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Scholarships & Financial Aid

The SHSU School of Music offers substantial music scholarships based on your entrance audition. In addition, there are other scholarships that can be earned while attending Sam Houston based on merit, GPA and service to the University.

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Audition Requirements

See Our Facilities!

SHSU Music Facilities


String Area Faculty


Javier Pinell, violin

Naomi Gjevre, violin
Dawson White, viola
Daniel Saenz, cello
Deborah Dunham, double bass
Lex Valk, double bass
Alejandro Montiel, guitar
Paula Page, harp


Why pursue music studies at SHSU?

The School of Music, with its numerous resources available to students, is a unique place to pursue a music degree. The most valuable part of the program is the combination of the individual attention that students receive from their teachers with the feeling of community and camaraderie that comes with a close-knit group of students. String studios provide a supportive and nurturing atmosphere in which students are afforded opportunities to perform and receive feedback from their teachers and peers.

Sam Houston State University’s low tuition and fees make it one of the most affordable colleges in the country (http://www.shsu.edu/admissions/cost.html), while providing excellent instruction from internationally renowned artist-faculty in a setting combined with world class-facilities.

We are proud to say that job placement rate of our Music Education graduates approaches 100%! 

Training opportunities include:

  • Weekly lessons
  • Symphony Orchestra
    The Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra has a long and distinguished tradition of orchestral performance in East Texas and around the world. The 75-member ensemble performs six concerts each season in Huntsville and has toured internationally in the last several years. Recent tours have included Hungary and the Czech Republic, the People's Republic of China and Puerto Rico. The orchestra frequently performs with distinguished guest soloists, guest conductors and choral ensembles, and their repertoire includes a broad spectrum of symphonic literature, including contemporary music and opera.
  • SHSU Sinfonietta
    The SHSU Sinfonietta is a select ensemble that consists of up to twenty instrumentalists. The ensemble focuses on the chamber orchestra repertoire of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary periods. In addition, the group collaborates with the choral and opera programs at SHSU, and performs on and off campus.
  • Chamber Music
    Students receive training in all aspects of their musicianship in the ideal medium of chamber music. Chamber ensembles receive at least a one-hour weekly coaching and also participate in master classes with visiting artists. On average, we have 12 chamber groups each semester including various combinations of string, keyboard, and woodwind instruments.
  • Huntsville Youth Orchestra Program
    The Huntsville Youth Orchestra is a nonprofit corporation chartered by the State of Texas. Its purpose is to encourage young students (ages 7-18) in the Huntsville area to develop their talents and offer them the opportunity to learn a string instrument and play in an orchestra. In combination with the SHSU School of Music, this program also serves as an ideal teacher-training program for SHSU music students. Music majors provide the training for the entire corpus of HYO students under the supervision of HYO Director, Dr. Naomi Gjevre, and SHSU string music faculty. Music majors get “hands-on” experience teaching private lessons, coaching chamber music, and conducting in one of the four orchestras in the program. In addition, SHSU students learn organizational skills in the multi-faceted process of running an arts organization. These include choosing appropriate repertoire, planning logistics, meeting with parents, helping with outreach and publicity, recruiting endeavors, etc.
  • Studio Class
    Each professor holds studio class on a weekly basis. These meetings provide regular performance opportunities and professional feedback for all students enrolled in applied lessons. Studio classes can also be used as a platform for addressing and discussing aspects of instrumental technique, facets of the profession, and viewing documentary and archival films of great master performers and teachers.
  • Orchestral Excerpt Forum
    Students may participate in an Orchestral Excerpt Forum where they learn and discuss standard orchestral repertory required for professional orchestral auditions. This forum includes a mock-audition at the end of each semester.
  • Master Classes
    Each semester the School of Music hosts a number of guest artist/teachers to perform concerts and/or present master classes. Recent guests include Dylana Jenson (violin), Kenneth Goldsmith (violin), James Dunham (viola), Dr. Kathyryn Steely (viola), Pamela Frame (cello), and Brinton Smith (cello).
  • Music Library
    Access to our extensive Music Library and its many collections of scores, journals, books, recordings, DVDs, etc.
  • Freelance
    Opportunities for freelance work abound in Huntsville and the nearby Houston metropolitan area. Through faculty guidance and contacts, students can be assisted in securing private lesson teaching positions and freelance work.

School of Music
Sam Houston State University
1751 Avenue I, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: 936-294-1360


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