About Us

The Informed Flutist is a 5 day intensive workshop for aspiring orchestral players and is generously hosted by the Texas Music Festival on the campus of the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

Created by Aralee Dorough,  (Principal Flutist of the Houston Symphony and Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston), The Informed Flutist is open to flutists  18 years of age and older. Participants study the orchestral repertoire and solo flute pieces with the goal of gaining a broader perspective on the music, the audition process, and their individual playing.

The faculty enjoy a “tag team” approach aimed at sharing as much information as possible and seek to create an informal and supportive learning atmosphere.

Mock auditions are used as laboratories for participants to test their current skills, as well as experience listening to audition rounds the way a hiring committee does.  A demonstration final round gives a glimpse into the all important “end game” of the audition process and the deliberations which take place there. The closing session of the class is held on the stage of the Moores Opera House and provides a chance to  project one’s musical ideas with clarity in the acoustics of a large concert hall.

For The Informed Flutist 2017 we have expanded the Workshop portion of the schedule to give each participant more time with each faculty member (see SCHEDULE page).

Past classes have included participants who have already won orchestral auditions and are working professionally. However, players just embarking on orchestral repertoire study, as well as flutists who primarily work as teachers, are just as welcome. From orchestral duo sessions lead by Aralee Dorough, to the breathing expertise of Keith Underwood, to the Historically Informed Performance approach brought by Leela Briethaupt, and the musicianship of soloist Sergio Pallottelli, there will be many different pathways presented towards improving one’s own playing.

“In the end, the repertoire is just a vehicle for becoming a better flutist—a flutist who feels the music more deeply, thanks to an ever widening base of knowledge—that is, a flutist who enjoys playing!  Come learn and share with us this June, 2017!  Become an Informed Flutist!”

–Aralee Dorough


The  Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival founded in 1990, is an intensive four-week orchestral fellowship program on the University of Houston campus. Every summer an orchestra of college, graduate and young professional musicians (players age 18-30) are selected to receive full tuition fellowships. For 4 weeks the fellowship orchestra rehearses and presents orchestral programs, and works with professional musician faculty in lessons, masterclasses and chamber music coaching. Faculty are from the Moores and Shepherd schools of music, the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Ballet orchestras and other distinguished orchestras and music schools.

In addition, the Texas Music Festival plays host to 4 other summer institutes which meet independently on campus during the course of the festival – the Institute of Bel Canto Studies, the High School Piano Institute and the High School  Jazz Institute, and The Informed Flutist.

Participants in the Informed Flutist Orchestral Repertoire Camp will have the unique opporunity to listen to a performance by the TMF orchestra at the University of Houston’s concert hall, the Moores Opera House, on Saturday, June 17, 2017  (program below). The final session of The Informed Flutist, on Day 5, will be held on the stage of the Moores Opera House, giving players a chance to explore the acoustic challenges of a large hall.