Faculty & Staff

Dr. Sean Murray, PhD

Dr. Sean P. Murray is an Associate Professor of Music and director of bands at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His responsibilities include directing the UAB Marching Blazers, Wind Symphony, teaching undergraduate classes in conducting and music education, and coordinating all aspects of UAB’s comprehensive university bands program. Prior to his appointment at UAB, he was associate director of bands at Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Murray is a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and earned a Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from The Florida State University. His primary conducting teachers were James Croft, Patrick Dunnigan and Richard Clary. He also earned his Master of Music Education and Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Florida State University College of Music.

Dr. Murray is very active as a guest clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the country. He has presented at numerous national and state conferences. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association the Florida Music Educators Association, and the Florida Bandmasters Association. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds honorary memberships in Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi. He was appointed to the faculty at UAB in 2017.

Office Phone: (205) 975-9589
Email: spmurray@uab.edu


gene-fambrough-1Dr. Gene Fambrough, DMA

Gene Fambrough, DMA, is Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He holds degrees from The University of Georgia, East Carolina University, and The University of Alabama. He directs the UAB Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Electro-Acoustic Percussion Group, and Blazer Band, serves as percussion arranger and instructor for the UAB Marching Blazers, and is assistant conductor for the UAB Wind Symphony and Symphony Band. His compositions are published by Innovative Percussion and T.A.P. Publications. As a performer, he has appeared with the Alabama Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, Panama Steel, The Bizarre Arte Ensemble, and the Spirit of Atlanta drum and bugle corps. Dr. Fambrough’s articles have appeared in Percussive Notes and The Instrumentalist. He has performed and presented clinics at the Alabama PAS Day of Percussion, the AMEA Convention, and the National MTNA Conference.

Prior to his appointment at UAB, he spent three years in public school education as both assistant band director and band director at Oak Grove High School in Bessemer, Alabama. His professional affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society, Music Educators National Conference, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He is a clinician/endorser for Pearl/Adams percussion, Sabian cymbals, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Evans drumheads, and Black Swamp accessories.

Office Phone: (205) 975-5823
Email: gfambro@uab.edu
UAB Percussion Ensemble Website


Cara closeCara Morantz, EdD

Cara Morantz, EdD, is Assistant Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She joined the faculty in the fall of 2014.  She is part of the instructional team for the Marching Blazers, the Wind Symphony and Symphony Band, and the Blazer Bands. In addition, Dr. Morantz teaches music classes including courses in music education, and aural skills.

Prior to her arrival at UAB, Dr. Morantz spent nine years in the public schools of Cobb County, Georgia, where she taught at both the middle school and high school levels.  From 2005-2007, she served as assistant director of bands at Lassiter High School.  From 2007-2012 she served as assistant director of bands at Cooper Middle School and from 2012-2014 she served as assistant director of bands at Durham Middle School.

Dr. Morantz has continued to play trumpet in community groups at UAB, and while in Georgia, she enjoyed being a member of the Cobb Wind Symphony.  Dr. Morantz has also served as guest conductor and clinician at several schools, and at honor band events in the states of Georgia and Alabama.

Dr. Morantz was educated at the University of Miami, where she graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She completed her master’s degree at the University of Georgia in 2011 and continued on to complete her Doctorate of Education in 2016.  Her teaching and research interests include instrumental music education, beginning brass pedagogy, and the effect of singing on instrumental performance.


Office Phone: (205) 996-5827

Email: morantz@uab.edu


gary_christopher-1Gary Christopher

A graduate of Jacksonville State University, Gary taught high school band in Alabama for 7 years. In 2003 he joined the Marching Blazers staff where he instructed the color guard for five seasons helping it to more than double in members over those five years.

Currently serving as color guard instructor at Spain Park High School, Gary is very excited to return to serve as color guard instructor for the Marching Blazers this season and looks forward to continuing the excellence and growth the UAB color guard has come to know.

Email: garychris71@aol.com


stacy-arnold-1Stacy Arnold

With great enthusiasm, Stacy continues and expands her role as UAB Auxiliaries Coordinator. She is principal instructor of the UAB Majorettes and Blazerettes. A proud UAB alumnus, Stacy was a feature twirler from 1995-2000 for the Marching Blazers. She was a three time Miss College Majorette of Alabama and in 2000 she was selected to represent the USA as a twirling ambassador in Aeriquipa, Peru. Over the years, she has accumulated numerous state, regional and national twirling awards and has had the pleasure in watching her students have the same success. Stacy has more than 25 years of twirling experience and 15 years of dance experience. She has coached and choreographed for twirlers and dancers throughout the state of Alabama. Stacy currently resides in Gardendale with her husband, Jay, and daughter, Riley Hope.

Email: uabtwirler@yahoo.com


41123_1447217132737_5771063_nKinlee Aviles

The Marching Blazers are pleased to welcome to our staff, one of our very own alumni, Kinlee Nelson. Kinlee a graduate of UAB and served as a majorette in our organization for 5 years. She is a majorette, dance, and colorguard instructor in the north central Alabama area, and she brings tremendous skill and enthusiasm to our teaching staff. Kinlee assists with the UAB Majorettes and Blazerettes.