Category: News

Music Spotlight: Award-Winning Rapper And Songwriter Dallas Parker

candid face shot of dallas parker in a t-shirt, outside, looking upwardsACM@UCO student artist Dallas Parker, aka Faux Draco, recently released his single “Whatever I want.” Last year, his song “Abilities” made him a Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest award winner, and, since then, the independent artist has released multiple tunes garnering over 6,000 hits.

“Whatever I want” is an upbeat melodic rap tune that encapsulates the free-spirited energy that defines Faux Draco. Collaborating with two other ACM artists, Sam Allen (aka chaos.qt) and Parker Ashbacher (aka Project) through online resources, the song was completed at ACM and will be released on all major platforms.

Even with the challenges of releasing the song during quarantine, the response to the song has been strong, he said.


Written by: ACM@UCO Marketing and PR Intern Tanner Nichols.

Summer 2020 Enrollment Now Open: Contemporary Music Performance

ACM@UCO enrollment is now open for our Summer 2020 semester, with courses led by a lineup of innovative and experienced music industry professionals and three core areas of study: Contemporary Music Production, Business and Performance.

Students at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) can earn an Associate’s degree in our three core music areas and a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Production or Audio Production.

Minors are available in the areas of Contemporary Music Performance, Contemporary Music Production, Contemporary Music Business, Songwriting, and Post-Production Audio.

The Academy of Contemporary Music is a division of UCO’s College of Fine Arts and Design. For more information and to enroll, please visit, email or call 405-974-4700.

Here’s more about our professors and courses in Contemporary Music Performance for the Summer 2020 semester:

Guitarist Mitch bell wearing a backwards baseball cap and sunglasses while playing guitar during a live performance in California. Palm trees are seen in the background.


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Guitar

Bell is an Oklahoma City-based guitarist, songwriter and producer who is best-known for his work with Grammy Award-nominated artist Zhu and grunge/R&B duo THEY. He has also worked and collaborated with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Trombone Shorty, Charli XCX, Skrillex, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man and others. He has performed at major festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, as well as on main stages across Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Brent Berry performs live behind his drum kit in this candid photo.


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Drums

Berry started playing drum set at the age of 10 after watching his uncle play. Soon after, he enrolled in middle school band and began competing and drumming in concert, orchestra, jazz big acts and rock and country bands. In college, he studied under drum set masters Jim Chapin, Russ McKinnon and Butch Miles. As a side man, he has toured the US, Japan and Europe. Outside of teaching at ACM@UCO, Berry stays busy freelancing in and around Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Dallas while managing his busy private teaching studio in Edmond.

Drummer Matt Duckworth poses with the Flaming Lips dresses as characters from A Clockwork Orange


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Drums

Duckworth is an Oklahoma City-based multi-instrumentalist and drummer for psychedelic rock act The Flaming Lips, which he joined in 2014. He’s also half of the DJ and musical performance duo The Brothers Griiin with Nicholas Ley. His creative projects with The Lips include work with Miley Cyrus, Mick Jones of the Clash, Reggie Watts, New Fumes, and members of Foxygen, Spaceface, Peaking Lights, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs, among others.

Joe Gilligan plays bass guitar during a live performance. He's highlighted with. green and blue stage lighting.


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Bass

Gillian started out his professional music career at age 14 by playing Western swing music three nights a week … for 10 years straight. He has played with musicians such as Jami Smith and Kristin Chenoweth, and has opened for Markus Miller, Randy Travis and Willie Nelson. Additionally, Gillian toured with Ty England for a year and a half. He currently plays with The Groove Merchants, a successful contemporary music act out of Oklahoma City.

Guitarist Danny Hargis poses with a steel guitar in this candid portrait. He's wearing a denim shirt, vest, jeans and baseball cap.


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Guitar

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Hargis is the quintessential “musician’s musician.” At age 13, he began his journey to become a professional guitarist and teacher of the craft. All told, he has been practicing, learning, writing, teaching, performing and living guitar for more than three decades. His teaching philosophy reflects his musical career: A labyrinth of practical application. In the classroom, he helps students find their perfect third while mastering technique, tone, attack and style. He assesses and amplifies students’ innate musical talents.

Musician Chris Hicks performs guitar and sings during alive performance.


teaching: Applied Instruction I, II, III, IV — Guitar

Hicks plays saxophone and guitar in every style, including jazz, R&B and country. The musician and session artist has worked, recorded and performed with producer Josh Leo (Alabama, LeAnn Rimes, Bad Company, Jimmy Buffett, Glenn Frey), Reba McEntire, Sara Evans, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood and jazz trumpet great Chet Baker, among others.

Musician and ACM instructor David Broyles sings animatedly and plays guitar on-stage during a live performance as his quirky musical alter-ego Dr. Pants.


teaching: Music Fundamentals
Aural Skills

Broyles is an Oklahoma songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, composer/arranger and instructor with a two-decade career in the music industry. You’ve probably heard his band, aka Dr. Pants, on Jersey Shore, BBC World Cup Soccer, CBS Sunday Morning, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and Mtv’s Next.

Mike Hosty performs as his one-man band, playing kazoo, guitar and kick-drum and singing.


teaching: Cultural Studies

This singer, teacher, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, comedian and one-man band performs up to 250 shows a year, well, for about as long as we can remember. His song topics are often a case study in popular culture. He’s a storyteller through and through, just himself with a guitar, kick-drum and kazoo.


black and white text flyer listing the performance courses and teachers for the spring 2020 semester at acm@uco.

In Case You Missed It: Remembering John Prine

In case you missed it, The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma shared a curated Spotify playlist this week remembering late, great John Prine. The American singer, musician and songwriter died April 7 from complications of coronavirus.

Prine posthumously debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Rock Songwriters chart dated April 18, 2020, as six of his songs also landed on Billboard’s top 25 Hot Rock Songs chart.

No. 5: John Prine with Iris DeMent, “In Spite of Ourselves”
No. 11: John Prine, “Angel From Montgomery”
No. 18: John Prine, “Hello in There”
No. 19: John Prine, “When I Get to Heaven”
No. 20: Bonnie Raitt & John Prine, “Angel From Montgomery”
No. 24: John Prine, “That’s the Way the World Goes”

You can also listen to all those songs on our “Remembering John Prine” playlist on Spotify.

Featured Performance: Leotie

Check out featured performances by ACM@UCO students! Today, Leotie, aka ACM@UCO student Caleb Starr, invites us into his acoustic dreamscape as he performs the song “Ghost – A.”

PLUS! Hear two more Leotie singles on Spotify!

ACM@UCO Throwback Thursday: Jackson Browne

a casual portrait of Jackson Browne and Scott Booker taken during a masterclass in Oklahoma City

UCO Photo Services

For #TBT today, we’re reminiscing about the great times we’ve shared with Jackson Browne at ACM@UCO. He’s done multiple masterclasses & performed at the Rock for Oklahoma tornado relief event in OKC in 2013!

Please be well, everyone.

Get well soon, Jackson! ♥️

Testimonial: ACM@UCO graduate Jennifer Tindal

Jennifer Tindal is a graduate of Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. She recently visited our downtown Oklahoma City campus, and shared how ACM@UCO helped her develop her career in the music business.

Visit for more information and to enroll today!


Stay Updated And Safe By Visiting UCO Website For Information

March 25, 2020: UCO Physical Campus to Close; Virtual Campus Open

A message from University of Central Oklahoma President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar:

Consistent with governmental action designed to slow the spread of the virus, the UCO physical campus will close to all but essential employees at 5 p.m., Thursday, March 26 through at least April 15.

Please read the full update on our UCO website:

New Music: The Sweet Talkers, “Mixed Signals”

Hear and read about local band The Sweet Talkers’ newest single “Mixed Signals,” available for streaming and download. Make Oklahoma Weirder says of the tune:

Groove is in the heartache. At least, that would seem to be the case on the darker side of The Sweet Talkers’ disco ball moon. The OKC band is no stranger to nocturnal beats and misty synths, sounds inspired by past tides of alternative rock in the 2000s and new wave/post-punk in the ’80s. … The Sweet Talkers are back with “Mixed Signals,” a new single that further explores the band’s taste for glam and gloom. It officially drops everywhere tomorrow, but you can stream it now at the player below in this Make Oklahoma Weirder early premiere.

Check out the full blog and hear the new song at

The band also features ACM alumni Tyler Branstetter & Dakota Green.

Reminder: Spring Break Extended for Students; Transition to Alternative Instruction Starts March 28

A reminder: The University of Central Oklahoma (and ACM@UCO) will extend spring break by one week, March 23-27, for students only, and will transition to alternative instructional delivery methods from March 28 through the end of the spring semester.

All university-related events of any size for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester have been canceled.illustration of close-up view of coronavirus

Visit the university website for Coronavirus Updates and Resources to learn more:

For updates from the Oklahoma Department of Health, visit