The Alternative Viola
The program for "The Alternative Viola" focuses on non-classical repertoire, or classical repertoire influenced by non-classical genres. Each of these works for solo viola is influenced by either a non-classical (“alternative”) genre or a particular culture, or otherwise makes use of extended techniques to interesting (or “alternative”) effect. An "Around the World: A Tour Guided by the Viola"-style presentation, explores the different folk and popular music traditions in different countries, and in this way creates a very engaging presentation for all audiences and venues.
In the fall of 2017 I organized two post-Harvey outreach performances at NRG, as well as one at the Salvation Army Women’s Shelter, Sally’s House. These concerts were a huge success and were received with tremendous gratitude and warmth. I continue this work of healing through music, with a post-Harvey mindset.
Developing a relationship with a demographic that is more susceptible to long-term setbacks due to a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey, I have played with my fellow SSM musicians at Covenant House and at the Star of Hope homeless shelter.
Andrew White and David Danjul
Our mission is to bring music from The Shepherd School of Music to the Rice undergraduate population through the residential college system. We will accomplish this with a series of chamber music concerts in the residential colleges. At these events, each performer will be required to speak to the audience, ensuring an interactive, insightful evening for all involved. In addition, our two resident composers, Molly Turner and Paul Novak, will guarantee the incorporation of modern music and will give audiences a look behind the curtain at the process of composition not only by living composers, but by people many on this campus know as friends, classmates, and colleagues.
As a string quartet committed to finding new and unique ways of sharing our music, we hope to gain a deeper insight into how to connect people through interactive performance. In presenting the topic of “Listening like a Musician” to diverse audiences, our musical vocabulary will grow, and we will find hidden layers within, not only the music we play, but also the people we encounter. It is through this process that we can help weave the threads of Houston’s community together. We are bringing interactive performances to a versatile collection of locations: an elementary school, a retirement home, and a detention center. We feature three different programs: “Haydn’s Humor,” “Very Open Rehearsal,” and “Theme and Variations.” We will perform the “Very Open Rehearsal” program in a retirement home, inviting audiences into the fascinating process of making chamber music. We will bring both “Haydn’s Humor” and “Theme and Variations” to a school (Collins Elementary) and a detention center (in collaboration with the Children’s Prison Art Project).
We hope that sharing our experiences will show how music is truly a universal connector.
My goal in creating this project is to expose students and general audiences to works in the solo violin repertory they might not yet know, and to encourage a better understanding of how they relate to each other. In order to do this in as accessible, clear, and engaging manner as possible, I play musical examples from each piece before the performance, and make the experience more interactive by asking for audience input. I also use as little theoretical jargon as possible, instead doing my best to put theoretical concepts like set classes in language that the average non-musically trained audience member can understand. This series of interactive concerts of solo violin works in a variety of venues (Archway Gallery and several high schools and middle schools) in the Houston area include music or excerpts of music by J.S. Bach, Eugène Ysaÿe, György Kurtág, and Elliott Carter, all organized around the general theme of Homage. Throughout the performance, I will talk about each piece and composer, providing historical background and connecting the pieces to the “homage” theme and to each other.