Denton Dammit

Clarence “Woody” Wood died Aug. 28 at age 94. He was a quiet institution who repaired musical instruments and a saxophone player in the inaugural University of North Texas One O’clock Lab Band.

Wood’s family and friends will celebrate his life with a party and jam session from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St. It’s a come-and-go event. The first hour will be a meet-and-greet, with chances for friends and family to get up and say a few words about Woody.

The Mosaic Big Band will be onstage starting at 6 p.m. and will play through 8:15 p.m. Musician friends are invited to jam with the band. The first drink is on the family. Afterward, it’s a cash bar. Nonalcoholic drinks will be provided.

We’re a sucker for clever references to famous art. The office of Denton dentist Brandy Howard sent out an appointment reminder card that riffed on Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

The same gaunt figure appears in a familiar wave of earthy colors, but the famous scream is replaced by a toothy grin. Well played, Dr. Howard.

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary season, Denton Community Theatre has been steadily working on its newly relocated Black Box Theatre. Mike Strecher, the facilities manager at the Campus Theatre, and Les Deal, the technical director at Denton Community Theatre, built a stage in the new space. The black box recently moved from downtown Denton to a spot at Golden Triangle Mall, and the company has been moving its inventory to the new space. The new stage is the next step in preparing the small theater for performances.

Denton resident Scott Porter challenged his friends to slap a band sticker on the new parking garage robot at the North Central Texas College campus location on East Hickory Street. Porter probably got a few people thinking about branding the robot with a local band sticker, but we won’t encourage this tomfoolery. We’ll try not chuckle if someone is successful.

SarahAnne Sutter, a former Denton resident, has performed with the Evanston, Illinois-based company the Savoyaires for two years now. The company performs the work of Gilbert & Sullivan. Sutter has been busily building her performance resume at Devonshire Playhouse, Manhattan Concert Productions and with the Savoyaires. During her childhood in Denton, Sutter appeared on the local stage in a number of musicals before leaving Denton for Germany and Illinois.

Another Denton building recently became a historical landmark of sorts. Fairhaven Retirement Home, the O’Neil Ford-designed building at 2400 N. Bell Ave., was added to the U.S. Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places last week.

The Greater Denton Arts Council is preparing for its flagship exhibit, ”Materials: Hard & Soft,” in 2020. The annual contemporary American craft competition has long been selected by prominent jurors, and the upcoming exhibit is no exception. Beth McLaughlin, the chief curator at Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts, will select the 2020 show and the winners.

Uh oh. Artificial intelligence is on the march (no surprise there), and some clever people at the University of Texas have applied it to music in a new way. Thing is, we’re not sure what to think about it. Maytal Saar-Tsechansky, a professor of information, risk and operations management at the McCombs School of Business, joined a pair of computer science researchers at the university to create a “personalized DJ.”

Their goal is to surpass streaming music services by making playlists that change according to each individual’s shifts in emotion. It’s not totally different from your Pandora station, though, as listeners rate songs chosen by the algorithm. The program adapts to the listener’s mood, considering not only which songs he or she will enjoy, but also in what order. Songs are organized intelligently, leading to an expressive,” DJ-like” sequence.

“Whether you’re getting into the car after a long day of meetings, or you’re getting out of bed on a weekend morning, it should tailor its recommendations to your changing moods,” Saar-Tsechansky said.

All right. Buckle up. A thoroughly bureaucratic agency name is incoming, but there is some local payoff. An agency with the most Monty Python’s Flying Circus name we’ve ever heard — the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors — recently gave out awards for quality broadcast, cable and multimedia programming produced by local governments. The city of Denton earned two of the awards.

One award was in the arts and entertainment category for a video the city produced titled ”Made in Denton: Unearth” by Devin Mobley. The city was especially proud of the Excellence in Programming Award. We’re inclined to agree, given that local actors appeared in clever, humorous public service announcements and coverage of Denton’s culture and services. To see the series that won the award, visit

Congratulations to Billy Matthews, who heads up the folks in Denton Public Affairs and DTV, and his staff.

Parting Shot

“Someone is clipping their nails on the quiet study floor of this library. I’m calling the police.”

— Caitlyn Jones, former Denton Record-Chronicle education reporter, just trying to work on her master’s degree

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at

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