‘A Celebration for Brockman Hall for Opera’ caps off events for Rice Shepherd School’s new building
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‘A Celebration for Brockman Hall for Opera’ caps off events for Rice Shepherd School’s new building

Hundreds of friends and supporters of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music attended the long-awaited celebration of the new Brockman Hall for Opera April 22. The eagerly anticipated event, postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, showcased the new performance hall, which is the first of its kind among international music schools and conservatories. “We're navigating so much in the world and the pandemic, and we're so incredibly grateful to be able to safely and, with tremendous joy in our hearts, open the doors for everybody,” said Ana María Martínez, an international opera star and professor of voice at Rice. “To see the hall filled with people that are part of the Rice community, but also Houston at large is so uplifting, and the support that we have in this city is extraordinary. People not only give generously, they show up and celebrate generously.” The festivities kicked off with a VIP reception on the stage of Morrison Theater, offering an elegant start to the evening and giving attendees a chance to experience Brockman Hall’s grand theater before the performance. “I think the design and proper size is just right for Rice,” said Anne Chao, a longtime Shepherd School supporter and an adjunct lecturer in Rice’s School of Humanities. “And I think the acoustics are just wonderful and it is a great addition to Rice campus.” “It’s a real jewel,” added Albert Chao. For more https://news.rice.edu/news/2022/celebration-brockman-hall-opera-caps-opening-events-rice-shepherd-schools-new-building
Composition student Jaylin Vinson creates dynamic cello quartet performed by fellow freshmen
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Composition student Jaylin Vinson creates dynamic cello quartet performed by fellow freshmen

For many students, the focus of their first semester in college is on navigating a new chapter of their lives But just a few months after matriculating at Rice, freshman composition student Jaylin Vinson had already created "Shimmer!," a dynamic cello quartet that debuted publicly as part of the Moody Center for the Arts' New Art/New Music fall 2021 concert. The performances offer students an opportunity to compose and perform an original work that connects with new art on Rice’s campus. Vinson, a student of Rice composition and theory professor Kurt Stallmann, created the piece early in his first semester. He was encouraged by fellow student Claire Druffner to write a piece that she and her "cello besties" (fellow freshmen Evan Nicholson, Maximus Gurath and Sebastian Berofsky) could perform. Druffner said the piece sounds like it belongs in a motion picture score. "It's very exciting, very movie soundtrack-like and evokes a lot of images, I think," Druffner said. The quartet was coached by Rice professor of cello Norman Fischer. Vinson said he was inspired by artwork around campus and his fellow freshman performers when writing the piece. "Their enthusiasm and their joy in wanting to create something with me, it's very emblematic of our friendship and our camaraderie," he said. Vinson said working with only cellists made his writing process easier. Composing different parts for the same instrument allowed him to really consider each player, their abilities, their performance styles and individual personalities before coming up with the final piece. "It made it much more fun and more personable," he said. Vinson, who is originally from Oklahoma City, said music has always been part of his life, starting with the "sacred space" of church. He picked up violin and trumpet in sixth grade and quickly became interested in other instruments, including the viola and the cello. "It was that curiosity that is a fundamental part of being a composer," Vinson said. https://news.rice.edu/news/2022/musical-talent-shimmers For the full performance https://youtu.be/FMHEgU0oEAs #composition #cello #riceuniversity

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