TMF Participant Information


Please read the following festival information carefully, and address any questions to the TMF Office before arrival. Please also see the festival rules below and information about festival fees.

Infringement of the rules will result in expulsion, without refund, from the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival®. All participants are expected to exercise attendance and performance standards consistent with a professional orchestra. The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival® reserves the right to dismiss without refund anyone whose behavior, or continued lack of preparation, does not meet professional standards.


The University of Houston Moores School of Music is the home of the the The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival®. The Moores School of Music Building is located at Entrance No. 16 off Cullen Blvd., west of Interstate 45. TMF participants are housed at Cougar Village.


  • Notification Deadline: On or before Friday, March 18, 2016 by email only. We are not able to offer feedback on live or recorded auditions.
  • Acceptance Deadline: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 (including returning acceptance paperwork and paying $300 registration fee).
  • Arrival & Registration: All out-of-town TMF participants must arrive on Friday, June 3, 2016. Registration and dorm check-in takes place on Friday, June 3, 2016 between 1:00 and 4:30 p.m.   A Welcome BBQ will take place at the Moores School of Music from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. and will be the only meal provided on Friday, June 3, 2016.
  • Orientation: 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 3, 2016, Moores Opera House.
  • Placement Auditions: Orchestra seating placement will be decided through brief auditions. Orchestra seating auditions for viola, cello, double bass, oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, and percussion will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. There are no placement auditions for trombone, tuba or harp - part assignments for these instruments will be determined by the Music Director and instrument faculty.

    Orchestra seating auditions for violin will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2016 and will start at 9 a.m. in Moores School of Music (MSM) Room 205. 

    Placement audition information and excerpts will be available on our website for download by the beginning of May. You are responsible for downloading and preparing the placement audition music.
  • Final Performance: Saturday, July 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Moores Opera House.
  • Departure: Sunday, July 3, 2016 (participants staying on-campus must check-out of the dorm before 6 p.m.)

Fees - All fees are NON-REFUNDABLE

  • All participants receive a fellowship that covers tuition, housing, and meals (a $4000 value).
  • Application fee: $75 (Due with TMF DecisionDesk application and payable online by credit card. NOTE: the $75 application fee will be listed on your credit card statement as a charge from
  • Registration fee: $300 (Due upon acceptance and no later than March 29, 2016)
  • Foreign student J-1 Visa Processing: $200 (Due upon acceptance and no later than March 29, 2016 for international students requiring J-1 visa. TMF participants who are not U.S. citizens and are not already in the U.S. on an F or J visa valid through July 3, 2016 are required to apply for a J-1 visa to attend TMF. The $200 J-1 Visa Processing Fee Includes visa and health insurance, but excludes $180 SEVIS fee, $160 visa fee, and any consular fees. English proficiency is also required – all rehearsals, sectionals, lessons, master classes are held in English.)

Security Deposit - required of all TMF participants

Security Deposit: All participants are required to have a credit card on file while attending the Texas Music Festival as a security deposit. Any charges against the participant's account (lost music/books, dorm room/equipment damage) will be charged to the credit card on file and the participant will be notified of any charges. In the even of unexpected departure or dismissal for any reason, $200 will be charged to the credit card on file, and the participant may be charged for reimbursement of housing costs.


Participants are responsible for providing their own transporation to and from Houston, a city easily accessible by car, bus, and plane.  Houston features two large airports with many direct flights from all over the U.S. and world - Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). Houston Hobby Airport is located the closest to the University of Houston campus. NOTE FOR PARTICIPANTS FLYING TO HOUSTON: Plan your flight times accordingly. Dorm check-in and registration ends at 4:30 p.m. on June 3 - participants flying to Houston must arrive at Cougar Village BEFORE 4 p.m. Participants departing from Houston by air on July 3 are also responsible for their own transporation to the airport and must check out of the dorm BEFORE 6:00 p.m.  Cabs and Uber are readily available at both IAH and HOU airports. Cougar Village is located on the University of Houston Campus at 4385 Wheeler Avenue, Houston, TX 77004.


Parking on the UH campus requires a valid parking permit at all times. Indicate on the TMF Participant Information Form if you need to purchase a parking permit ($30/permit and non-refundable). You will receive your parking permit at registration on June 3. Parking at Cougar Village is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis in Lot 4A adjacent Moody Towers or Lot 9C by the Quadrangle. Parking in lot 16 B, across from the Moores School of Music building, is free after 6 p.m. during the week and all day on weekends.


TMF participants are housed at Cougar Village. Students should provide their own towels, pillow, sheets (XL Twin), blanket, and personal toiletries, but linen packets are available for purchase ($20/packet and non-refundable). Please indicate on the TMF Participant Information Form if you need to purchase a linen packet. You will receive your linen packet when you check into the dorm. The packet includes: one towel, one wash cloth, two sheets (XL Twin), and one pillow (no blanket). Laundry facilities are located in the dorms. Linen packs must be returned at dorm check-out otherwise you will be charged a fee against your security deposit.

Telephones and Internet

  • You must bring your own cell phone. International Students - it is recommended that you have an American cell phone while at TMF so the Personnel Manager can contact you.
  • The TMF office will take personal messages ONLY in an EMERGENCY.
  • FREE Wireless Internet access is available in the dorms and the lobby of the Moores School of Music.

Receiving Mail at TMF

  • Participants living on-campus who need to receive mail during TMF should use the following mailing address:
    Texas Music Festival
    Attn: Your Name
    University of Houston Moores School of Music
    3333 Cullen Blvd., Room 120
    Houston, TX 77204-4017

    Please note that mail service is very slow on the UH campus and mail is not delivered to the dorms. It is not recommended to have mail sent to you the last week of the festival - it will likely not arrive before the final Friday (July 1, 2016).  Mail received after the festival will not be forwarded.   The Moores School of Music main office is closed on weekends - there is no mail delivery on Saturdays during the festival. 


Campus Dining Services provides three daily meals for participants living on-campus. Students living off-campus will receive a meal card for two meals a day. Meals are served in the Fresh Food Company at Moody Towers, the dorm directly adjacent to Cougar Village. The first meal served is dinner at the Welcome BBQ at the Moores School of Music on Friday, June 3, 2016 (participants living off-campus are encouraged to attend) and the last meal is breakfast, Sunday, July 3, 2016.


Houston’s weather in June is very warm. Casual dress is in order except for concerts.
Concert dress:

  • Ladies - ALL BLACK: Ankle-length long black skirt or dress slacks, black dress shoes (no sandals), and blouse with sleeves – at least ¾ length. (No spaghetti strap, strapless, or halter-tops).
  • Men - Tuxedo, black bow tie, white dress shirt, black dress socks, and black dress shoes.

Student chamber music performances:

  • Appropriate summer concert attire.

Lockers, Equipment, and Insurance

Lockers are available in the music building. Combination locks are provided. Please indicate on the TMF Participant Information Form if your instrument case is not standard size and you require a larger locker.

INSTRUMENT INSURANCE: As an entity of the State of Texas, the University of Houston does not have liability insurance, nor is it liable for theft or damage of personal property. We strongly advise that your instrument be fully insured before arriving in Houston. The TMF Orchestra will perform one concert outside at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on June 24, 2016 – the stage is covered and air conditioned, but open. It is your responsibility to bring another instrument for this outdoor performance if you are not comfortable using your usual instrument. The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival® is not responsible for any damage to instruments.


The University of Houston campus, indoors and out, is designated SMOKE FREE. Smoking is allowed ONLY in designated locations on campus

Medical Care

Medical care is available through the Campus Health Center but the TMF Office must make the appointment for any non-UH student participants. All participants are responsible for all fees and/or filing any insurance claims. Any illness requiring a visit to an Emergency clinic can be arranged through our housing staff.


The UH Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has offered a special TMF month pass for $45 and a daily pass for $10. To receive this special rate, please bring your Cougar Village dorm card and a form of ID to purchase membership. Off-campus activities will be organized by the housing staff.

Concerto Competition

All Festival Orchestra participants are eligible to participate in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition.


A movement of a standard concerto, or showpiece, for solo instrument and orchestra. Total length not to exceed 15 minutes, including full orchestral tuttis. Please read the following requirements carefully.

TMF reserves the right to reject any request to compete with repertoire that does not meet the requirements listed above.

  • All competitors must pay the $25 non-refundable registration fee to compete (indicate on the TMF Participant Information Form)
  • Your piece must be no longer than 15 minutes in total, including all full orchestral tuttis. You may only compete with a standard concerto, concerto movement, or solo work for instrument and orchestra. You may NOT compete with any work that does not meet these specifications.
  • Work must be performed from memory at all levels of adjudication
  • YOU must bring and provide a piano reduction score for accompanist for the Preliminary Round - no sonatas
  • Preliminary Round: Thursday, June 9, 2016, 7 p.m. (only 8 – 10 minutes of piece will be heard)
  • Final Round: Sunday, June 12, 2016, 2 p.m. Final Round is open to the public
  • All finalists receive a cash prize and competition medal

Subject to the availability of orchestral parts, and the approval of repertoire by the conductor, the winner will perform with the orchestra under the baton of Maestra Mei-Ann Chen at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in The Woodlans on Friday, June 24, 2016 at 8 p.m. and also at the Moores Opera House on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The winner will also be invited to appear as a soloist with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the famed Gewandhaus in the fall of 2017.

Festival and Dormitory Regulations

Rules for the Texas Music Festival coincide with the rules of conduct for the University of Houston.

  1. No alcohol allowed in any public areas of campus – all ages. Anyone under the legal drinking age of Texas (21) found in possession of alcohol, or anyone found with alcohol in the presence of someone under the legal drinking age will be sent home immediately.
  2. No prohibited drugs of any kind are allowed.
  3. No minor age students may ever leave the campus with anyone other than approved staff. Exceptions must be cleared through the TMF office.
  4. Dormitory residents are asked to be considerate toward other residents at all times.
  5. Dormitory residents under 18 years of age must sign out with dorm staff or TMF office when leaving the campus and have a curfew of 11 p.m.
  6. Attendance and punctuality are required at all rehearsals, lessons, and all scheduled performances.
  7. Dormitory quiet hours are: 10 p.m. – 8 a.m. (weekdays) and 12 a.m. – 10 a.m. (weekends)
  8. Practice rooms are available in the Moores School of Music. Practicing is not allowed anywhere in the dorms.
  9. Cell phones are not allowed on stage during rehearsals or concerts—no exceptions.