Thank you for your interest in the Shepherd School flute studio. Below you will find information about our school and wind program. To read about our studio’s activities this year click on Studio Events.
The Shepherd School of Music is a small, highly select school with approximately 290 students and 50 faculty members. Although it provides a conservatory learning environment, it is part of a university that is frequently referred to as “the Harvard of the South.” Academic excellence is expected at Rice, and the Shepherd School has an outstanding academic faculty that requires serious scholastic work from all students. Undergraduate scholarship aid comes from Rice University; graduate fellowships are awarded directly by the Shepherd School.
In recent years the Shepherd School has developed a reputation for graduating marketable musicians who win jobs. Under the direction of Larry Rachleff, our orchestral program is considered by many to be the finest of its kind in the United States today. All students of orchestral instruments are rotated throughout the year between the Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, each of which performs six concerts per year.
Wind studios are intentionally kept small so that every student has maximum opportunity to hone ensemble skills. All undergraduate and master’s degree wind players must fulfill a chamber music requirement, and there is no wind ensemble or band program. Consequently, eight is usually the largest number of students in each studio at any given time.
As a result, competition for a place in any wind studio is very intense. Because studios are small, professors are more accessible to students on a daily basis, attending orchestra and recital rehearsals as well as previews and concerts. Another positive aspect to small studios is that our wind students tend to support each other in a truly special way. Because a large majority of wind players are grad students, undergraduates find themselves inspired, cheered, and encouraged by their elder colleagues in ensembles and studio classes.
Since there are generally only two or three openings in my class each year, and since Houston is an expensive audition trip for many students, I request a preliminary CD before inviting to a live audition at the Shepherd School those players who might have a chance of being admitted.
Below you’ll have a chance to hear some live performances from one of our recent annual studio recitals.