The Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music
is the music
school of the University of Houston
in Houston, Texas
. The Moores School offers the Bachelor of Music
, Bachelor of Arts
in Music, Master of Music
, and Doctor of Musical Arts
degrees in music performance
, music history
and literature, pedagogy
, and music education
. It is a component of the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (CLASS)
. The Moores School is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music
(NASM). As of the 2008–2009 academic year, the Director of the Moores School is David Ashley White
The University of Houston was founded in 1927, and the music department was formed in 1940. In 1969 the department was officially designated as the University of Houston School of Music. In 1972 the School of Music moved into the Fine Arts Building, a facility it shared with the Department of Art
. A multimillion-dollar gift in 1991 by UH alumni John and Rebecca Moores
led to renaming of the school in their honor (media references to the "Moores School of Music" appear as early as fall 1995) and to the construction of the present facility, which began operation in 1997.
Artistic directors of the school have included Bruce Spencer King, Earl Moore, Robert Briggs, Milton Katims, David Tomatz, and David Ashley White.
Enrollment in the Moores School stands at more than 600 music majors, who are instructed by a faculty of 80. Since 1997
the school has been located at the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music Building on the University of Houston campus. A large and varied schedule of concerts and recitals featuring students, faculty, and guest performers serves the concertgoing public of Houston throughout the year.
Ensembles at the Moores School include the Wind Ensemble (recipient of multiple Grammy nominations), the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, the Concert Chorale, AURA (a contemporary music ensemble), the Jazz Orchestra, the Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, the Symphonic Winds, the Concert Band, the Cougar Brass, the Choral Artists, the Chamber Singers, the Concert Women's Chorus, the Houston Symphony Chorus, the University Men's Chorus, the University Women's Chorus, the Moores School Percussion Ensemble, and Collegium Musicum (early music). The Edythe Bates Old Moores Opera Center presents productions consistently lauded as being of professional quality. As a component of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, the Moores School also collaborates for some events, programs, and productions with the School of Art, the Creative Writing Program, the School of Theatre and Dance, and the Blaffer Gallery, the art museum of the University of Houston.
The Houston Opera Studio has provided dozens of world-class opera singers with early professional training and experience. From its inception in 1977 until 1992, the Studio was a partnership between the University of Houston School of Music and Houston Grand Opera; it is now administered solely by HGO.
The Moores School of Music Percussion Ensemble has also won two consecutive appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 2003 and 2006 under the direction of Dr. Blake Wilkins. This is the second time in PASIC history this has occurred, the first time being the University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble under the direction of James Campbell. The group has recorded two commercially released compact discs: Surge, released in 2003 on Albany Records, and a second, currently untitled disc, which is in production and has a Fall 2008 planned release date.
Data indicate that some 80 percent of Moores School graduates stay in the Houston area following graduation, so that a large proportion of the community's professional musical performers and educators are University of Houston alumni. Nevertheless, Moores School graduates in significant numbers can be found on concert stages, on college faculties, and in other leading professional musical roles worldwide.
Extracurricular programs and activities
The Moores School hosts a number of musical activities outside the scope of its basic program of university instruction. These include the following:
- a Division of Preparatory and Continuing Studies, which offers throughout the academic year private and classroom music instruction to the community at large, especially geared to children and adults
- the Texas Music Festival, an annual month-long summer program of concerts with intensive instruction and coaching for young professionals and highly talented students
- the Cougar Band Camp, a week-long summer program
- the International Piano Festival, an annual weekend of concerts and master classes with world-renowned keyboard artists
- an annual Moores School of Music Jazz Festival
- Floot Fire, an annual five-day festival for flutists
The centerpiece of the $24 million Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music Building is the 800-seat Moores Opera House, which features a ceiling mural by Frank Stella, light fixtures by Isaac Maxwell, and a green room displaying paintings by Ary Stillman. The building contains 50 teaching studios and 60 practice rooms, a large library, state-of-the-art listening and composition facilities, a recording studio, four rehearsal halls for large ensembles, and a lounge. Some facilities in the "old" Fine Arts Building, such as the Dudley Recital Hall and the Organ Hall, are still used by the Moores School.
A few of the Moores School's most accomplished alumni are listed below (HOS = Houston Opera Studio):
- Michelle Reed Baker, horn - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; faculty, Manhattan School of Music
- Shelly Berg, piano - jazz pianist, composer, arranger, recording artist; dean of University of Miami Frost School of Music; former chair of jazz department at USC Thornton School of Music
- Andrew Brownell, piano - silver medalist, Leeds International Pianoforte Competition
- Marcelo Bussiki, conducting - music director, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra
- Richard Dowling, piano - concert artist
- Bruce Ford (HOS), tenor - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, etc.; numerous recordings
- David Garrett, cello - Los Angeles Philharmonic
- Denyce Graves (HOS), mezzo-soprano - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, etc.
- Keith Grimwood, string bass - Trout Fishing in America
- Martin Hackleman, horn - principal, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC; former member, Canadian Brass
- Karen Hall, soprano - faculty, Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory
- Joyce Hammann, violin - former member, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
- Charles Jacot, cello - former assistant principal, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
- Kim Josephson, baritone - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera
- Diane Kesling (HOS), mezzo-soprano - formerly of Metropolitan Opera
- Elyane Laussade, piano - concert artist; Head of Keyboard Studies, Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music
- Evelyn Lim, organ - concert artist
- Jerry McCathern, trumpet - former principal, São Paulo State Symphony; former Executive Director, Brooklyn Philharmonic
- Susanne Mentzer (HOS), mezzo-soprano - Metropolitan Opera
- Yvar Mikhashoff, piano, composition - concert and recording artist
- Erie Mills (HOS), soprano - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, etc.
- Qi Ming, violin - assistant concertmaster, Houston Symphony Orchestra
- Pauline Oliveros, composition, accordion - a leading name in electronic music composition and avant-garde performance
- William Pu, violin - associate concertmaster, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Kenneth Radnofsky, saxophone - soloist with New York Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra, others; professor, New England Conservatory of Music
- Robynne Redmon, mezzo-soprano - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, etc.
- Anne Walters Robertson, piano, musicology - former chair of University of Chicago Department of Music
- John Sharpley, composition, piano - Composer in Residence, Singapore Symphony Orchestra
- Maurice Sklar, violin - concert artist
- Victoria Stewart, violin - concert artist; co-concertmaster, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
- Christopher Theofanidis, composition - winner of Masterprize, 2003; among the most widely performed of contemporary classical composers; faculty, Juilliard School and Peabody Institute
- Chris Pedro Trakas, baritone - Metropolitan Opera; solos with Boston Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, in recital with James Levine; shared first prize in 1985 Naumburg Competition with Dawn Upshaw
- Alan Valentine, percussion - President and CEO, Nashville Symphony; has produced national television broadcasts and recordings
- Robert Walzel, clarinet - Director, University of Utah School of Music; former president, International Clarinet Association; has performed as a soloist worldwide
- Scott Walzel, bassoon - associate principal, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
- Darren Keith Woods, tenor - General Director, Fort Worth Opera
- Roger Wright, piano - concert artist
- Stella Zambalis (HOS), soprano - lead roles with Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, etc.
- Long Zhou, violin - former associate concertmaster, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
(past and present)
- Steven Ansell, viola
- Emanuel Borok, violin
- Katherine Ciesinski, voice
- Wayne Crouse, viola
- Carlisle Floyd, composition, opera studies
- Horacio Gutiérrez, piano
- Sidney Harth, orchestra
- Milton Katims, Artistic Director
- Fredell Lack, violin
- Elena Nikolaidi, voice
- Howard Pollack, music history
- Hal Robinson, string bass
- A. Clyde Roller, orchestra, conducting
- Moreland Kortkamp Roller, piano
- Abbey Simon, piano
- Laszlo Varga, cello
- Nancy Weems, piano
- "beginning a new era: the moores school of music" by Cydney Mackey. From Collegium, Winter 1997.
- Kriebel, Robert C. Blue Flame: Woody Herman's Life in Music. Purdue IN: Purdue University Press, 1995. ISBN 1557530734.
- "Texas Heart" by Dennis Rooney. The Strad, January 1990.