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.
Schreiner Department of Music welcomes Dr. Jennifer Clark, viola & strings!
Jennifer Cahill Clark is thrilled to join Schreiner University this spring as the new adjunct professor of viola and strings. She received her PhD in Music Education from the University of North Texas where she was Viola Assistant to Dr. Susan Dubois and researched the relationship between musical self-efficacy and string student success while examining deliberate practice. Her Viola Performance degrees are from Texas Christian University as well as UNT. Jennifer is principal viola of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and interim principal viola of Schreiner’s own Symphony of the Hills.
Jennifer’s past orchestra experience includes the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Irving Orchestra, the Plano Chamber Orchestra, and others. She was principal and assistant principal in the East Texas Symphony, the Laredo Philharmonic, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. In the past Jennifer substituted in the Ft. Worth Symphony as well as our local San Antonio Symphony.
Jennifer has studied and performed chamber music extensively throughout her career, including recitals in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Austin, Denton, Vermont, and Colorado. A fairly recent performance in Corpus Christi was part of the Corpus Christi Chamber Music Society Series, featuring principal players of the CCSO, and included Concertmaster Dr. Elisabeth Adkins, Texas Christian University Professor of Violin and former Assoc. Concertmaster of the National Symphony. In addition to working with Dr. Dubois, Jennifer has studied with Dr. George Papich, Joni Baczewski, and Tom Demer, and had master classes or coaching sessions with Karen Tuttle, Heidi Castleman, Glen Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, and Virginia Baron. She has attended music festivals in Vermont and Colorado, including the Manchester and Killington Music Festivals.
Currently Jennifer is the Fine Arts Coordinator and Orchestra Director at NISD’s Health Careers High School. She truly enjoys working with the bright young, talented students at HCHS. Her orchestras and individual students have won many awards and earned top scores at competitions, including several all-state students and outstanding solo performers at TSSEC (Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest). Her past teaching positions include, Assistant Professor of Viola and String Education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she helped Dr. Eugene Dowdy with the String Division and the UTSA String Project, Texas A&M International University, Laredo Community College, Boerne ISD, and Laredo ISD.
Jennifer resides in San Antonio with her husband, two boys, and their two rescue dogs. Her husband teaches economics at NEISD’s Roosevelt HS, Matthew attends NISD’s Communications Arts HS, and Robert is attending Wanke Elementary School. Matthew is an artist, hoping to pursue animation art in the near future, and Robert is in his school choir, and taking piano and cello lessons.