Orchestra Fellow Information - University of Houston
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Orchestra Fellow 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 Orchestra Fellows 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. Orchestra Fellows are housed at Cougar Village I.


  • Arrival, Registration & Dorm Check-In: Saturday, June 6, 2020, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m., Cougar Village I (4385 Cougar Village, Houston, TX 77004) Orchestra Fellows living off-campus must pick up their packet during registration on June 6. TMF is unable to accomodate early arrival before June 6. 
  • Orientation: Saturday, June 6, 2020, 5:30 p.m., Moores Opera House. All Orchestra Fellows are required to attend.
  • Welcome BBQ: Saturday, June 6, 2020, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Moores School of Music Room 185.  Catered for entire orchestra and will be the only meal served that day.  Orchestra Fellows staying on-campus are responsible for breakfast and lunch on June 6, but there are dining options on the UH campus and nearby.
  • Placement Auditions: Sunday, June 7, 2020, 10 a.m., various studios. Orchestra seating placement will be decided through brief auditions for violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, and percussion. 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.

    Specific excerpts may be listed for some auxiliary instruments. While these excerpts are not required, if you want to play a particular part, you should plan to play that excerpt. All auxiliary instrument responsibilities/opportunities will be shared in each section. Please see below under "Auxiliary Instruments" for more information.

    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, June 27, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Moores Opera House.
  • Departure: Sunday, June 28, 2020 (dorm check-out must take place NO LATER THAN 12 p.m.) Housing on-campus is not available after June 27.


  • All fees are NON-REFUNDABLE and payable by credit card via Acceptd
  • Application Fee: $80 (due with TMF Application Form)
  • Tuition Fee: $0 (all Orchestra Fellows receive a fellowship that covers tuition and weekly lessons—valued at $3500)
  • Registration Fee: $400 (due with TMF Acceptance Form by March 30, 2020)
  • Housing Fee: $400 (due with TMF Acceptance Form by March 30, 2020). For Orchestra Fellows requiring housing and meals during TMF.  Fee includes double-occupancy dorm room on-campus and three meals per day in UH cafeteria. NOTE: Orchestra Fellows who do not select this option are responsible for arranging their own off-campus housing and meals and must also have reliable transportation to/from campus.
  • DS2019 Request Fee: $250 (for Orchestra Fellows requiring J-1 visa to attend TMF.  Due with TMF Acceptance Form by March 30, 2020). Fee includes DS2019 from the University of Houston, international express mailing costs, and health insurance, but excludes SEVIS, visa and any consular fees.
  • Parking Permit Fee: $60 (due with TMF Registration Form by May 1, 2020)
  • Linen Packet Fee: $25 (due with TMF Registration Form by May 1, 2020)
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition Registration Fee: $30 (due with TMF Registration Form by May 1, 2020)

Security Deposit - required of all Orchestra Fellows

Security Deposit: All Orchestra Fellows are required to have a credit card on file while attending the Texas Music Festival Orchestral Institute as a security deposit. Any charges against the your account (lost music/books/keys, dorm room/equipment damage) will be charged to the credit card on file and you will be notified of any charges. In the even of unexpected departure or dismissal for any reason, $250 will be charged to the credit card on file, and the you may be charged for reimbursement of housing costs.

Transportation/Arrival and Departure Information

You are responsible for providing/arranging your own transportation to the festival. Cougar Village I is the registration, dorm check-in and housing site for the festival, and it is located on the University of Houston Campus at 4385 Cougar Village Drive, Houston, TX 77004-7002.

Flying to/from Houston: Houston has two large international airports with many direct flights from all over the US and the world—Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) or Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). Cabs Lyft and Uber are readily available at both airports. Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) is the closest airport to the University of Houston campus, but either airport is convenient for travel. The Greyhound Bus station, located just outside of downtown Houston, is also not far from campus, and requires only a short cab, Lyft or Uber ride to Cougar Village.

Plan your arrival flight time to arrive at dorm check-in on Saturday, June 6 from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. Include travel time from the airport to Cougar Village I — cabs, Lyft and Uber are readily available at both IAH and HOU airports. IAH to Cougar Village I is approximately a 45-minute ride. HOU to Cougar Village I is approximately a 25-minute ride. Traffic can be heavy in Houston - be prepared for extra travel time. On departure day, you are also responsible for your own transportation to the airport on Sunday, June 28 and dorm checkout must be completed NO LATER THAN 12 p.m. that day. Housing is not available after June 27.


Parking on the UH campus requires a valid parking permit at all times. Please indicate on the Registration Form via Acceptd if you need to purchase a parking permit ($60/permit, non-refundable). You will receive your parking permit at registration on June 6. The parking permit must be clearly displayed in your car at all times while parking on campus to avoid a ticket from UH Parking. The parking permit will allow you to park daily in Lot 16 (Zone B), the un-gated student parking area on the right side of the lot across from MSM. Do not park in the VISITOR metered area in the middle of Lot 16 (Zone B) or the Ungated Faculty/Staff lot on the left side – you will get ticketed if you park in any of these lots, even with the parking permit. Parking at Cougar Village is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis in Lot 4A adjacent to Moody Towers or Lot 9C (Conference Zones D & E) by the Quadrangle.


Orchestra Fellows who require housing during TMF are housed on-campus at Cougar Village I in a double-occupancy room as part of a two-room suite (four people per suite – no single rooms available). Access to Cougar Village I requires both a swipe key card to enter the building and an individual key for your room, and these items will be issued at dorm check-in. The cost for replacing a lost dorm room key is $170, which will be charged to the credit card listed on your Security Deposit form.

Linens/Laundry: You must provide your own towels, pillow, blanket, and bed linens (XL Twin) or purchase a linen packet if you are staying on-campus. Indicate on the Registration Form via Acceptd if you wish to purchase a linen packet for $25 (non-refundable and advance purchase only – linen packets will not be available for purchase at dorm check-in). Linen packets include 1 pillow, 1 pillow case, 1 large towel, 1 small towel, 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet and 1 blanket. You will receive your linen packet at dorm check-in on June 6. Linen packets must be returned at dorm checkout on June 28 to avoid charges to the card listed on your Security Deposit form. It is recommended to bring something warm to sleep in and/or an extra blanket of your own as the dorms are air-conditioned and may be cold for some. Free laundry facilities are located in Cougar Village but you must provide your own detergent.

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

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

    You MUST include “TMF Orchestral Institute” at the top of the address, otherwise mail and packages will not be delivered. Please limit the number of packages that you expect to receive while at TMF. Mail is not delivered to the dorms and the MSM main office is closed on weekends. The delivery time on the UH campus is much slower than normal delivery—allow extra time to receive mail or packages. It is not recommended to have mail sent to you during the last week (June 22-27)—it may not arrive before the final Friday (June 26), and mail received after June 26 will be “returned to sender.”


UH Campus Dining Services provides three daily meals for Orchestra Fellows living on-campus. Meals are served in Moody Towers Dining Commons, the dorm directly adjacent to Cougar Village I. The first meal served will be dinner at the Welcome BBQ on June 6 (catered for the entire orchestra) and the last meal will be breakfast on June 28.

Orchestra Fellows living off-campus are responsible for their own meals and there are several dining options on-campus and nearby for lunch. 


Houston’s weather in June is very warm, but all buildings on the UH campus are air-conditioned and can be quite cool. It is recommended to bring clothes that can be layered to ensure comfort. Casual dress is in order except for concerts. Appropriate concert dress is REQUIRED for Festival Orchestra Series performances – be sure to pack the following items:.
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 (regular jacket, no tails), black bow tie, white dress shirt, black dress socks, and black dress shoes.

Lockers and Insurance

You will be assigned a locker for your instrument in the MSM Building. Lockers are assigned based on instrument/case size, and combination locks will be provided. Locker assignment information will be given to you at check-in/registration. Please indicate on the Orchestra Fellow Information Form if your instrument case is not a standard size (especially violins or violas) and a larger locker is required. Please also bring a folding music stand for your convenience. Music stands will be available in each practice room, but they should not be removed or moved to different rooms in MSM under any circumstances.

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 19 – 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.

Week 1 Music Assignments

TMF librarians will email all parts for Week 1 to you by mid-May (wind, brass, and percussion assignments for this piece will be made in advance, based on the preliminary audition). All violins will receive Violin I parts—your placement audition will determine section and seating. Originals of all Week 1 music will be available to pick up at the TMF Library on June 6. All Orchestra Fellows are expected to have all assigned Week 1 parts prepared upon arrival in Houston.

Auxiliary Instruments

All auxiliary instrument responsibilities/opportunities will be shared in each section:

  • All flute participants are expected to bring a piccolo, if you have one.
  • All oboe participants are expected to bring an English horn, if you have one, and reeds and the equipment needed to make new English horn reeds. Bring a device for supporting the weight of the instrument, if needed.
  • In addition to B-flat and A instruments, all clarinet participants are also expected to bring E-flat and bass clarinet instruments, reeds, and/or mouthpieces, if you have one.
  • All bassoon participants are expected to bring a contrabassoon, if you have one, and contrabassoon reeds and equipment to make new reeds. Bring a device for supporting the weight of the contrabassoon, if needed.


The University of Houston campus, indoors and out, is designated SMOKE FREE. Accordingly, smoking is not permitted anywhere on campus.

Medical Care

Urgent care services are available at the UH Campus Health Center during weekday business hours. You can make an appointment as a visitor and you are responsible for all fees and/or filing any insurance claims. Any illness requiring a visit to an Emergency or Urgent Care clinic can be arranged by contacting the TMF housing staff.


University tennis courts, swimming pool and gymnasium are available to Orchestra Fellows living on-campus. Use of these facilities is at your own risk. Memberships to UH’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center are available for purchase for $65/month or $10/day. You must ask for the Texas Music Festival rate, and provide your Cougar Village dorm card and a photo ID to the staff at the Welcome Desk. For off-campus activities on free days/evenings, Houston Metro Purple Line, Uber or Lyft are options to get around town.

Houston Metro Purple Line

Houston Metro Rail’s Purple Line route offers service between the UH campus and downtown Houston. The UH South/University Oaks station is located near Cougar Village on Wheeler Street. Purple Line route map and more information about how to ride Houston Metro Rail may be found on http://www.ridemetro.org/Pages/PurpleLine.aspx

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition

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


Competitors may only compete with a movement from a standard work from the CLASSICAL ERA (1730-1820) for instrument and orchestra (one movement of a concerto or one movement works are acceptable). Total length not to exceed 15 minutes, including full orchestral tuttis.

Please note: The Vanhal Double Bass Concerto, Mvt. I, and Fischer Symphony with Eight Obbligato Timpani have been performed during the last two seasons. Competitors may not compete with either of these pieces for the 2020 Competition due to programming issues.

Contact the TMF Office if you have questions about if your piece is eligible for the competition.

  • All competitors must pay the $30 non-refundable registration fee to compete (indicate on the Registration Form). Competitors who drop out of the competition with less than 48 hours notice will be charged an additional $25 cancelation fee to the card listed on their security deposit form to cover accompanist expenses.  
  • Work must be performed from memory at all levels of adjudication.
  • Competitors must bring, and provide, a piano score for accompanist for the Preliminary Round. Piano score must be an orchestral reduction—no chamber music allowed.
  • Preliminary Round: Thursday, June 11, 2020, 7 p.m. Competitors will only be allowed an 8-12 minute performance time.
  • Final Round: Sunday, June 14, 2020, 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 Gerard Schwarz at the Moores Opera House on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. The winner may also be invited to appear as a soloist with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the famed Gewandhaus.

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

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.