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Moores School of Music Professor Featured on NPR's Pipedreams 

Several works by Professor David Ashley White were recently featured on the American Public Media series, Pipedreams (July 3, 2017), a program devoted to recorded music for the pipe organ and heard over National Public Radio. Taken from a recent CD recording, "O Sacrum Convivium: Sacred Music from the Chapel of Saint Basil" (Gothic Records, G-49303) — performed by The University Singers, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Brady Knapp, conductor and organist Sigurd Øgaard — were "Aria" and "Fanfare for St. Anthony," both for solo organ, and "Canzona" for oboe and organ, performed with oboist Grace Tice. Learn more at

Moores School of Music Pianists Sweep 2017 Collegiate Artist Awards

Three MSM piano students – Noah Chojnacki, Phuong Nguyen and Rhiannon Bishop (pictured left to right) – won the top three prizes at the recent Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA) Collegiate Artist Competition. Chojnacki took home the first prize; Nguyen placed second; and, Bishop placed third. All three students study with Madison Endowed Professor Nancy Weems at the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. The competition took place in Dallas, Texas this June during the annual TMTA state convention and was open to all college students currently studying in the state of Texas.

Noah ChojnackiPhuong NguyenRhiannon Bishop

The 2017 International Piano Festival Invites Houstonians to a Weekend of Recitals, Master Classes

The annual International Piano Festival (IPF), hosted by the UH Moores School of Music, is known for bringing world-class talent to the city of Houston each spring.

For its 34th year, the IPF is proud to announce that three of the world’s leading pianists — Lucas Debargue, Danny Driver, and Ann Schein — will deliver four days of recitals and master classes to the UH campus.

Legendary pianist, nonagenarian, and founder of the IPF Abbey Simon will kick off the festival, gracing the stage for his first performance after a hiatus due to a recent accident. His recital will include works by Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel, and Chopin. Simon will be followed by Debargue, the French pianist who stirred audiences and critics during the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition. Debargue, who has been praised for his “incredible gift, artistic vision, and creative freedom,” will perform works by Scarlatti, Chopin, Ravel, and Medtner. Driver, one of Britain’s most respected and versatile pianists lauded for his “impeccable technique and musicianship,” will perform works by Ligeti and Debussy.  American pianist Schein will round out the weekend with a poetic recital. Her performance will include works by Chopin, for which she has received numerous distinguished honors, in addition to classics by Beethoven and Schumann.

The IPF will take place from February 9 – 12, 2017 at the UH Moores Opera House and Dudley Recital Hall.  It is open to the public and ticket information can be found at



Weekly News


Weekly News


Moores Opera Center Earns Houston Press 2016 MasterMinds Award

We are proud to announce that our University of Houston’s Moores Opera Center, under the direction of Buck Ross,  is a recipient of a 2016 Houston Press MasterMinds Award.  Each year, the publication recognizes members of the arts community who are making significant contributions to the city’s creative landscape. The Moores Opera Center was one of three arts organizations honored with this award by the weekly news and arts publication.

For more information:

Masterminds 2016: Celebrating the Creatives of Houston

By Susie Tommaney, Houston Press

UH Moores Opera Center Receives Houston Press MasterMinds Award

University Opera Company Among Creative Outlets, Artist Honored by Houston Press

By Mike Emery

Moores Opera Center Earns National Honors

The Moores Opera Center’s productions of Daniel Catán’s Rappaccini’s Daughter and Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margo, under the direction of Buck Ross, took first and second place, respectively, in Division V in the National Opera Association Production Competition.

For more information:

UH Productions of ‘Rappaccini’s Daughter,’ ‘Frau Margot’ Recognized by National Opera Association by Mike Emery

University of Houston Moores Opera Center honored by Everett Evans


Concert Chorale Named World Champion at
Grand Prix of Nations Competition

The Moores Concert Chorale, led by Betsy Cook Weber, won multiple awards at the Grand Prix of Nations competition in Magdeburg, Germany. The chorale earned Gold Medal awards in the following categories: pop jazz, youth choir and folk and also won the World Championship in Youth Choir. For more information:


Concert ChoraleAnnouncing International Spotlight on our Concert Chorale and Wind Ensemble

The Concert Chorale, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber, has been selected to compete in the Grand Prix of the Nations in Magdeburg, Germany on July 7 - 12, 2015.  This inaugural competition will feature the top-class amateur choirs from all over the world. 

Preview performances will be held as follows:

June 29 at  6:00
Zion Lutheran Church
3606 Beauchamp, Houston!contact-us/c1uje
(713) 869-1493

July 2 at 7:30
All Saints Catholic Church
215 East Tenth Street, Houston
(713) 864-2653

July 3 at 7 pm
Moores Opera House
University of Houston, Moores School of Music  (Main Campus)
(713) 743- 3388

For more information:

UH Moores Concert Chorale Bidding Fans Farewell Before International Performances by Mike Emery

David Ashley White Receives 2015 Ester Farfel Award

We proudly announce that David Ashley White received the 2015 Esther Farfel Award on April 30 at the Faculty Excellence Luncheon  This award is given in recognition of excellent teaching, research, scholarship, and service. For more information, click here.

Announcing the Moores School of Music Composition Program annual “My Voice” Project

Through the “My Voice” project, our Composition Program’s annual collaboration with HGOco (Houston Grand Opera’s community outreach program) and WITS (Writers in the Schools), songs composed by our students to poems written by the elementary students will be performed by Houston Grand Opera singers and professional musicians at Kashmere Gardens Elementary on  April 30, 4-5:30 pm and Spring Branch Elementary on May 19, 8:30 - 9:30 am. 

For more information:

UH Moment: “My Voice” by Marisa Ramirez

Houston Public Media Video: Performing the Fruits of a Community’s Musical Collaboration by Troy Schulze

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of David Bertman, has been invited to perform at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in San Jose, California on July 12 - 18, 2015. This competition is the only international organization of wind band conductors, composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers and friends of wind music completely dedicated to enhancing the quality of the wind band throughout the world and exposing its members to new worlds of repertoire, musical culture, people and places.  

For more information:

Frank HuangMoores School of Music Proudly Announces Frank Huang Named New York Philharmonic Concertmaster

Frank Huang, a member of our affiliate artist faculty and a former student of our legendary faculty member and University of Houston Farfel award winner Fredell Lack, has been appointed the next concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

For more information:

N.Y. Philharmonic Names New Concertmaster by Pia Catton,The Wall Street Journal

Frank Huang to Succeed Glenn Decterow as New York Philharmonic Concertmaster by Robin Pogrebin, The New York Times
Houston Symphony violinist Frank Huang named to prestigious position with New York Philharmonic by Maggie Galehouse, Houston Chronicle

Music Academy Alumnus Frank Huang Named New York Philharmonic Concertmaster by Tim Dougherty for the Music Academy of the West, Noozhawk

UH's Aura will perform “Quartet for Heart & Breath” by Richard Reed Parry at their April 20th concert.

This unique piece incorporates stethoscopes so the musicians can perform to the tempo of their heartbeats and breaths, to create a mesmerizing multidimensional texture of rhythm.


Moores Opera Center presents a Lush Tragedy in Rappaccini’s Daughter by Alexandra Doyle, Houston Press

AURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:


Monday, April 20, 7:30 pm

Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music's AURA Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Rob Smith with Assistant Director Michelle Perrin Blair, will feature faculty saxophonist Dan Gelok and faculty composer Blake Wilkins  on Monday, April 20 at 7:30 pm in Moores Opera House. Click here to get your tickets online or call 713-743-3313,  Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Find them on Facebook as well: AURA Facebook

Moores Opera House

We are proud to announce that the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music ranked sixth in a listing of the top 50 Most Beautiful Conservatories and School of Music in the United States by College Degree Search. For more information, visit



Broadway Legend Audra McDonald Kicking Off UH's Madison Artist Series by Mike Emery

Houston Press  - Broadway's Audra McDonald Launches the UH Madison Artist Series by Olivia Flores Alvarez

Houston Style Magazine -  Moores School of Music's Madison Artist Series Presents Audra McDonaldy by Jo-Carolyn Goode



Former MSM faculty member Betty Ruth Tomfohrde, performs Chopin’s Nocturne in F# on the Horowitz Steinway. To view:

AURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:


Monday, February 16, 7:30 pm

Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music's AURA Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Rob Smith with Assistant Director Michelle Perrin Blair, will feature faculty saxophonist Dan Gelok and guest violinist Ning Gelok on Monday, February 16 at 7:30 pm in Moores Opera House. Click here to get your tickets online or call 713-743-3313,  Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Find them on Facebook as well: AURA Facebook

Video Here


Click here to view Abbey Simon Interview with Len Cannon on KHOU TV NEWS

David WhiteDavid Ashley White Named 2015 Raabe Prize Winner

We are proud to announce that David Ashley White has been named the 2015 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his choral submission, Spirit, Moving Over Chaos.  This award is presented every two years for a single musical work, published or unpublished and written within the last five years, that reflects a larger history of excellence on the part of the composer.  Dr. William and Nancy Raabe of Milton,WI, endowed this prize to recognize and encourage significant accomplishments in composition contributing to the body of sacred music for the church in the Lutheran heritage. For more information, click here.

"UH Composer David Ashley White Earns Honors" by Mike Emery

Frau Margot

Moores Opera Center presents Frau Margot by Thomas Pasatieri on Friday, January 30 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 1 at 2 pm in the Moores Opera House.

We are happy to announce that the composer of Frau Margot, Thomas Pasatieri, is honoring us by attending both performances and will be speaking at the opera preview lecture 45 minutes before the curtain!

Film noir meets opera. Atmospheric and enigmatic, Frau Margot is the opera
that Hitchcock would have wanted to direct. In Amsterdam of 1938, the widow of
a famous composer is reluctant to allow another composer to complete her
late husband’s unfinished opera until she has conducted a séance to ask his
permission. Trust no one. American composer Thomas Pasatieri returns to
opera after scoring many Hollywood films. Frau Margot is "a score of a
voluptuous splendor that suggests Klimt’s gilded paintings set to music… it
has all the markings of a masterpiece." (Wes Blomster,
Sung in the original English with English subtitles.

UH's Emily Louise Robinson Conjuring Spirit of "Frau Margot" by Mike Emery


The Moores Opera Center is presents The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti on January 29, 31 and February 1,2 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.

A shy young man wins the girl of his dreams, with a little help from a bottle. If only it were that easy in real life! Our production of this charming comedy is set in rural Texas in the 1930’s. The opera was a favorite of both Pavarotti and Caruso and we’re sure it will become yours as well. Sung in the original Italian with English subtitles.

Click here for tickets to both events!

Concert Chorale Makes Christmas VideoMoores School of Music Concert Chorale Makes Christmas Video and CD with Houston-based recording studio ZapBoomBang

The Moores School of Music award-winning Concert Chorale, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber, is preparing a Christmas video and CD that is being generously donated to and produced by Houston-based advertising firm Lopez Negrete Communications and recording studio ZapBoomBang.
ZapBoomBang is a team of award-winning engineers, producers, musicians, composers, and project managers with the latest technology, working in a unique environment designed for the ultimate in comfort, creativity, and collaboration located on Richmond Avenue in Houston.
The initial recording sessions began in the Moores Opera House on Wednesday, November 5 and 6, followed by time at the studio’s location.  They are working toward a distribution of the video and CD by December 2014.

View the Concert Chorale's Christmas video/CD by ZapBoomBang at


MSM Pianists Attain Top Honors in Wideman International Piano Competition

Moores School of Music senior piano performance majors Kenny Broberg and Jiawei Yuan achieved top honors in the 64th annual Wideman International Piano Competition held at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 5-7, 2014. The Wideman International Piano Competition attracts aspiring young pianists from across the world, representing the top schools and conservatories of music in the U.S. and abroad. This year’s contest included 43 competitors from Oberlin, Yale, Julliard, Curtis, Eastman, Manhattan School, Michigan, etc. and was eventually narrowed to only eight finalists on the final day of competition, including both Kenny and Jiawei from the Moores School, one from Curtis Institute of Music, three from Julliard, and two from TCU.
Kenny Broberg, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, tied for the Silver Medal with Larry Weng, a graduate of Julliard and Yale. Jiawei Yuan, performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, received the Harrison and Willis Community Foundation Award in the finals.
Both Kenny and Jiawei are students of Madison Professor Nancy Weems in the Moores School of Music.

AURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:


Monday, November 17, 7:30 pm

Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music's AURA Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Rob Smith with Assistant Director Michelle Perrin Blair, will feature guest composers Hee Yun Kim and Steven Snowden on Monday, November 17 at 7:30 pm in Moores Opera House. Click here to get your tickets online or call 713-743-3313,  Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Find them on Facebook as well: AURA Facebook

Taichung JazzWitt Wins First Place in Taichung Saxophone Competition

Woody Witt won first place in the Taichung Saxophone  Competition on
October 18 in Taiwan.  Witt was selected from 29 finalists representing
nine countries.  He and two finalist performed at the Taichung Jazz
Festival to a audience of more than 50,000 people.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, October 3 at Noon

Save the Date: Prelude to College 2015

AURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:

Monday, September 29, 7:30 pm
Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music's AURA Contemporary Ensemble will feature UH Faculty Emeritus and composer Michael Horvit, guest composer Phillip Elder, and faculty saxophonist Dan Gelok in a concert entitled Synthesis featuring works by Horvit, Elder, Sculthorpe, and more.  Click here to get your tickets online or call 713-743-3313,  Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Find them on Facebook as well: AURA Facebook

Betsy WeberMoores School of Music Proudly Announces Betsy Cook Weber to Lead Houston Symphony Chorus

The Moores School of Music is proud to announce Charles Hausmann will be passing the baton to UH faculty member Betsy Cook Weber who will now lead the Houston Symphony Chorus. Hausmann led the chorus for 28 years where he conducted more than 150 choral works.  He will be given the title of Director Emeritus of the chorus.  Weber will be returning to the chorus after serving as its Assistant/Associate Director in the 1990s.  Both Hausmann and Weber are currently Director of Graduate Choral Studies and Director of Choral Studies, respectively, at the Moores School of Music.

For more information:

UH’s Weber will lead Houston Symphony Chorus by Steve Brown, Houston Chronicle

Houston Symphony’s choral director steps down by Steve Brown, Houston Chronicle

UH Professor becomes new director of Houston Symphony Chorus, Alexandra Doyle, The Cougar

Moores School of Music Students and Alums Major Presence at the 2014 Texas Choral Directors Convention

The Moores School of Music students and alums were a major presence at the Texas Choral Directors Association Convention (TCDA) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas on July 27 – 30, 2014.

Founded in 1955, TCDA is a community and network of choral directors from all over the state of Texas. Membership reflects choral activities within the divisions of Elementary; Middle School/Junior High; High School; College/Community; and Church.

Our choral area is large, excellent, and active. The Concert Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber, has sung at the national convention of the American Choral Director’s Association in Miami, thus earning recognition as one of the top collegiate choral ensembles in the country. They have also been featured in concert at TMEA in recent years. Concert Chorale has competed internationally at the Marktoberdorf Choral Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, Eisteddfod in Wales, and the Florilége Vocal de Tour in Tour, France, winning multiple prizes. They routinely perform in the Moores Opera House and in the professional venues in Houston.

Our vocal music education faculty produces outstanding leaders in the field of music education, whether at the elementary, middle school, high school, or college level. The Moores School of Music maintains a 100% success rate in teaching positions appointments for Music Education majors.

As stated by Choral Director Betsy Cook Weber, “(I am) So incredibly proud of UH students and alums who starred at this year's TCDA convention.”

Jennifer Hemmick Gallagher (BM ’08) VP of the TCDA Middle School division was in charge of that large segment of the TCDA convention
Clinicians included: Adrian O. Rodriguez (BM ’11), Melissa Hall Smith (BM ’03), Brian Smith (BM '03), Gershom Garcia (BM ’88), Tescille Riser (MM)
Accompanists: Amy Solberg (MM ’05), Katie Johnson (MM’13), Stefanie McKinney Stephens (BM’06)
Conductor: Chris Fiorini (BM ’07)
Student Conductor: Saleel Menon
Division Assistants: Beth Chrisman, Emily Premont
TCDA Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient: Katie Hunter
And, finally, the recipient of "Young Director of Distinction:" Briana Kruse (BM '09)

BrobergBroberg Wins Bronze Medal at New Orleans International Piano Competition

 Kenneth Broberg (Undergraduate student from the studio of Madison Professor of Music, Nancy Weems) was named the Bronze Medal winner at the 25th New Orleans International Piano Competition (NOIPC), hosted by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall on June 20 - 27, 2014 in New Orleans, LA. The award includes a $5,000 prize and a solo appearance with the Louisiana Philharmonic in the 2014-2015 season.

 The 25th NOIPC included 152 pianists, ranging in ages from 18 – 28, representing 26 countries from around the world.  Broberg was selected to attend the competition as one of twelve semi-finalists from America, Austria, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain and Italy.  He was the only American representative in the final round, competing with two other finalists from Spain and Austria.

 The mission of the New Orleans International Piano Competition is to provide opportunities for the most gifted and communicative musicians to further their careers and to offer the community an opportunity to discover the world’s finest pianistic talents.

Moores School of Music proudly welcomes Dr. Andrew Davis as our new Director

The Moores School of Music proudly welcomes Dr. Andrew Davis as our new Director effective June, 2014.  Dr. Davis has taught at MSM since 2003 and served as the school's Director of Graduate Studies.  Last year, Dr. Davis also served as Associate Dean for the Honors College. As a researcher, he has studied 19th-century classical music and early 20th-century opera. Dr. Davis authored the 2010 book "Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style" (Indiana University Press) and has written a forthcoming book focused on rhetoric and narrative in the 19th-century sonata, especially in the music of Brahms.  He has presented nationally and internationally on the works of Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Puccini, Strauss and Gershwin.

 For more information:

Andrew Davis, The Art of Making a Difference by Robert Cremins
Areté, Honors College

Music Theorist Andrew Davis Set to Lead Moores School of Music at UH by Mike Emery

 Andrew Davis appointed Director of the Moores School of Music

 New Moores director aims to make identity for the program

All State Choral Workshop, Friday, September 5 (after school) and all day Saturday,September 6. 

The Moores School of Music will once again collaborate with AMC Music and the finest Section Leaders in the area to offer its Annual All State Choral Workshop.  We work fast and furiously, and by the time you leave you will have made strong improvement on this music.  Cost is $55.00.  Contact AMC 713-802-2900 for questions and/or to register. 

Ikiryo QuartetIkiryo Quartet Wins First Prize in the 2014 J.C. Arriaga Competition

The Ikiryo Quartet was unanimous selected as First Prize winners at the 2014 J.C. Arriaga Competition at the Treetops Chamber Music Society’s Studio in Stamford, Connecticut, on April 27, 2014.  In addition to the cash prize, the group will perform in a paid concert during their 2014-15 chamber music season.  Out of the 25 competitors, the Ikiryo Quartet was the only saxophone quartet to perform. No second prize awarded. The Treetops Chamber Music Society’s purpose is to educate the public about chamber music while furthering the education of young musicians.
The Ikiryo Quartet includes James Sterling, (soprano saxophone) Kevin Tang (alto saxophone), Xiao Liu (tenor saxophone), and Nick Tieh (baritone saxophone) all of which are from the studio of Dan Gelok.
For more information:

Michelle Perrin BlairBlair receives Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award

Michelle Perrin Blair (DMA student from the orchestral conducting studio of Franz Anton Krager) was one of 85 doctoral students nationwide selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Sisterhood. The PEO Scholar Award was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university. This year, there were over 600 applicants for this award, The PEO Sisterhood, founded January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization interested in bringing increased opportunities for higher education to women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

Blair currently serves as both the General Manager of the Moores School Orchestras and the Assistant Director of the AURA Contemporary Ensemble. She also recently received the Richard and Nancy Schissler Fellowship in Orchestral Conducting.

Great American Song BookUH Jazz Orchestra Opening "Great American Song Book" April 16

By Mike Emery

The Moores School of Music proudly announces our Jazz Orchestra, under the direction  of Noe Marmolejo, in a program entitled "The Great American Songbook" on April 16, 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.  This concert will feature Houston Radio icon Donna McKenzie, Henry Darragh and Tianna Hall in a multi-media presentation of works by Kern, Porter, Arlen and Gerswhin.


UH Moment: UH Jazz Program Preparing Tomorrow's Top Players
By Mike Emery

AuraAURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:

Range of Motion on Monday, April 14 at 7:30 pm
Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music's AURA Contemporary Ensemble will host guest composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and faculty violinist Kirsten Yon and studio performing works by Norman, Roumain, Smith and more.This event is presented in collaboration with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.  Click here to get your tickets  online.  Or purchase them at the door.

For the promotional video, click here 

Facebook Event Page:


Cold Sassy TreeMoores Opera Center
Cold Sassy Tree by Carlisle Floyd

A widower enters into an arranged marriage that turns out to be more than anyone bargained for. A warm, wise, and nostalgic look at small town Southern life in 1900, Cold Sassy Tree returns home to Houston. Former UH faculty member Carlisle Floyd, the dean of American opera composers, penned this valentine to a vanished world that is the “don’t miss” climax of the season. Sung in the original English with English subtitles. For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or go online Click here.

Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 5, 2014, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 6, 2014, 2 pm
Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:30 pm
Moores Opera House

UH Moores Opera Center Replants 'Cold Sassy Tree' in Houston
Former UH Professor Carlisle Floyd’s Opera Back in Town April 4 – 7
By Mike Emery

Saxophone Quartets accepted into 2014 Fischoff Competition

Two saxophone quartets (Seraphim Quartet and the Ikiryo Quartet both from the studio of Dan Gelok) have been accepted into the 2014 Fischoff Competition on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on May 9 – 11, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. The Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the nation and the world.

The Seraphim Quartet, formed three years ago, includes Eric Laine (junior) soprano saxophone, Clinton Ross (junior) alto saxophone, Zach Woolhouse (senior) tenor saxophone, and Evan Withner (senior) baritone saxophone. The Ikiryo Quartet, now in its second semester, includes James Sterling (senior) soprano saxophone Kevin Tang (senior) alto saxophone, Xiao Liu (Master’s student) tenor saxophone, and Nick Tieh (senior) baritone saxophone.

 Moores School of Music Trumpet Ensemble advances to Semi-Final Round of 2014 National Trumpet Competition

The Moores School of Music Trumpet Ensemble has advanced to the semi-final round of the 2014 National Trumpet Competition on the campus of the Messiah College on March 20 - 23, 2014 in Mechanicsburg, PA. Inaugurated in 1992, NTC has provided performing opportunities, master classes, exhibition concerts, historic and commercial exhibits and an educational, supportive environment for nearly 3,000 students.  

This student-led group was formed last fall under the guidance of faculty members including Mark Barton, Mark Hughes, Jim Vassallo, Jim Austin and Noe Marmolejo.  The members include Steve Brown (DMA student from the studio of Mark Hughes), Cameron Kubos, (DMA, from the studio of Mark Hughes), Kevin Shannon (DMA student from the studio of Jim Vassallo), Gerry Mata (DMA student from the studio of Jim Vassallo), Russell Hachl (MM student from the studio of Mark Hughes), Salvador Velasco (BM student from the studio of Jim Vassallo), Mathew Mondragon (BM student from the studio of Mark Hughes), Justin Langham (MM student from the studio of Jim Vassallo) and Chad Henry (BM student from the studio of Jim Vassallo).

Luis Cardona and Kevin Fenske advance to the Solo Semi-Final Round of the 2014 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Competition

Luis Cardona (junior) and Kevin Fenske (sophomore), both from the studio of Danny Vinson, have advanced to the solo semi-final round of the 2014 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Competition (ITEC) on the campus of the Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music on May 18 - 24, 2014 in Bloomington, Indiana. The ITEC was formed over 40 years ago.  ITEC 2014 will encompass six days of concerts, recitals, lectures, panel discussions, competitions, and master classes by the world’s foremost classical and jazz tuba and euphonium artists.


LealiSax Star Heading UH Moores Jazz Fest by Mike Emery 
Jazz Star Brad Leali Among Players at Jazz Fest Feb. 28, March 1

The 16th Annual Jazz Festival features The Impressionists Project (Woody Witt, saxophone; Bill Cunliffe, piano; Richard DeRosa, percussion; and Lynn Seaton, double bass) and our Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Noe Marmolejo on Friday, February 28 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.  On Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House, veteran jazz player and saxophonist  Brad Leali  will join our Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Noe Marmolejo. 


ChoraleUH Moores Concert Chorale Delivering 'Mass for Double' Choir at Co-Cathedral by Mike Emery Award-Winning Choir Delivering Performance, Liturgy During March 3 Latin Mass

Our award-winning Concert Chorale, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber, will be performing the Frank Martin Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on 1111 St. Joseph Parkway on Monday, March 3 at 7:30 pm.  For additional information, please call 713-659-1561

UH, Moores School of Music Mourning Loss of Professor Emeritus Bob Lynn

UH, Moores School of Music Bid Farewell to Director Emeritus David Tomatz

UH's AURA Corners Contemporary Compositions with 'All The Angles'

Works from rising composers will intersect with those by veteran music masters during “All the Angles.” This performance from the University of Houston’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble will spotlight a selection of works – some of which follow geometrical or directional themes –  at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 in UH’s Moores Opera House (Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard).

Among the concert’s highlights is a world premiere composition from UH student Daniel Webbon titled “N. 42° W.” The title reflects the angle Webbon drives to visit his fiancée in Waco, Texas. Webbon performs with Aura and earned top honors during last year’s Sarofim Composition Awards. The award provided him with the opportunity to premiere this new work.

A complete list of “All The Angles” works is as follows:

  • “Bryce” by Toru Takemitsu: This piece premiered in 1976. It features flute, dual harps, marimba and percussion. Named for the son of noted percussionist Robin Engelman, the piece retains the composer’s flair for unique instrumentation and atmospheric overtones.  
  • “Shattered Glass” by Margaret Brouwer: This 2007 work features flute, cello, piano and percussion. Brouwer’s dramatic composition weaves whimsical flute lines with percussive piano chords, haunting strings and thunderous rhythms.
  •  “Retrato cubist da cidade de Porto Alegre” by James Correa: This piece for violin and piano debuted in 1994. The piece offers a cubist portrait of Brazilian city Porto Alegre.
  • “N. 42° W.” by Daniel Webbon: Webbon’s work utilizes clarinet, violin and piano to create a moving … driving composition that is no doubt reflective of his frequent commutes to visit his future bride.
  • “Glamorama Spies” by Lorenzo Ferrero: This suspenseful composition shifts from mood to mood. It is reminiscent of a film score driven by an espionage/spy-laced plot (with many angles). The piece is written for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.
  • “Bringing the Tiger Down from the Mountain  II” by Alexina Louie: This short 2003 work showcases cello and piano – both of which are evocative of a tiger singing and/or weeping.

Tickets for “All the Angles” are $12 and $7 for faculty, staff, alumni and seniors. They are available through the Moores box office site or by calling 713-743-3313.

Led by Rob Smith, UH associate professor of composition, AURA is dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music, with an emphasis on works that represent the trends and styles of the last two decades. Under Smith’s direction, the ensemble performs a wide variety of American and international composers’ works. Noted artists such as Samuel Adler, Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Montague, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher have visited campus to hear AURA’s interpretations of their compositions. The ensemble is also dedicated to collaboration with dance and has presented many concerts with the UH Dance Ensemble and the Sandra Organ Dance Company. In April, AURA will team with noted composer/musician Daniel Bernard Roumain for “Range of Motion.”

The Moores School of Music is one of the premier music schools in America. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, it serves approximately 600 students annually. Areas of study include composition, conducting, performance, theory and musicology. Its faculty consists of internationally recognized performers, composers and scholars. Among its ensembles are the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, Moores Jazz Ensemble, Moores Opera Center, Concert Chorale, Concert Women’s Chorus, Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. A majority of the school’s concerts are performed in the 800-seat Moores Opera House. For more details on the Moores School of Music, visit

"UH's Daniel Webbon's Commute Inspires World Premiere Composition"
Creative Pride Artist Profiles from the University of Houston with Mike Emery

"Contemporary Ensemble to Feature Worldly Tunes"
The Daily Cougar by Sara Samora

With Renovations Complete, Moores Opera House Shines

NapoleonThe Moores School of Music proudly announces “Napoleon and the Battle of Nations” with the CONCERT CHORALE, directed by Betsy Cook Weber, and MERCURY, the orchestra redefined, directed by Antoine Plante, featuring soprano Melissa Givens, mezzo-soprano Sara Mesko, tenor Zachary Wilder, bass-baritone Michael Sumuel and musicologist Jeffrey Sposato.  The concert and symposium commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Nations on October 8, 1813.

The free symposium and preview concert will take place on November 21 at 4 pm in the Dudley Recital Hall.  The concert will be on November 23 at 8 pm at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater. For tickets: 713-533-0080 or

For more information: Click here

UH, Houston Musicians Recreate Rarely Heard Works to Commemorate 200th Anniversary of "The Battle of Nations" by Mike Emery

Grammy-winning jazz musician Blanchard shares experience with UH students
With Len Cannon By staff

Moores AlumniMoores School of Music establishes its first alumni association!

More information click here.

Terence BlanchardThe Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra joins forces with world renowned trumpeter/composer/band leader and Blue Note recording artist Terence Blanchard on Friday, November 15 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.
Tickets are available online at or at the door.

For more information:

Trumpet Master Terence Blanchard Teaming with UH Jazz Orchestra by Mike Emery

AURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:

Music of the Spirit on Monday, November 18, 7:30 pm Altar de muertos: lecture & performance on Tuesday, November 19. 7:30 pm

Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble will host Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz and present two concerts that feature her music on November 18 and 19, 2013. Both concerts will be presented in the Moores Opera House at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online at or at the door.

For promotional video, click here

Facebook Event Pages:

Double Bass

The Moores School of Music announces a recital entitled The Enduring Legacies of Serge Koussevitzky and Gary Karr – performed on the famous 1800 “Karr-Koussevitzky” Double Bass featuring faculty double bassist Dennis Whittaker and pianist Timothy Hester on Sunday, October 6 @ 2:30 pm in the Dudley Recital Hall (Fine Arts Building).  For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or go online Click here

Famed Karr-Koussevitzky Bass Makes Recital Appearance at UH by Mike Emery, University of Houston

Haunted strings? University of Houston classical music artist plays the Karr-Koussevitzky bass by Joel Luks, Culture Map

CD Cov

Announcing the Moores School of Music Wind Ensemble's CD Release

The Moores School of Music proudly announces the release of our Wind Ensemble's “Wind Band Classics” CD on the Naxos label.  The CD features the Wind Ensemble, under the direction of David Bertman, and the University of Houston Saxophone Quartet.  Featured works include Nicolas Flagello’s Symphony No. 2 “Symphony of the Winds” and Arnold Rosner’s Symphony No. 8 “Trinity”.

Our Wind Ensemble has become recognized as one of the foremost university ensembles in the United States today. The Ensemble is dedicated to exploring the full breadth of the wind ensemble literature, from the canonic wind repertoire to the exciting new and unexplored works. 

David Bertman is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands, the Conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting.  He is co-author of a comprehensive program in band musicianship published by the Hal Leonard Corporation. He has received numerous awards for his distinguished contributions to the University community, and is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Beta Mu.

The University of Houston Saxophone Quartet features Robert Eason, soprano saxophone; Lee Redfearn III, alto saxophone; Justin Neumann, tenor saxophone; and Brian Ngo (Valse Noire), and Elizabeth Ambs (Concerto Simfonico), baritone saxophone.  This group, also known at the Blue Static Saxophone Quartet,  won the Silver Medal at the Fischoff Competition, one of the "largest chamber music competitions in the nation and the world" in 2011.

For more information, contact Carol Risinger at 713-743-3175 ( or visit the Naxos web site at


ChoraleCONCERT CHORALE wins First Prize at the 13th annual Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition

The Concert Chorale, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber, won First Prize, and a Special Prize for the best interpretation of a religious choral work, at the 13th annual International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, on May 17 - 22, 2013. The Concert Chorale was one of only 10 international choirs selected for this exclusive competition. Since its inception, the event has showcased more than 160 choirs from 36 countries in concerts and competitions. For more details, visit website.

UH Moores Concert Chorale Takes Top Prize in German Competition by Mike Emery



SymphonyMoores School Symphony Orchestra with the Houston Symphony Chorus

Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2013,  7:30 pm

Grace Presbyterian Church

The Moores School Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Franz Anton Krager, will be performing the Bruckner's Symphonic Prelude and Mass No. 3 in F Minor, "Great" with the Houston Symphony Chorus (Charles Hausmann, choral preparation) featuring soloists including soprano Cynthia Clayton, mezzo-soprano Melanie Sonnenberg, tenor Joseph Evans, and bass-baritone Timothy Jones on April 26 and 27 at 7:30 pm at Grace Presbyterian Church, 10221 Ella Lee Lane in Houston. For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or

CarrieYoung Receives 2013 New Professional Advising Award

Carrie Young has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the New Professional Advising Award. The University Advising Award Committee selects one undergraduate advisor (campus-wide) per year. The purpose of the award, sponsored by the UH Provost’s Office, is to recognize staff who have demonstrated outstanding performance in advising undergraduate students early in their professional careers.

En MasseThe "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band to Collaborate with UH Mitchell Center on En Masse

The "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band, under the direction of Troy Bennefield, will collaborate with UH Mitchell Center Artist in Residence Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) in a participatory, large scale, outdoor performance event with newly commissioned music directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph on April 20 from 4 – 8 pm at Discovery Green. This project is made possible in part through the City’s Initiative Grant Program of the Houston Arts Alliance.

The making of:
En Masse performance:

RigolettoMoores Opera Center presents:

RIGOLETTO by Giuseppe Verdi

Friday, April 5, 2013, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 2 pm

Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House


En Masse: Music takes over the par, bandman style by Nadia Michel, 002Houston Magazine
Marching Orders by Nancy Zastudil, Art & Culture Magazine Houston
The Borgias would blush at what goes on in the decadent Renaissance court of the Duke of Mantua where one father’s curse and another’s vendetta result in a tragic storm of violence.  This classic opera seethes with Italian fire and is graced with memorable melodies. -- Sung in the original Italian with English translation projected surtitles.  For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or go online
Click here.

For more information, see link below:

The Curse Continues: Moores Opera Center Delivering "Rigoletto" by Mike Emery Soprano Ashly Newmann Taking Final Dow on UH Opera Stage by Mike Emery UH's Moores Opera Center Tackles "Lust,Love, and a Fateful Curse" in Rigoletto by Margaret Downing, Houston Press
Orchestrating New Talent by Steven Brown, Houston Chronicle, Zest

Images for the show.

Video trailer for Rigoletto.

Neumann, Eason, and Broberg Win Awards at the 29th Annual Texas Artist Music Competition

Ashly Newmann (studio of Melanie Sonnenberg) won the Gold Medal in the Vocal Division and the Audience Choice Award, Robert Eason (BME ‘11 from the studio of Dan Gelok) won the Gold Medal in the Wind, Brass Percussion, Harp & Guitar Division, and Kenneth Broberg (studio of Nancy Weems) received the Silver Medal in the Piano Division at the 29th Annual Young Texas Artist Music Competition held at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe, TX on March 9.  The competition's mission is to encourage excellence in young musicians and to further artistic growth throughout Texas. For more information: Click here.


Houston BalletBallet Orchestra with the Houston Ballet II

Friday, April 12, 2013, 7:30 pm

Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House

The Moores School of Music Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of Franz Anton Krager, will perform with Houston Ballet II (Stanton Welch, artistic director) performing works by Britten and Delibes on April 12 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House. For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or

CombustionAURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:


Monday, April 15, 2013, 7:30 pm

Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House

For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or

COMBUSTIBLE features Michael Gordon’s electrifying “AC/DC”, Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan’s scorching “Burn” and Astor Piazolla’s sizzling “Le Grand Tango”. Additional heat will be generated through Carl Vine’s “Five Bagatelles”, the world premiere of a flute/piano work by Alex Winkler, and the “rough and smooth breathing” evoked in Elliott Carter’s “Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux II”.

Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble Concert

VacekEvansBill Evans, saxophone

Tuesday, April 16, 7:30 pm

Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House

The Vacek Jazz Artist Residency program brings leading performers and educators to the Moores School of Music for an intensive period of training and performance.  Funded by a generous commitment from UH alumnus Jeff Vacek.  This spring, we present saxophonist Bill Evans in concert with our Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble performing music by Bill Evans on April 16 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.  For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or

Lew Soloff15th Annual Jazz Festival (February 22 – 23, 2013) TMF Jazz Project / Lew Soloff with our Jazz Orchestra, Moores Opera House

The 15th Annual Jazz Festival (February 22 & 22, 2013) features the Texas Music Festival Jazz Project on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House.  On Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House, we present guest trumpeter  Lew Soloff with our Moores School Jazz Orchestra.  For tickets/information:  713-743-3313 or visit

For more information: Trumpet Player Lew Soloff Headlining UH Moores Jazz Fest by Mike Emery

Student Composers Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera Community Outreach (HGOCo) to Compose Country Tunes for Houston Rodeo Events

Houston Grand Opera Community Outreach (HGOCo) recently commissioned western-themed compositions from four UH students including DMA student Mark Buller (studio of Marcus Maroney), and Masters students Desmond Ikegwuonu, Samuel Hunter, and Daniel Webbon (all from the studio of Rob Smith) as a tribute to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. The lyrics are based on texts from authors Andrea White and Kelly Finn. The first performance will be at the Moores Opera House on Tuesday, February 12 at 1 pm.

From L to R: Mark Buller, Desmond Ikegwuonu,
Samuel Hunter and Daniel Webbon.
--Image by the Houston Chronicle

The Songs:

  • Rodeo Song – Desmond Ikegwuonu
    Desmond Ikegwuonu & Andrea White
    A celebration of the rodeo and everything it represents
  • Blessed – Mark Buller
    Mark Buller & Andrea White
    A true story about a rodeo participant who finds out that his doctor is someone whose education he supported through rodeo scholarships
  • Trail Ride – Samuel Hunter
    Samuel Hunter & Bill White
    A celebration of the annual trail ride and the life of a cowboy
  • Say Goodbye – Daniel Webbon
    Daniel Webbon & Bill White
    The story of a 4H girl and the boy who is attracted to her because of her dedication towards raising a steer for the rodeo

For more information, see the links below:

UH Students Creating Country Tunes for Houston Rodeo Events by Mike Emery

ABC News

ABC  News Session (longer video)

Katy News:

Original tunes created for rodeo by Jessica Portillo, Daily Cougar

RiverRocksAURA Contemporary Ensemble presents:

Monday February 18, 2013, 7:30pm
Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House

For tickets/information: 713-743-3313 or


with special guests:
Daniel Saenz, cello
Brian Herrington, composer

Set in Stone features David Dzubay’s KUKULKAN II, which imagines exotic rituals that took place at the Mayan temple of the same name, and the world premieres of Brian Herrington's A CIRCLE OF STONE and Desmond Ikegwuonu's N'IME OKWUTE (INSIDE A STONE). Also on the program are Anna Weesner’s LIGHT & STONE, which evokes the sense of light gathering deep in the center of rock, Paul Stanhope's beautiful harp solo THE ARCH WINDOW, and Eric Stokes’ ROCK & ROLL, which is performed with river stones and gravel.

SymphonyWind Ensemble

Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble to perform at the 66th Annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago on December 19, 2012

The Moores School of Music proudly announces our Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble in a program entitled Transcriptions-in-Reverse under the direction of Franz Anton Krager and David Bertman.  Featured in this concert will be nationally and internationally known guest conductors, Lowell Graham, James Keene, Richard Crain, John Whitwell, (Houston only), Richard Floyd (Chicago only). The performance will feature works written for Symphony Orchestra transcribed and being performed by the Wind Ensemble and vice versa, including Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Bernstein, and more.
The preview concert will be performed on December 7th at 7:30 pm in the Moores Opera House. The Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble performance at The Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, IL will take place on December 19, 2012.
For more information:



Broberg wins Bronze Medal at the Widerman International Piano Competition

Kenneth Broberg, sophomore piano performance major from the studio of Nancy Weems, received the Bronze Medal at the Wideman International Piano Competition at Centenary College’s Hurley School of Music in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 1-2, 2012. Forty-six competitors from around the world were chosen to participate in the first round of this prestigious annual event.  Three winners were selected from the seven chosen for the finals.
The Nena Wideman Piano Competition, which began in 1950, seeks outstanding pianists from throughout the United States and foreign countries with nationally and internationally known pianists and conductors who are chosen as judges.

Announcing the Moores Opera Center’s 2012-13 Season!


Daryl RobinsonDaryl Robinson Wins First Prize and the Audience Prize at the American Guild of Organists' National Young Artist Competition in Organ Performance

Moores School of Music alum Daryl Robinson won first prize, along with the audience prize, at the American Guild of Organists’ National Young Artist Competition on July 1, 2012, at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee.  The American Guild of Organists encourages young musicians' performance development through participation in their challenging competition.

Prizes include the Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize cash award, career development and promotional assistance by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc., a performance during the 2014 National Convention, a CD recording on the Pro Organo label, as well as an additional cash award by Martin Ott Pipe Organ Company, Inc.

Mr. Robinson received his Bachelor of Music in Applied Music in 2011 where he studied with Robert Bates and Matthew Dirst.

Creative Pride Artist Profiles from the University of Houston with Mike Emery


HyeHyun Sung, DMA
candidate from the studios of Robert Bates and Matthew Dirst, was in the seven semifinalists chosen out of 25 participants accepted into the competition.

For more information:

Announcing Aaron Casey to perform as part of the HBO YoungArts Masterclass Series

Aaron Casey participated in the filming of the HBO "YoungArts Masterclass" series where he performed with vocal innovator Bobby McFerrin, American soprano Renée Fleming, and Grammy Award winning violinist Yo-Yo Ma. Casey is a sophomore tenor student from the studio of Joseph Evans.

For more information:
University of Houston student to appear on HBO – twice: Aaron Casey's great vocal adventure" by Joel Luks Culture Map Houston

Creative Pride Artist Profiles from the University of Houston with Mike Emery’s-aaron-casey-set-to-appear-on-hbo’s-‘youngarts-masterclass’

Austin and Dirst invited to perform as part of Papal visit in Leon, Mexico

Associate Professor Matthew Dirst and Immanuel & Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Director Alan Austin were invited to perform, as part of the baroque ensemble Camerata Ventapane, for Pope Benedict XVI, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, members of the Pope's retinue, and other dignitaries in Leon, Mexico on March 24, as part of the festivities for the Papal visit. The performance took place at the Forum Cultural of Guanajuato, and featured works by Vivaldi and Handel. Dirst and Austin were in Mexico to take part in the Festival de Musica Barrocco di San Miguel de Allende, where they gave two performances, as well as one in Mexico City at the Biblioteca Lerdo de Tejada, which was attended by the Israeli Ambassador to Mexico, the Minister of Finance, and the Israeli Cultural Attaché.
For more information:

Il PostinoAnnouncing II Postino Wins First Prize Award in Division IV of the National Opera Association's 2011 Opera Production Competition

The video from the production of II Postino was awarded First Prize in Division IV of the 2011 Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association. The award will be presented at the National Convention Gala Banquet on January 7, 2012 in Memphis, TN.