at a university and was the Lab Band's first director.
1949–1950 Claude R. Lakey
A saxophonist and student at North Texas (graduated 1950), by invitation of Gene Hall, conducted what then was the Two O'Clock Laboratory Dance Band (the forerunner to the One O'Clock). Before attending North Texas, Lakey had been a member of the Gene Krupa, Harry James (5 years, 7 movies, numerous recordings) Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller Orchestras.
1959–1981 Leon Breeden
Chaired the Jazz Studies Division and directed the One O'Clock for twenty-two years.
1981–2008 Neil Slater Served dual roles for twenty-seven years — (i) Chair of the Jazz Studies Division and (ii) Director of the One O'Clock — the longest tenure held in either role. Among other things, Slater is credited for having developed more emphasis on small groups and adding a master's curriculum in jazz, which, according to music journalist John Morthland, improved the overall quality of the lab bands. He also formally integrated jazz studies classes with lab band experience.[16]
2008–2014 Steve Wiest Became the One O'Clock's fourth director March 2009, after having served as interim director the year prior.
2014–2016 Jay Saunders Had been director of the Two O'Clock Lab Band; became interim director in 2014.
2016–present Alan Baylock In April 2015, the College of Music appointed Baylock as Director of the One O'Clock Lab Band, commencing Fall 2016.[17]

Recent albums[edit]

Liner notes; Montage
  1. "House of Cards" (video), Kevin Swaim
  2. "Not Yet", Neil Slater
  3. "The Oracle" (video), Kevin Swaim
  4. "New Cydonia" (video), Steve Wiest
  5. "Fly Me to the Moon," Bart Howard, arr. Tierney Sutton, adapt. Dave Richards
  6. "Prime Directive," Dave Holland, arr. Josh Dresser
  7. "Newport," Slide Hampton
  8. "Pretzel Logic," Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, arr. Fred Sturm
  9. "Sword Fight," Dave Richards
  • Lab 2011 was released late August 11, 2011 (CD &DVD) — OCLC 774025959
HD Video Montage
  1. "Modus Operandy" (video), composed by Michael Brecker, arranged by Kevin Swaim
  2. "Duplicity," composed and arranged by Colin Campbell
  3. "Perseverance," composed and arranged by Richard DeRosa
  4. "Hip Pickles," composed and arranged by Lou Marini Jr.
  5. "Nail in the Coffin," composed and arranged by Kevin Swaim
  6. "Doublethink," composed and arranged by Sean Nelson
  7. "Yesterdays" (video), music Jerome Kern, lyrics by Otto Harbach, arranged by Bill Holman
  8. "Special Interests," composed and arranged by Neil Slater
  9. "The Last Theme Song," by Steve Wiest
  • Lab 2012 (CD)
Miles Of Shades (video)
  1. "Code in 12/8," Jenny Kellogg
  2. "New York at Night," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  3. "Miles Away," by Tyler Mire
Visual realization by Peter Rand
  1. "Be That Way," by Tyler Mire
  2. "Abby Song," by Jenny Kellogg
  3. "Shiny Stockings," by Frank Foster
  4. "The Fifth Shade," by Steve Wiest
  5. "The Sparrow Was Gone in an Instant," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  6. "Fugue for Thought," by Richard DeRosa
  7. "From Above," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  8. "3rd & 55th," by Neil Slater
  9. "Race to the Finish," by Drew Zaremba
Album cover art: Baran Sarigul
  • Lab 2013 – An Homage to Denton, Texas: "Jazz Town, USA" (CD)
  1. "Take the 'A' Train," by Billy Strayhorn, arranged by Richard DeRosa
  2. "Old West," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  3. "Somewhere on the 33rd Parallel," by Keith Karns
  4. "Denton Standard Time," by Steve Wiest
  5. "As Time Goes By," by Herman Hupfeld, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  6. "Will or Would?" by Neil Slater
  7. "The Square," by Keith Karns
  8. "Honeybee," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  9. "Traffic Jam," by Jenny Kellogg
  • Lab 2014 (CD)
  1. "Blues for Gabe," by Drew Zaremba
  2. "Brookmeyer," by Keith Karns
  3. "Master Aruba," by Gabriel Evans
  4. "I’m Old Fashioned," by Jerome Kern & Johnny Mercer, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  5. "Wholesome Recreational Activity," by Branson Garner
  6. "A Father’s Love," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  7. "Cassandra," by Dave Brubeck, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  8. "Mixed Emotions," by Richard DeRosa
  9. "I Love You," by Cole Porter, arranged by Steve Wiest
  • Lab 2015 (CD)
  1. "All the Things You Are," by Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  2. "Out in the Storm," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  3. "Pistachio," by Drew Zaremba
  4. "Neil," by Rich DeRosa
  5. "Anthropoidea," by Garrett Wingfield
  6. "The Song Is You," by Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  7. "The Other Side," by Kevin Swaim
  8. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," by Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  9. "Uncertainty," by Brad Kang, arranged by Drew Zaremba
  • Lab 2016 (CD)
  1. "Southern Comfort," by Brian Horton
  2. "Lonely Woman," by Ornette Coleman, arranged by Garrett Wingfield
  3. "Alegrías De Soleá," by Brian Stark
  4. "Quicksilver," by Horace Silver, arranged by Garrett Wingfield
  5. "Not Enough Sky," by Brian Horton
  6. "This Is for Albert," by Wayne Shorter, arranged by Gregory Santa Croce
  7. "Theme for Malcolm," by Donald Brown, arranged by Brian Horton
  8. "Trinkle, Tinkle," by Thelonious Monk, arranged by Garrett Wingfield
  9. "Take Your Time," by Aaron Hedenstrom
  10. "Lemon Juice," by Dennis Mackrel
  • Lab 2017 (CD and Double-Vinyl LP)
  1. "My Shining Hour," by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, arranged by Brandon Moore
  2. "Peacock's Crown Blues," by Brian Stark
  3. "Old School," by Alan Baylock
  4. "Myself When I Am Mingus," by Brian Stark
    • Part I: Schouflee Andantarino
    • Part II: Adagio
    • Part III: Vals Presto
  5. "Tomorrow Morning," by Kyle Myers
  6. "500 Miles High," by Chick Corea, arranged by Stefon Harris, orchestrated by Alan Baylock
  7. "Roundabout," by Rich DeRosa
  8. "I'm Beginning To See The Light," by Duke Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, and Harry James, arranged by Brandon Moore
  9. "Relaxin' in Monterey," by Brandon Moore
  10. "Dizzyland," by Don Menza


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

OCLC 57392186
The first 5 tracks are of Gene Hall's last concert as director of the Laboratory Dance Band program at North Texas State College, April 17, 1959; the other tracks were recorded in the early 1960s. This was the first Lab Band recording in both HiFi and Stereo.[18]

Directed by Leon Breeden

OCLC 15010703
Archie Wheeler, Lead
Allen Solganick, Alto/Tenor
Jerry Keys, Tenor/Flute
Ray Kireilis, Tenor/Baritone
Herb Porter, Baritone/Bass Clarinet
Morgan Powell, Lead
Dee Barton
William Barton
Larry Moser
Jerry Schulze, Bass
Marv Stamm, Lead
Ron Towell
John Crews
Tom Wirtel
John Inglis
Rhythm section
Lanny Steele, Piano
Toby Guynn, Bass
Paul Guerrero, Drums
Don Gililland, Guitar
Special musicians
Ken Fears, Flute
David Irving, Horn
Bill Pickering, Horn
John LaForge, Tuba
Album cover (backside) notes by Stan Kenton
  • Stan Kenton Presents The North Texas Lab Band, (LP 1961) (90th Floor Records | SSL904)]
  • The Road to Stan (recorded 1961, released 2009) (90th Floor Records | SLL916)
  • The "Swingphonic Sounds" of Sammy Nestico (LP 1969) (Mark Ensemble Series | MES32244)

Directed by Leon Breeden (continued)

  • Lab '67 (CD)
  • Lab '68 (CD)
  • Lab '69 (CD)
  • Lab '70 (CD)
  • Lab '71 (CD)
  • 12 by 3 - Creative Jazz Composers (1972) (album demo for Creative Jazz Composers, Inc., produced by Mundell Lowe)
  • Lab '72 (2 CDs) (25 yr commemorative)
  • Lab '73 (CD)
  • Lab '74 (CD)
  • Lab '75 (CD) (Grammy nomination sample)
  • Lab '76 (CD) (Grammy nomination)
  • Lab '77 – All Cows Eat Grass (CD)
  • Jazz at Spoleto 1977 (LP | Left Bank Jazz Society LB 2692)
  • Lab '78 (CD)
  • Lab '79 (CD)
  • Lab '80 (CD)
Dedicated to the late John Park, saxophonist
  • Lab '81 (2 CDs)

Directed by Neil Slater

  • Lab '82 (CD)
Backcover by Leonard Feather
  • European Tour 82 – Live at Montreux
  • Lab '83 (CD)
  • With Respect to Stan (CD)
  • Lab '84 (CD)
  • Lab '85 (CD)
  • Live in Australia – The 1986 Tour (CD)
  • Lab '86 (CD)
  • Lab '87 (CD)
  • Lab '88 (CD)
  • Lab '89 (CD)
  • Lab '90 (CD)
  • Lab '91 (CD) (Grammy nomination)
  • Lab '92 (CD)
  • Lab '93 (CD)
  • Live in Portugal '93 (CD)
  • Lab '94 (CD)
  • Lab '95 (CD) sample
  • Lab '96 (CD) sample
  • One O'Clock Standard Time: Remembering Gene Hall (CD) sample
  • Lab '97 (CD)
  • North Texas Jazz: 50 Years (4 CDs)
  • Lab '98 (CD)
  • Lab '99 (CD) sample
  • Lab '00 (CD) The Eipper
  • Lab 2001 (CD)
  • Kenny Wheeler at North Texas (2 CDs)
  • Lab 2002 (CD)
  • Lab 2003 (CD)
  • Lab 2004 (CD)
  • Lab 2005 (CD)
  • Lab 2006 (CD)
  • Lab 2007 (CD/DVD)
  • Live from Thailand (CD/DVD)
  • Lab 2008 (CD)
  • Live at Blues Alley (2 CDs)

Directed by Steve Wiest

  • Lab 2009 (CD) sample
  • Lab 2010 (CD)
  • Lab 2011 (CD & DVD)
  • Lab 2012 (CD & DVD)
  • Lab 2013 (CD)
  • Lab 2014 (CD)

Directed by Jay Saunders

  • Lab 2015 (CD)
  • Lab 2016 (CD)

Directed by Alan Baylock

  • Lab 2017 (CD and Double-Vinyl LP) sample

As part of the year-long celebration of the Division of Jazz Studies' 70th Anniversary as well as the 50th consecutive annual Lab album, Lab 2017 was released on both CD and a limited edition, double-vinyl LP. This limited run of 500 hand-numbered packages were the first vinyl run from North Texas Jazz in thirty years.


  • The Best of the One O'Clock (1992)
  • Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas (4 CDs) (2017)
Past Grammy Nominations
Nominee Genre Category Title Performing
18th Annual (for recordings released between October 16, 1974 and October 15, 1975)
February 28, 1976
One O'Clock Lab Band
(1 of 5 nominees)
Jazz Best Jazz Performance
by a Big Band
Lab 75 One O'Clock Lab Band
20th Annual (for recordings released between October 1, 1976 and September 30, 1977)
February 23, 1978
One O'Clock Lab Band
(1 of 5 nominees)
Jazz Best Jazz Performance
by a Big Band
Lab 76 One O'Clock Lab Band
34th Annual (for recordings released between October 1, 1990 and September 30, 1991)
February 26, 1992
Mike Bogle
(1 of 6 nominees)
Composing &
Best Arrangement on
an Instrumental
"Got a Match?"
from Lab 89
One O'Clock Lab Band
35th Annual (for recordings released between October 1, 1991 and September 30, 1992)
February 26, 1993
Neil Slater
(1 of 5 nominees)
Composing &
Best Arrangement on
an Instrumental
from Lab 91
One O'Clock Lab Band
52nd Annual (for recordings released between October 1, 2008 and August 31, 2009)
January 31, 2010
One O'Clock Lab Band
(1 of 5 nominees)
Jazz Best Large
Jazz Ensemble Album
Lab 2009 One O'Clock Lab Band
Steve Wiest
(1 of 5 nominees)
& Arranging
Best Instrumental
from Lab 2009
One O'Clock Lab Band
58th Annual (for recordings released between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015)
February 15, 2016
Rich DeRosa (de)
(1 of 5 nominees)
& Arranging
Best Instrumental
from Lab 2015
One O'Clock Lab Band
  1. Lab 75 was the first nomination bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) to a student group[19] 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.
  2. "Got a Match" was arranged by Mike Bogle (UNT MM/Jazz '87 MM/Mas '89). The original composition was by Chick Corea.[20]
  3. "Values" was composed and arranged by Neil Slater.

Major tours, festivals & concerts[edit]

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

  • 1952 — Awarded Fifth Place in a nationwide contest for the best college dance band[4]
  • Spring 1956 — "The Five Front Combo," an 8-member group (directed by Gene Hall) from the Lab Bands, appeared on NBC's Steve Allen "Tonight" show broadcast from Fort Worth
  • Nov 23, 1958, 7 to 7:30 PM — In the pre-FM radio days, the Lab Band, under the direction of Gene Hall performed the region’s first live stereo broadcast (from Fort Worth), using two microphones, one to KFJZ-TV (Channel 11) and one to KFJZ radio 1270 AM. The producers instructed listeners to turn on both their radio and TV and place them 8 feet apart. The band performed seven arrangements (stage manager, Jack Harris; broadcast producer, Buddy Turner)[21]
  • 1959 — Awarded Third Place in a contest among 183 bands for "Best New Dance Band of 1959" sponsored by the American Federation of Musicians and the National Ballroom Operators Association, reaching the finals on May 11, 1959, at Roseland Dance City in New York City. It was the only college band of the final field of four.[4][22] A Los Angeles group – the Claude Gordon Orchestra (with North Texas ex-student Cecil Hill in the saxophone section) – won First Place.[23]

Under the direction of Leon Breeden

  • Summer 1960 — Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival; the Lab Band was Awarded Finest Jazz Group and Best Big Band and Marv Stamm was awarded best instrumentalist and trumpet player.
  • Aug 14-28, 1960 — The Lab Band was the demonstration band at the Stan Kenton National Band Camp held at Indiana University[24]
  • Summer 1961 — Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival; the Lab Band was Awarded Finest Jazz Group and Best Big Band; Morgan Powell won Most Promising Trombone Award. Outstanding Soloists Awards given to Tom Wirtel, Trumpet; Toby Guynn, Bass; and Don Gililland, Guitar.
  • Summer 1962 — Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival
  • 1967 — Concert tour of Mexico, sponsored by the US State Department Office of Cultural Presentations.[25]
  • June 27, 1967 — After a 30-day concert tour, the One O'Clock Performed at a White House dinner for President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson and the King and Queen of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927–2016) and Queen Sirikit (born 1932).[26] In 2003, the University of North Texas awarded His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand an Honorary Doctorate in Music. During the White House performance, Duke Ellington performed with the One O'Clock, playing "Take the A Train"[27][28] Stan Getz also performed with the One O'Clock at the White House.[4]
  • Summer 1970 — Served as the official Big Band of the Montreux Jazz Festival in June, the One O'Clock performed throughout Europe during a three-week concert tour.[29][30]
  • Summer 1973 — Serving again as the official Jazz Internatale Demonstration Big Band of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the One O'Clock toured from July 2 to July 24, performing in Vienna and Munich.
  • December 9, 1973 — At the request of Tony Bennett, the One performed with him in a live telecast from San Antonio
  • Fall 1974 — In an experiment that enjoyed success, The One O'Clock Lab Band entered into a three-month contract to be the weekend (Fri-Sun) house band at a Dallas dinner club, which was part of an 11-leveled discothèque owned by Ronald Jackie Monesson (1930–1995) called "Oz" at 5429 LBJ Freeway. What amounted to a full scholarship, Lab Band members were paid slightly above union wages.[31]
  • 1976 June 3-July 8 — The One O'Clock Lab Band toured the Soviet Union (Moscow, Volgograd, and Yerevan), Portugal, and England — 5 cities, 25 concerts, 77 encores, 82,800 people. The tour was sponsored by the US Department of State as part of a US Bicentennial goodwill arts outreach. NBC broadcast the One O'Clock's July 4 Concert live from Moscow as part of its US Bicentennial commemorative. While on tour, members of the band held jam sessions with musicians from Moscow, Volgograd, and Yerevan. Breeden submitted to Soviet authorities a list of 96 arrangements, with descriptions, representing 10 hours of music intended for two-hour concerts. Without explanation, Soviet censors strictly prohibited two arrangements, St. Thomas (by Sonny Rollins, arranged by Gene Glover) and Mi Burrito (by Raymond Harry Brown). Without announcing the names of the arrangements, the band played both pieces during its July 4 NBC satellite broadcast without incident.[32] The tour came at the request of a visitor from the Kremlin who had been treated to four performances intended to exemplify US excellence in the arts — first the Metropolitan Opera, then the rock group Chicago, then a ballet company, then the One O'Clock.[33] While the One O'Clock performed in Soviet cities where no American cultural group had performed, they were met by fans who knew the band from broadcasts by the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. Willis Conover, jazz host on Voice of America, was a judge at the 1960 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival in 1960. (see Conover Collection at UNT) The tour group included the first woman band member, Bev Dahlke (now Dahlke-Smith) (baritone sax).[34]
  • Summer 1977 — Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC; the One O'Clock Lab Band, Phil Woods, Louie Bellson, Urbie Green, and Johnny Helms were the performers invited to perform jazz at first-ever Spoleto festival in the Americas.[35][36] Since its 1958 founding in Italy by Gian Carlo Menotti, jazz had never been performed at a Spoleto event. Since its US spinoff debut in 1977 — Spoleto USA — jazz has played an integral role in what has become the largest performing arts festival in the Americas, dwarfing its Old World parent.[37][38]
  • Summer 1978 — Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC
  • Summer 1979 — Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC; the One O'Clock received featured billing along with Buddy Rich, Phil Woods, and Woody Herman

Under the direction of Neil Slater

Under the direction of Steve Wiest

  • March 2009 — The One O'Clock performed at Birdland, New York. This was the One O'Clock's New York debut under the direction of Steve Wiest.
  • July 2009 — The One O'Clock performed at the World Saxophone Congress XV in Bangkok, Thailand with James Carter and UNT alumnus Brad Leali
  • January and February 2010 — The University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band toured California while attending the 2010 Grammys

Notable One O'Clock alumni[edit]

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)


  1. ^ James Richard Allen served as a member of the 309th Fighter Squadron 31st Fighter Group. After a mission somewhere over Italy on Sept 7, 1944, he did not return and was listed as missing in action; he was never found. He had completed 40 missions as a pilot of a B-24 bomber, and afterward was a pilot of a P-51 fighter when he became missing in action.


  1. ^ Ellen Rossetti (born 1978), "UNT One O’Clock Lab Band to perform with Houston Symphony," JazzTimes, November 8, 2010
  2. ^ "One O'Clock Lab Band Welcomes Jay Saunders as Interim Director," UNT News Service, April 4, 2014
  3. ^ "Jazz Leader Helps a Band Take Giant Steps," by Eric Todd Kelderman (born 1966), Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 54, No. 48, August 2008, pg. A6
  4. ^ a b c d Jazz Educated, Man; A Sound Foundation, by Philip Allen Scott, American International Publishers, Washington, D.C. (1973), pps. 19–20, OCLC 624548 LCCN 73-159620
  5. ^ "New York Vets: Jazz Band Unit Gets Dallas Date," Denton Record-Chronicle, November 3, 1959, pg. 3
  6. ^ "Radio: What's in the Air," The Troy Times, (Troy, New York) May 17, 1923, pg. 13, col. 6
  7. ^ "Famous Teachers College Stage Band ... ," Denton Record-Chronicle, September 22, 1939, pg. 7
  8. ^ "Moonmaids' Return to Campus," Denton Record-Chronicle, November 6, 1970, pg. 8B
  9. ^ "Ralph T. Daniel (1921–1985) (obituary)," by Malcolm Hamrick Brown & William B. Christ, AMS Newsletter, American Musicological Society, Vol. 18, No. 2, August 1988
  10. ^ "Elliot Finally Returns to Bands After 25 Years of 'Long Tour,'" by Ken Molberg, North Texas Daily, Vol. 55, No. 32, Ed. 1, October 27, 1971, pg. 2
  11. ^ "Willis Conover Is Dead at 75; Aimed Jazz at the Soviet Bloc," by Robert McGill Thomas, Jr. (1940–2000), New York Times, May 19, 1996
  12. ^ "Lab Bands in Concert," Denton Record-Chronicle, March 31, 1967, pg. 8
  13. ^ Ennis Williams (pseudonym for William Ennis Thomson, Emeritus Professor and former Dean, School of Music, University of Southern California), "Wilfred C. Bain: A Reminiscence in Memoriam," College Music Symposium, Vol. 38, (1998), pps. 1–5, Published by: College Music Society
  14. ^ "Business World Explored: Musician Meeks Succeeds in Many Endeavors," Dallas Morning News, July 17, 1966
  15. ^ "Charles H. Meeks" (obituary), Dallas Morning News, July 28, 1976
  16. ^ "Out of Sync," by John Craig Morthland (born 1947), Texas Monthly, November 1992
  17. ^ "UNT's One O'Clock Lab Band Welcomes Alumnus, Composer as New Director," UNT News Service, May 18, 2015 (retrieved August 22, 2016)
  18. ^ Album back-cover notes
  19. ^ "NT Lab Band Gets Grammy Nomination," Denton Record-Chronicle, May 10, 1976
  20. ^
  21. ^ "N.T. Band to Give Area's First Live Stereo Show," Denton Record-Chronicle, November 23, 1958, Sec 2, pg. 6
  22. ^ "AFM 'New-Band-of-Year' Project in Full Swing," Billboard, December 8, 1958, pg. 3
  23. ^ "Los Angeles Band winds Dance Title," New York Times, May 12, 1959
  24. ^ "Stan Kenton: Lab Band at Indiana for Event," Denton Record-Chronicle, August 14, 1960, Sec. 2, pg. 6
  25. ^ "Musical Ambassadors: NTSU 1 O'Clock Lab Band Invited to Tour Mexico," Denton Record-Chronicle, November 10, 1966, Sec. 2, pg. 12
  26. ^ "Home Grown Shows Planned for White House Dinners," New York Times, May 30, 1967
  27. ^ "NTSU Acquires Duke Ellington Lore," Dallas Morning News, September 11, 1968
  28. ^ "People," Time, July 7, 1967
  29. ^ "Leon Breeden, Ex-Director of University of North Texas jazz Program, Dies at 88," Dallas Morning News, August 12, 2010 (retrieved May 31, 2016)
  30. ^ "Life With Feather — College Jazz Band Scores," by Leonard Feather, Asbury Park Press, April 23, 1972, pg. 111
  31. ^ "NT Musical 'Wizards' Going to Oz," Denton Record-Chronicle, September 4, 1974, pg. 7D
  32. ^ "Lab Band Happy to be Home," by Joyce Hopkins, Denton Record-Chronicle, July 11, 1976
  33. ^ "Lab Band Sets Tour of Russia," by Joyce Hopkins, Denton Record-Chronicle, May 16, 1976
  34. ^ Denton Record-Chronicle, June 1, 1976, pg. 1
  35. ^ "Program History: 2008-1977," Spoleto Festival USA
  36. ^ "Top Names in Jazz Will Perform at S.C. Event," The Robesonian, Lumberton, NC, May 18, 1977
  37. ^ "Spoleto Festival USA," by Perry Tannenbaum, JazzTimes, March 25, 2008
  38. ^ "Seabrook Adds Jazz To Spoleto Festival," Florence Morning News, May 15, 1977, pg. 40 (retrieved May 31, 2016, via
  39. ^ "Lab Band Picks Personnel," Dallas Morning News, October 25, 1970
  40. ^ "Ashley Alexander, 52; Jazz Trombonist, Teacher" (obituary), Los Angeles Times, August 20, 1988
  41. ^ "Meet the Musician – Senior Chief Musician Luis Hernandez". United States Navy. Retrieved April 4, 2018.

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