James Ahn and David Danjul
Our mission was to promote an intimate musical connection between the Shepherd School of Music and MusicMDs, a Rice volunteer organization whose members play therapeutic music for individual patients at the hospital every Saturday. We wish to help Shepherd School students gain awareness of this opportunity to share and engage their musical passions with the community at the Houston Methodist Hospital through Music MDs, by providing promotional and performance events.
Mi Ou Lee
My mission was to present a series of concerts at local hospitals and senior resident facilities. Collaborating with violinist Kami Ghavi Helm, the program, Musicians as Soloists and Collaborators, featured solo piano music, solo violin music and a collaboration of the two. We spoke about the musical roles that we play as a soloists and what it is like to work together as a duo from the pianist’s perspective and the violinist’s perspective.
Allison Smith and Emily Richardson
The Sviatoslav Richter Grant for Music Outreach generously allowed us to program a series of violin duo concerts at three senior living centers in Houston. Our program spanned chronologically from the Baroque era to the 20th-century, and we explained each era’s characteristics to guide the audiences toward important musical features. For instance, we described the light, airy Baroque sound and the structure of Baroque violins before performing a Leclair violin duo. By explaining the features of every era, we illuminated musical conversations throughout history and represented music as a universal language.
This Spring, the Richter Fund enabled me to fulfill my goal to share the music of women composers through outreach performances, primarily in venues dedicated to helping women, in an effort to increase awareness of women composers’ music and their untold places in music history, and to provide an empowering and even healing experience for women of all backgrounds by making Western classical music accessible to them. The repertoire consisted of pieces written for piano, and one or two of my transcriptions to showcase historically important pieces, such as the first published composition by a woman, and one of the first published instrumental works by a woman.
I organized three programs at Covenant House Texas, a homeless shelter for young adults in Houston, in order to provide educational and entertaining experiences for the residents. Each program had a different theme: my love for music as an alternative form of communication and expressing my creativity and personal experiences, composers’ universal reasons for interacting with music, and composers’ global interactions and cultural experimentations through music. In the programs, I played short pieces or excerpts according to the theme, and fulfilled requests from the residents, such as improvising on rap music and playing pop songs by ear.
We presented an interactive performance of new music for clarinet, horn, and piano for students at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and James Madison High School. The goal of this project was to give students an inside look at the composition process, cultivate new audiences for new music, and inspire young musicians to try writing their own music. The project served to build the repertoire for the somewhat uncommon combination of the clarinet, horn, and piano trio. Our trio, comprised of student composer/performers at the Shepherd School of Music, played works written by members of the ensemble as well as other student composers at Rice University, giving a unique view from both the perspective of a composer as well as that of a performer.