University of Houston experts, including engineering professor Thomas Hsu, who tests reinforced concrete under earthquake-like conditions, are available to comment on the recent quakes.
Six Houston personalities, including an AM radio talk show host, an Iron Chef, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, a KTRK Channel 13 news reporter, a three-time Grammy Award nominee singer and a Houston Culinary Awards "Chef of the Year"," will vie for the chance to conduct the 95-member Texas Music Festival (TMF) Orchestra as participants in the festival's first-ever "Be A Conductor" contest.
"It's such a thrill to stand on the podium, face a concert stage filled with incredible musicians and conduct the symphony orchestra -- especially the ‘Star Spangled Banner' with July 4th right around the corner," said Texas Music Festival general director Alan Austin. "We wanted to give local celebrities outside the classical music realm that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's ‘Conducting with the Stars,' if you will."
The contest will be held online through June 9 on the Texas Music Festival Facebook Fan Page. The contestant who generates the greatest number of votes (one vote per person) on this site by the June 9 midnight deadline will get to conduct the orchestra in the "Star Spangled Banner" at the Moores Opera House on Saturday, June 26, 7 p.m.
The candidates who are up for the conductors challenge are:
The Texas Music Festival is a summer music residency program at the University of Houston Moores School of Music now in its 21st season. Advanced music students from top music schools from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries audition for the 95 spots in the orchestra. This year 350 students applied from such renowned schools as the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin College, The New England Conservatory, the Curtis Institute, as well as the Shepherd School at Rice University and the Moores School of Music, to name a few.
The winner of the "Be A Conductor" contest will be announced June 10 and will receive a one-half hour complimentary conducting lesson from UH Moores School of Music conducting professor Franz Anton Krager. Tickets to the June 26 performance, which will feature the Mitchell Young Artist Competition Winner, are included in the prize package for: Saturday, June 26, 2010; Moores Opera House, University of Houston, 7:30 p.m. FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA; Stefan Sanderling, conductor; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition Winner, soloist. The program includes Debussy: Prélude to the Afternoon of a Faun; Concerto TBA; Franck: Le chasseur maudit (The Accursed Huntsman); and Ravel: Bolero.
Other highlights of the 2010 Texas Music Festival season are:
For tickets, call Moores School of Music Box Office 713/743-3313 (All University of Houston concerts); Texas A&M University 979/845-1234, tickets@MSC.tamu.edu and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (free).
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