Rachel Buchman is a native New Yorker. Her performance career has brought her to stages and diverse venues throughout the United States, Europe and Israel, from New York‚Äôs Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival to La Mama Experimental Theatre, to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; from Jones Hall to Infernal Bridegroom in Houston, from the barn loft to the concert stage on Orcas Island.
A native of Dallas, a young George Baker won the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Playing in 1970 (at age nineteen) and created a sensation in the organ world with his subsequent featured recital for that organization‚Äôs national convention two years later. He then went to Paris to study organ and improvisation as well as to record. He returned to America to teach organ, then entered medical school. Almost four decades later he has come full circle, returning to music as a performer, improviser, composer and teacher.
Clarinetist Michael Webster is Professor of Music at Rice University‚Äôs Shepherd School of Music and Artistic Director of the Houston Youth Symphony, which has won 12 national awards between 2008 and 2013 and appeared on the nationally distributed NPR program, ‚ÄúFrom the Top‚ÄĚ in Sept. 2012. Described by the Boston Globe as ‚Äúa virtuoso of burgeoning prominence,‚ÄĚ Webster has collaborated with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tokyo, Cleveland, Muir, Ying, Leont√≥vych, Dover, and Chester String Quartets and artists such as Yo Yo Ma and Joshua Bell among many others.
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.
Thomas LeGrand is the Associate Principal and Eb Clarinetist of the Houston Symphony.¬† He served as Acting Principal Clarinet for the 2013-14 season.¬† He has appeared as soloist with the symphony in concertos of Debussy, Weber, Rossini, Copland, Mozart, and the Martin Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments.¬† Recently, he performed as recorder soloist in the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in the Houston Symphony ‚ÄėBach vs.
Eric Halen joined the Houston Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster in 1987. In 1997, he assumed the position of Associate Concertmaster and is presently Co-Concertmaster. After earning his bachelor‚Äôs degree at Central Missouri State University, he received his master‚Äôs degree at the age of 20 from the University of Illinois, while studying with Sergiu Luca. At age 23, he became artist/teacher of violin at Texas Christian University. Mr. Halen has performed in solo and chamber music programs in the U.S. and abroad, including solo appearances with the St. Louis and Houston Symphonies.¬†
Christopher French is the associate principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the orchestra in 1986 he held titled positions in both the Shreveport and Honolulu symphonies. A graduate of North Park University in Chicago, he was the recipient of that school‚Äôs highest honor, the ‚ÄúPerformance Award.‚ÄĚ Chris is the seventh in a full octave of musical siblings.
Violist Joan DerHovsepian is an Artist Teacher of Viola at Rice University‚Äôs Shepherd School of Music, instructing students in viola orchestral repertoire and chamber music. Ms. DerHovsepian holds the position of Associate Principal Viola of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. She joined the viola section of the Houston Symphony in 1999, and began her new position with the HS in the fall of 2010. She is Principal Violist of the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin and also performs at the Grand Teton Music Festival each summer.
Peter V. Loewen is Associate Professor of musicology specializing in Medieval and Renaissance music. His research interests concern vernacular song, religious drama, intellectual history, music and preaching, and the Franciscans. Professor Loewen is the author of Music in Early Franciscan Thought (Brill, 2013), and co-editor of Mary Magdalene in the Middle Ages: Conflicted Roles (Routledge, 2014 ).