North Texas Daily

After UNT, student becomes The Voice finalist

After UNT, student becomes The Voice finalist

After UNT, student becomes The Voice finalist
April 22
01:55 2014

Amanda Colon // Contributing Writer

Chris Hawkes left UNT 10 years ago. He was not a music major or performing arts major, but he is now one of the rising stars of NBC’s hit talent show series, “The Voice.”

“I lived in Bruce Hall, one of the music dorms, but the only class I ever took in music was Rock appreciation,” Hawkes said.


Chris Hawkes

Hawkes attended UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design from 2000 to 2004. He changed his major three times, switching from communication design to drawing to  printmaking before settling in ceramics.

“He was in one of my classes, but it was a big lecture class so I didn’t get to know him,” Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Eric Ligon said.

Hawkes had a band he practiced with and the group would perform on Fry Street, the Denton Square and even at the Hard Rock Café in Dallas for a few end-of-semester parties, he said.

After several band name changes, his band, “The Color Gray,” had one of its songs air on the radio station “The Edge.” In 2002, Hawkes took a job in the UNT music building recording  concerts.  Later, he paired with a solo band named “Five Times August” and recorded an EP that was featured on MTV.

“I think there was a day when I had to decide whether I made it to band practice or to my ceramics class. I chose band practice,” Hawkes said.

It was then when he decided to move to Austin to play more music gigs to make a living. There he met his girlfriend Miranda Dawn and they joined to form the duo they called “Dawn & Hawkes.”

The pair first gained fame on national television with their live audition in February, when Adam Levine of Maroon 5 chose to coach them on his team.

The band advanced to round two of this season’s finals. They are the first couple to make it so far on the show performing with just their voices and one guitar, played by Hawkes.

“I had no idea one of ‘The Voice’ finalists went to UNT,” criminal justice junior Adrian Dabrio said.  “There are a lot of hipsters on campus and Denton is supposed to be a really decent spot for the arts, but that’s all I know.”

Kinesiology junior Michael Essex said students are not aware simply by choice. But it might be because there is such a variety to keep up with.

“The music scene in Denton is so great. There are more than six venues, which is a lot for a city so small,” Hawkes said.  “I will always have a place in my heart for the music scene in Denton.”

Hawkes remembers UNT as a “melting pot of artistic people,” a place that was laid-back and a “cool campus to meet people.”

Dawn and Hawkes were voted off and their last episode on “The Voice” aired in the first week of April.  They have since begun touring and will continue to perform throughout the summer across the country.

So far they plan to perform in Colorado and in other states, including some on the West Coast. The duo also hopes to crowd fund for a new album, Hawkes said.

The Voice airs on NBC at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.  Find out more about Dawn & Hawkes at

Feature photo: UNT alum Chris Hawkes was a finalist on NBC’s reality television singing competition “The Voice”. Hawkes was voted off the show during the first week of April. Photo courtesy of Chris Hawkes Facebook page. 

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