HOUSTON (CW39) – Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the Houston Symphony are teaming up to create a new pilot program. It’s called The Shepherd School–Houston Symphony Brown Foundation Community-Embedded Musician Fellowship. The annual fellowship will give one Rice Graduate student the chance to develop community engagement skills under the guidance of the Symphony’s Community-Embedded Musicians (CEMs) and Education and Community Engagement staff. The apprentice will learn to work with children and other populations from Houston’s underserved communities. The fellowship extends through December 2021, at which point the Fellowship will be evaluated before moving forward with choosing the next Fellow.
“It was great to know that the MUSE taskforce viewed our CEM program as a model for engaging with underserved communities in Greater Houston, and that they wanted to partner with us in this pilot program. It will allow both institutions to broaden and deepen the impact of this critical work.”Houston Symphony Executive Director, John Mangum
Fellowship gives them the opportunity to send more musicians out into the orchestra world with a passion to continue to do community engagement work, while giving the Shepherd School the opportunity to fully prepare musicians with the skills demanded of a full-time musician in an American orchestra.
Double bassist Joseph Nuñez is currently the inaugural CEM Fellow. Nuñez studied at the University of North Texas and the Colburn Conservatory before attending the Shepherd School where he studies with former Houston Symphony Principal Bass Timothy Pitts. He also has played with the New World Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and participated in the Aspen Music Festival.