Cowboys, cowgirls and classical music

Rice Shepherd School students perform at RodeoHouston, other venues via The Concert Truck

Shepherd School students perform at RodeoHouston

Students from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music took their show on the road March 5-7 via The Concert Truck, including a stop at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo March 6.

Visitors to the world’s largest rodeo enjoyed a change of pace from the country music that is often heard wafting throughout the rodeo grounds. Attendees enjoyed the dulcet tones of Shepherd School vocalists and instrumentalists — who were appropriately outfitted in cowboy hats and Rice rodeo-themed bandanas — as they performed selections from Mozart, Puccini, Gershwin and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

“This is an amazingly innovative project that’s bringing music from the Shepherd School and from institutions around the United States to communities who may not have access to music like this,” soprano Caitlin Aloia said. “I love catching their eye and bringing them in and hoping that our music touches them in some way.”

“As people stopped and noticed us, I felt really energized,” violinist Emily Richardson said. “I always get so much energy from the audience, and we had such a great one here today.”

Other performances were held March 5 at Alta Arts and March 7 at the Ion Houston. The events were supported by The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts.

This is the second visit to Houston for The Concert Truck, a 16-foot box truck that’s been converted into a fully functioning mobile concert hall, complete with lights, sound system and piano. More information on the traveling venue is online at