Founded in 1975, The Shepherd School of Music in Houston is widely recognized as one of the nation's most elite music institutions. The school emphasizes a performance-based curriculum. "I think what's unique about the Shepherd School is that musicians are given a lot of opportunities to learn in front of an audience and that's very important when it comes to building self-confidence," explains student violinist Niccolo Muti.
“I have very strong feelings for Houston, in a great way, because I went to school here at Rice University and studied with at the Shepherd School of Music. So any time I come back to Houston for any reason, it brings back a flood of great memories of being in school and meeting all the friends that I have today and keep in touch with. And, of course, the Houston Symphony has been great to me, even from the beginning of my career. … Being a New Yorker, I never thought I’d be in Houston, Texas ever in my lifetime because Texas is so abstract to a New Yorker. Going to school here, it became clear that the arts, and the culture, are at such a high level here, not just the symphonies but the museums … and the food is extraordinary! … I mean, you know, in Europe you can’t get Mexican food! … Food is really important to me, and wine, and good friends. The music is at a high level, but there are also some really great people here.”
Shepherd School of Music -- Rice University
In addition to serving the needs of the Shepherd School of Music and Rice University, the building attracts visitors from the greater Houston area and has an annual attendance of 75,000 patrons for 350 events each year.
Students of The Shepherd School of Music enjoy an ideal environment for educational enhancement and artistic development. Situated in the fourth-largest city in the country, Rice University is conveniently located near some of the Houston's major artistic hubs. The purpose of The Fund is to provide financial support to students in The Shepherd School of Music to take musical performances or presentations out to new audiences and especially underserved communities. This fund is dedicated to encouraging and supporting creative outreach performances that are designed and produced by current students at The Shepherd School of Music.