Chamber - University of Houston
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Timothy Hester
Division Head of Piano
Suzanne LeFevre
Division Head of Chamber String
Dana Pradervand
Division Head of Winds

Graduate and undergraduate musicians at the Moores School of Music gain a wealth of small ensemble experience through a diverse array of chamber music opportunities offered every semester. We regularly program works for performing groups from students in the strings, woodwinds/brass, and piano divisions, with occasional assistance from voice and other performing divisions as needed. Our resident string quartet, the Tomatz Quartet, is a graduate ensemble with rotating membership and stipend. Other small ensembles are created through the chamber music courses, where students are carefully assigned collaborators and repertoire for performance. Students are also given the latitude to create named ensembles of their own and request repertoire, if they wish. All of them benefit from the wealth of faculty experience available at our school. With its fantastic population of performers, the Moores School is an ideal laboratory in which our student musicians hone their skills for the future. Come play with us!  #GoCoogs! 

Chamber music allows our students to bring their talent and training from applied lessons and large ensemble experiences together while studying literature composed for smaller, more intimate groups. Whether working in a quintet, quartet, trio or duo, students benefit from coaching focused on tonal blending, score knowledge, effective and constructive communication, listening skills, intonation, and musical expression. Through this study, students are exposed to diverse literature, improving their musical literacy and perspective. Additionally, students derive invaluable experience in frequent rehearsals, honing vital musical skills and learning to work collaboratively. We believe that potential success in a professional music career is directly related to the skills acquired by studying chamber music at the collegiate level.  

Research in Chamber Music
Courses vary, including topics such as Baroque trio sonatas. These independent study courses may include a performance component. 

Ensembles have opportunities throughout the semester to perform in the Tuesday Recital concert series, student recitals and the final chamber music recital at the end of every semester. There are also numerous outreach performance opportunities at local high schools, hospitals, nursing homes, Bach-in-the-Subway and on-campus events. 

Collaborative Techniques
Techniques for developing skills in sight-reading, keyboard harmony, rhythmic training, and accompanying. 


New ensembles are formed every semester; some continue throughout the term. Students new to the chamber music program should see their advisor to register for the appropriate chamber music course and section. Student-formed groups should consult with the appropriate applied faculty for guidance. 



Coaching in two-piano and four-hand literature as well as literature with mixed instrumentation is available to students of all levels. Within interdisciplinary chamber music, student levels and interests are assessed and matched, creating the ideal learning environment. At the end of each semester, a public performance is presented in the Moores Opera House. 



The strings chamber music course offers a variety of instrumental combinations and repertoire, primarily string quartets. Ensembles may also include piano trios, quartets and quintets, as well as combinations with wind instruments. Groups are coached one hour per week. Group rehearsals should average three hours a week preparation. Group members are encouraged to develop responsible practice habits through individual preparation and effective rehearsal techniques. Performance opportunities include the studio classes, Tuesday one o'clock concerts, student recitals, and the chamber music recital at the end of each semester.


Winds Division 

Chamber Music at the school encourages woodwind and brass students to explore the realm of music written for all combinations of instruments. The Quintet, Quartet, & Tand trio literature are emphasized as well as works for mixed area ensembles, such as  including String, Vvocal and Keyboard performers. Ensemble groups are formed each semester based on the instrumentation available. Previously formed ensembles are encouraged to enroll together. All students participate in a recital near the close end of the semester, and many students also program pieces they have studied on their own recitals.


AURA Contemporary Ensemble 

Under the direction of Rob Smith, the AURA Contemporary Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of chamber music composed in the last two decades. In addition to serving as a training ground for performers interested in careers performing contemporary music, the ensemble serves to present students, faculty and the community with innovative programs that represent the latest classical music trends and styles. 


“Diversity, collaboration, and outreach are the core components of the chamber music program at the Moores School of Music. As a student, I had the opportunity to explore many unique genres and contemporary repertoire. We were not limited to collaborating solely with musicians from our instrument family. As a string player, I often performed with winds, vocalists, and occasionally percussionists. And we were given many ways to share our music with the community, from local retirement homes, to churches, schools, hospitals, and even city events. The program empowered me with the versatility, global awareness, and skills of a chamber musician.” - Kyle Rivera (‘19)