Janet Rarick has enjoyed a diverse career as an oboist/performer and educator that has traversed the worlds of symphony, opera, ballet and chamber music, as well as early childhood music classes and advanced university education.
As Associate Professor of Music Career Development at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, she coaches chamber music, teaches classes in professional development, performance skills, and directs outreach activities. She is also program administrator for the Music Career and Skills Enhancement Courses, an innovative initiative for performance majors in the Master’s Degree Program. Ms. Rarick is director for JUMP! Just For U Music Program, a student run and faculty mentored outreach program that offers concerts for school children in the Greater Houston area. She is an ATI certified Alexander Technique teacher, and teaches classes and private lessons in the Alexander Technique at Rice University.
Ms. Rarick’s career began in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. She was an important force in the development of Musical Trolley, an early childhood music program at the MacPhail School of the Arts in Minneapolis, and was a founding member of the Aurora Wind Quintet, performing regularly in the Twin Cities and giving many programs for young people through the auspices of the Minnesota Orchestra. After moving to Houston, Ms. Rarick became Principal Oboist with the Texas Chamber Orchestra, and began a long association with the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera Orchestras as a core member of these ensembles. She performs regularly in recital at The Shepherd School of Music.
Ms. Rarick is the creator of The Shepherd School of Music web site Navigating Music Careers. Originally funded by a Rice University Brown Foundation Teaching Grant, this site explores many aspects of undergraduate music education, and is an ongoing resource for professional musicians all over the world. She was a pioneer in the use of distance learning at the school through her webcast program Navigating Music Careers Interactive and developed a prototypical course for the school titled Music and Performance: The Mind/Body Connection.
Ms. Rarick developed and produced the Shepherd Careers Forum in 2007, a student centered conference that explored new directions in classical music performance. This groundbreaking event brought students, faculty and administrators from sixteen of our nation’s top schools of music together to interact with two young professional ensembles: The Chiara String Quartet and eighth blackbird chamber ensemble. Outcomes from the forum included a conceptual framework of recommendations for institutions of higher learning designed to help students meet the challenges of our 21st Century arts environment.