Utah Hamrick joined the Texas State School of Music faculty in the fall of 2015. A jazz educator who holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and master’s in Bass Performance from Central Michigan University, and a DMA in Jazz Performance from the University of Texas, Dr. Hamrick frequently performs with Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds, including motion picture soundtracks for Bernie and All is Bright. He has performed with jazz luminaries such as Houston Person, Byron Stripling, Larry Ham, Bill Watrous, and Tommy Igoe, and performed with Willie Nelson for the opening of the ACL Live Moody Theater. He can also be heard on the JazzBonez 2014 release Watch it! on Summit Records and the upcoming animated short The OceanMaker. Currently, he performs in the Austin Symphony Big Band, Magnificent 7, Monster Big Band, Strings Attached, as well as with various Austin and San Antonio artists.
For ten years Dr. Hamrick taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he directed the jazz ensemble and combos and taught jazz history and improvisation. Under his direction, the jazz ensemble received numerous recognitions, including Outstanding Collegiate Band at the Sam Houston State Jazz Festival, straight I-ratings at the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival, and an invitation to perform at the 2016 TMEA conference. Dr. Hamrick was also a bass instructor at Austin Community College for 9 years and band director in the Ubly, Michigan Community Schools for six years.