Houston Matters

Texas Music Festival: Boot Camp For Budding Classical Music Professionals

Houston Matters talks about the TMF’s 25th season.

Since 1990, young orchestral musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 have gathered at the University of Houston to spend four weeks honing their craft and training for possible careers as professional musicians. The program, called the Texas Music Festival, runs throughout the month of June and features numerous public performances throughout the month.

Student musicians at the Texas Music Festival
Student musicians at the Texas Music Festival

This year, the Texas Music Festival is celebrating its 25th season, and many musicians who’ve participated over the years have gone on to successful classical music careers, including Amanda Swain, a Houston native who came back to Houston to become the principal bassoonist for the Houston Grand Opera and second bassoonist for the Houston Ballet. She spoke with Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty along with Alan Austin, the festival’s artistic and general director who himself was a student in the first Texas Music Festival 25 years ago.

Austin says the festival has become a valuable training ground for musicians on the cusp of their professional careers.


Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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