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For a while, singer-songwriter Johann Wagner would test out his music at Denton venues. He’s been a Denton expat for some years now and studied at University of North Texas. A song that he co-wrote with Gregory Alan Isakov, “If I Go, I’m Gone” was used in the finale of the Netflix horror series, The Haunting of Hill House.

“I love writing songs, and I love collaborating with other artists,” said Wagner, who now calls Austin home. “This is by far one of my favorite co-writes I’ve ever done. Happy to see that it has left the nest and is making its way through the world.” Check out the song here:

Members of Bike Denton are hoping to get as many cyclists as possible to an open house. The plan is to discuss the fate of a plan to create a bike lane meant to take bicycle traffic from Bonnie Brae Street to the downtown Denton Square by way of Hickory Street. Bike Denton members are worried that plans for neighborhood development and preservation near University of North Texas will scuttle the 6-year-old bike plan. The open house is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Calhoun Middle School, 709 W. Congress St.

Carol Lynn Mizell has been composing and arranging music for handbell ensembles for years. The Bells on Temple Square, a group affiliated with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, performed Mizell’s arrangement of John Philip Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” during a concert broadcast last Sunday.

Someone let the Denton Parks and Recreation Department know that South Lakes Park is out of baggies for picking up after dogs. Oh, and we’re not assuming that the department is slacking. We’ve been in the local park, and it’s been very, very busy. Maybe people got cabin fever after all the rain we had in October. Or maybe more people have discovered Eureka 2, the community-designed and built play structure. The last two Sundays, Eureka 2 has been the place to be, with what appeared to be nearly 100 children. The trail has been busy, and the stock ponds have been popular.

Travel Magazine recently declared Denton Black Film Festival as one of the best festivals in the state. Highland Village Balloon Festival got a mention, too. Congratulations to Denton Black Film Festival, which also has scored a concert appearance by saxophonist Kirk Whalum for the 2019 festival.

Jose Aponte teaches percussion at University of North Texas, as well as leading the UNT Brazillian Percussion Ensemble. He also was among the adjudicator panel that just chose the top jazz drum set player in Texas for the Texas Music Educators Association. He and his colleagues were part of the process of selecting the Texas All State Jazz Band.

The United Way of Denton County has announced the dancers for its annual Dancing with the Stars fundraiser on Jan. 19. The dancers are Jessica Battaglia and Brandon Beaver, Keely Briggs and Jeff Bowerman, Emily Conklin and Jan Langelius, Cody Guthrie and Eddie Renz, Lindsay Henderson and Kevin Sanders, Tracy Johnson and Brayden Ruthart, Alicia McElroy and Christian Cooper, JaChel Redmond and Weston Thaggard, Tyheshia Scott and Nick Miller, Melissa Sims and Cardell Velez, Heather West and Matthew Morgan and Suzann Woodward and Nathan Stafford.

Parting shot

“Oh, well. Demons aren’t really my thing anyway.”

— John Beckett, longtime member and leader of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans in Denton, after getting an online suggestion to join a “demonic realm study group” near him. The group he was referred to is coordinated by evangelical Christians.

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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