Leslie Ashworth, MM Violin Performance
I entered the Shepherd School of Music as a first year MM violin student at the Shepherd School of Music with a strong history of engagement with music outreach. Over the course of my education I developed Suite Melody Care, a program that involves young musicians giving themed, interactive performances in hospitals, senior centers and retirement residences. With the support of the Sviatoslav Richter Grant, I intend to establish the Suite Melody Care Houston chapter. Under this project, we will start the initial pilot of the program- involving Shepherd School students and bringing Suite Melody Care performances to select retirement residences and long-term care facilities in the Houston area.
Mary Grace Johnson, GMA Violin Performance
The title of my project is Play Like A Girl: The Music of Women Composers. Through this project, I will collaborate with women’s empowerment organizations, and educational programs in Houston to present a program entirely of solo violin compositions by women, including recent commissions. In addition to playing their works, I will also introduce their stories. The goal of my project is to create a space for discussion both about the trials these women had to overcome to bring their art to the world, as well as their monumental successes, in hopes of inspiring others, especially, young women, to pursue their goals.
David Jones, DMA Composer
Building on Tubes, Keys and Strings, a collaborative Richter project that I completed last year, I will present interactive new music concerts at two local high schools featuring chamber works written by myself and two performing SSM composers for horn, clarinet and piano. Our trio of DMA students will also work with the Beat Shop at Workshop Houston, a local after-school program, by encouraging the students to collaborate by sharing their own composition projects with us. We will invite two other DMA composition students to join us in these endeavors.
Kelsey Sham, MM Harp Performance
My project will involve a program for solo harp that features music in a classroom setting for upper elementary school students. I will perform traditional dance music from six countries: United States of America, Argentina, Italy, Taiwan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This performance will stimulate discussion of historical context and cultural values. The children will also absorb information kinesthetically as they respond with clapping, stomping, swaying, snapping finger, or other small rhythmic exercises. My goal is to encourage children to grow an appreciation for the arts and recognize that musical and listening skills can relate to and enhance other areas of study in their life. I hope that they will also appreciate various international cultural values and connect with some of the historical events offered in my program.
Jarod Yap, BM Piano Performance
In conjunction with Coalition Rice Against Hunger and Homelessness, a service-based club affiliated with Rice University, I plan to organize multiple events to provide an educational and entertaining experience to the residents at Covenant House. I will organize three programs thematically centered around improvisation. My goal is to demonstrate how improvisation is often incorporated into classical music. I will start each program with a different aspect of improvisation in classical music (cadenza, ad lib, etc.), and then open the floor to the residents’ musical requests.
Daniel Zlatkin, DMA Composer
This project will provide interactive performances for elementary, middle and high school students by Shepherd School student composers and performers with the intention of illuminating elements of music composition while also offering opportunities for the audience to join in various aspects of the performance with clapping, small percussion instruments and found objects.
Three Shepherd School of Music composers with each write a three-minute movement of a three-movement composition, in the manner of the FAE Sonata of Schumann, Brahms, and Dietrich. The composition’s ensemble will be a trio made up of violin, horn, and piano, and it will provide for active audience interaction across all movements.
The project aims to have the following impacts on young audiences: to encourage thinking about music philosophically, to illustrate classical compositional process, to inspire and enrich through exposure to classical music, and demonstrate that classical music does not necessarily have to be presented in a concert hall setting. Demonstrating that exciting music can be created through collaboration and friendship is a major objective.