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Sat, Feb 24



Orchestral masterclass with Aralee Dorough

Feb 17 Deadline for performers. Auditors may register up until the date of the event.

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Orchestral masterclass with Aralee Dorough
Orchestral masterclass with Aralee Dorough

Time & Location

Feb 24, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST


About the Event

You may audit or audition to perform in the masterclass.  Three to four performers will be chosen from recordings uploaded during registration.  If you are not chosen to perform, you are encouraged to attend as an auditor.

Checklists for Orchestral Excerpt Practice with Houston Symphony Principal Flutist Aralee Dorough  —- Checklists are useful for many things, big and small: “Phone, Keys, Wallet.” Pilots go through extensive checklists before taking to the air. You can develop your own checklist for orchestra repertoire study, whether you are just starting to learn about it “what things do I need to know about each piece?” or are already spending hours honing in on one specific list of repertoire. Have you checked the intonation between the E natural in the beginning and the one at the end lately?  You won’t necessarily notice it as you play, but an audition committee will. I will give you some ideas on how to zoom in and out on your repertoire using lists, so that you can both make practicing more interesting and make your improvement more well rounded. We’ll also talk about the 4 components of breathing and how you can systematically apply these to your orchestral repertoire.

—Aralee Dorough

Aralee Dorough began her tenure with the Houston Symphony as second flute in 1985, becoming the orchestra’s principal flutist in 1991. Dorough teaches orchestral repertoire at the Texas Music Festival and the Festival-Institute at Round Top and is an affiliate artist on the faculty of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston.

She first appeared as a soloist with the Houston Symphony performing Mozart’s Concerto in C Major for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra with internationally-renowned harpist, Marisa Robles, and led by then-Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, for the 1992–93 season Opening Night gala concert. Dorough also performed Mozart’s Concerto in G Major with Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony in 1993 for a triple CD set released by IMP Records in 1994, and again in concert in 2004 under former Music Director Hans Graf. Her latest performance of the popular D major flute concerto completed her personal “Mozart cycle.”

Dorough gave the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s concerto, Flute Moon in 1999, which was commissioned by the Houston Symphony and broadcasted live on PBS. In 2003, she gave the U.S. premiere of a Salvador Brotons’s concerto, which Brotons himself conducted for the National Flute Association Convention. In 2006, Dorough and Houston Symphony colleagues presented the premiere of a chamber work by composer Gabriela Frank on a collaborative program between the Houston Symphony and the Da Camara Society. Other solo appearances with the Symphony have included Quantz’s Concerto in G major with conductor Nicholas McGegan and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with conductor Joshua Rifkin and violinist Eric Halen.

An avid chamber player and contemporary music performer, Dorough has played with the Houston Symphony Chamber Players, whose recording of Schoenberg’s Quintet for Winds on the Koch label has been met with critical acclaim. She has also performed with the Da Camera Society of Houston, The Foundation for Modern Music, Musiqa, the Festival-Institute at Round Top, and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival in collaboration with Christoph Eschenbach at the piano. Dorough can be heard on over 20 Houston Symphony recordings and performances aired on PBS and American Public Media’s Performance Today, and she has worked with a distinguished roster of conductors and guest artists including Eric Leinsdorf, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, and Yo-Yo Ma.

She also collaborated with her father, jazz artist and Schoolhouse Rock composer Bob Dorough, on The Houston Branch CD project in 2005, available at The album features Dorough along with her husband, father, and three of Houston’s top jazz musicians performing standard tunes and her father’s originals, including one of her own compositions. Because of her father, Dorough has been peripherally involved with jazz and studio work throughout her career, including a speaking part on “My Hero Zero” for ABC TV’s Schoolhouse Rock at age nine.

Dorough received her undergraduate degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1983, where she studied with master teacher Robert Willoughby and met her future husband, Houston Symphony oboist Colin Gatwood. She continued her studies as a graduate student at the Yale School of Music where she worked with renowned teacher, the late Thomas Nyfenger.

Along with their son, Corin, Dorough and her husband enjoy traveling, most recently on the Houston Symphony’s The Planets–An HD Odyssey tour to the UK. They also participated in the Walled City Music Festival in Derry, Ireland.


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