The Schreiner String and Orchestra program is looking for students who wish to continue their performance life on and off campus with options from a full Symphony Orchestra to string chamber ensembles, including service projects bringing music to those in need.
The program is open to any major, including Music majors. Students with diverse career paths will find that continuing their love of string instrument performance at Schreiner will enrich their personal and professional lives. Schreiner offers engagement scholarships to qualified string players regardless of major.
String students can audition and perform with the Symphony of the Hills, a local professional orchestra that plays in the beautiful Kathleen Cailloux Theater in Kerrville. They offer five full concert performances per academic year and rehearse on the Schreiner University campus. Students also have on-campus performance opportunities with the String Orchestra, and chamber music programs.
Music masterclasses will be held with string students observing and participating with guest artists and string faculty on and off campus!
Eugene (Gene) Dowdy is Coordinator of Strings and Special Programs at Schreiner University and Conductor and Artistic Director of the Symphony of the Hills in Kerrville, Texas. Dowdy served for 23 years as director of orchestral studies and instrumental conducting at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and, upon his retirement in 2019, was named Professor Emeritus. Dowdy was the assistant conductor of the Mid-Texas Symphony from 2009-2013 under David Mairs, and also guest conducted the Camerata de Coahuila, the state orchestra of Coahuila, Mexico.
Dr. Dowdy has collaborated with outstanding artists in prestigious venues across the United States and in Europe including appearances with the Brubeck family of Jazz musicians, internationally-acclaimed Baroque violinist Rachel Podger, the progressive rock band KANSAS, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, and in world premieres of numerous orchestral and operatic works. The UTSA Orchestra, under Dowdy’s direction, performed as the featured university orchestra at the 2017 TMEA Convention, and has performed by invitation and on tour in Texas, Mexico, and Italy.
Dowdy grew up as the youngest of four children in a musical family, and began violin studies with Achille DiRusso in Corpus Christi, Texas. His parents both completed college degrees as they raised children. Dowdy received the doctoral degree in orchestral conducting with James Dixon at the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in music education from UTSA with Donald Hodges, and the bachelor’s degree from UT Austin, where he was awarded a Performance Certificate in Violin, studying with Vince Frittelli, and taught in the University of Texas String Project under Phyllis Young. He taught award-winning public school orchestras for nine years in San Antonio’s NEISD, conducted orchestras for nine summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and continues to serves as honorary Resident Conductor of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Dowdy is past president of both the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and the Texas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and a former executive director of the National String Project Consortium.
Dowdy is an active guest conductor, having appeared with orchestras and festivals around the United States (Texas, Florida, Alaska, Wyoming, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Iowa), and in Mexico, Austria, France, and Italy. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies including the American Federation of Musicians (Local 23), Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota (Friend of the Arts), and Mu Omicron. Gene and his wife Stacy have two daughters; Jessica Lopez, a piano-playing pastry chef, and Rachel Dowdy, an orchestra director and cellist in the Symphony of the Hills.