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Union construction doesn’t stop jazz band

Union construction doesn’t stop jazz band

The One O’Clock Lab Band holds a rehearsal on Monday at 1:00 p.m. in Kenton Hall. Because of the reconstruction of Union building, the band now performs at the Gateway Center.

Union construction doesn’t stop jazz band
November 12
09:11 2013

Javier Navarro / Staff Writer

The University Union is under construction, and that means the One O’Clock Lounge is temporarily unavailable. But that isn’t holding back the One O’Clock Lab Bandby any means.

Director of the One O’Clock Lab Band Steve Wiest said although students won’t see the band as often during the day, the jazz band is still around, and it’s business as usual for them.

“We really enjoyed that spot to play at lunchtime in the union, but that was just one of many venues we played at throughout the year,” Wiest said. “It would take more than a reconstruction of the union to slow us down.”

Wiest also said the Wednesday night performances have been moved to the Gateway Center. The concerts usually take place every other Wednesday.

There is no venue for the lab bands to play during the lunch hours while construction is going on. Graduate student Drew Zaremba, who plays saxophone in the One O’Clock Lab Band, said while it doesn’t affect them significantly, the band does lose a public appearance.

“It was a casual performance, and people always enjoyed it because it was informal. People could get up and go or stay and listen, and we kind of lose that,” Zaremba said. “It would be great to have another one o’clock performance somewhere.”

University Union director Zane Reif said there isn’t a temporary venue on campus where the band could play during the day because there isn’t an area that would draw the attention of students.

“We just don’t have that right now,” Reif said. “Even if we say ‘Yeah, we’re going to have them play at noon over at the Gateway Center,’ sometimes students aren’t over on that side of campus, or if we were going to say that we’re going to put it in the [Business Leadership Building], we couldn’t do that because that would disrupt the academic classrooms.”

Construction or not, Wiest said students should come out and watch the band play at events and said it’s something the UNT student body should be proud of.

“[The band] is considered the best of its kind in the world and it has been for 67 years,” Wiest said. “Everybody should be very proud of that, and it’s something to know about, and they should check out the band as much as possible.”

The One O’Clock Lab Band was established in 1946, the same year the university launched its jazz degree program, the first of its kind in the world. Over the years, the band has become internationally known and has received six Grammy nominations, with the most recent one in 2009, Wiest said.

Zaremba said this is his second semester with the band and that that he enjoys playing for one of the most prestigious bands in the nation.

“The [band] here is really at a higher level,” Zaremba said. “That’s because of the high standard that the professors set and the high standard of our reputation. [Students] should know that UNT has a killer school band.”

Wiest said one of its next big events is the 53rd annual fall concert on Nov. 26 that will feature critically acclaimed saxophonist Walt Weiskopf.

Students can find out about upcoming events by visiting the One O’Clock website at

Feature photo: The One O’Clock Lab Band holds a rehearsal on Monday at 1:00 p.m. in Kenton Hall. Because of the reconstruction of Union building, the band now performs at the Gateway Center. Photo by Zixian Chen / Staff Photographer 

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