UH Flutist Earns Top Honors at Competition

It all started when Daniel Alexander was 8 years old. His father, an amateur flute player, wanted a duet partner. Alexander picked up the instrument, and his passion for music has grown ever since.

Alexander, a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, now performs for audiences around the world. Recently, his talents earned top honors at the 24th Annual Texas Flute Society's (TFS) Myrna W. Brown Artist Competition in Denton, Texas. He competed against 73 other musicians to earn first place at this noted contest.

"It's hard to credit any one item for this accomplishment," he said. "My current teacher, Aralee Dorough, of the Houston Symphony and MSM, was certainly a factor. Also, I think a big thing for me on the day was realizing that I could be patient and let the music come to me at the moment. I just relaxed and, as one of the judges asked me to do after the initial round, simply ‘take time and smell the roses.' I think the audience enjoyed my final performance all the more because of this simple piece of advice."

This summer, Alexander will take his talents to New York for a performance with his former teacher Ransom Wilson at the National Flute Association Convention. He also plans to perform abroad at festivals in Europe.

Alexander received his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University in England and earned a master's degree and an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music. When he began exploring doctoral programs, he was immediately attracted to UH. He is expecting to graduate from UH in fall 2009.

"UH has an appealing graduate assistantship program, which allows students to teach a selection of undergraduate lessons and hold master classes occasionally," he said. "It's like an introduction to full time college teaching which is a longer term goal of mine."

Inspired by so many of his own teachers including his middle school instructor Aidan Goetzee, Alexander hopes to encourage his students to follow their musical ambitions and help them.

"I am committed to inspiring younger players to continue with music, especially the ones who feel that music is inside them," he said. "I know players who have the ability but not access to the resources that allow them to achieve their musical potential. I would like to help students overcome such challenges and pursue their dreams."

MSM 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 http://www.music.uh.edu/.