Our Year at Verreaux

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

A note from our Executive Director, Andrew White:

Dear Friends!

As this year comes to a close, I've taken a moment to reflect on how far we've come and how much we've accomplished. And I'm pleased with what I see. In less than a year, the Verreaux Team launched a new brand new 501(c)(3) non-profit, designed a season full of inspiring programs populated with some of the most talented young artists who will serve as the next generation's great artistic leaders, and created a community to join us in celebrating the full breadth of the artistic masterworks of the classical music repertory, from romantic piano trios to contemporary works for voice (coming up on February 23rd!)

I'm proud of the work that the Verreaux team has done to create meaningful experiences for our audience. But not all of the work that we do is immediately visible. Not only have we built the critical infrastructure necessary for our current work and planned and implemented an amazing season with great concerts and inspiring performers, but we have also begun preparing for the long-term health of this organization. As many of you may know, the Verreaux Collective was founded and is run by students at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. This gives us a key advantage in that we have a rich pool of incredibly knowledgeable, dedicated candidates to draw upon for the management of this organization. This fall, we welcomed two new members to the Verreaux team: Lauren Ross and Allison Smith. These freshmen have already made a deep impact on our operations and will continue to be invaluable for the long-term health of the organization. We are grateful for their commitment and excited about their contribution to the audience experience.

We’re excited for the work that has already been done, but we are even more enthusiastic about the work that lies before us. The Verreaux Collective aims to be the Woodlands’ premier choice for classical music. Verreaux is fortunate to have access to a body of young professionals who chose the Shepherd School of Music above Juilliard and Colburn and now study at one of the nation’s finest conservatories. This high level of music that we present to audiences will cement Verreaux as a cultural lynchpin of The Woodlands. In time, this will expand beyond our own concerts to include educational work with schools in The Woodlands and amateur musicians, all broadening and deepening meaningful connections which would not have been possible without Verreaux.

Like any nonprofit, we rely immensely on the support of our community to bring these amazing programs to life. If you’ve ever liked or shared one of our posts on Facebook, you’ve already helped us get the word out! We want as many people as possible to know of the incredible music that we make right here in The Woodlands. So please! Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Help us spread the word about what we’re doing here. I firmly believe that our audience is the best advertisement we can get, because it was your passion that has brought us this far, and it’s your passion that will carry us onward. If you would like to help spread our promotional materials (fliers for our concerts and season information cards) or know of any person or place who would like to have them, please let us know so we can make that happen.

The Verreaux Collective also relies on your financial support to make these concerts possible. The ensembles that you see cost an average of $800/concert. We’re lucky to be getting in on the ground floor of these performer’s careers. As soon as the rest of the world discovers them, these musicians will cost untold thousands. (Though we’re a little late with both Dominic Rotella who recently won the principal horn position at the Richmond Symphony and Alexandra Smither — coming February 23rd—who has already performed with Emanuel Ax and the Houston Grand Opera, and has toured across Canada).

We also rely on your support to fund the cost of the venue and the printed materials that make these concerts special. Lord of Life Lutheran Church has been an amazing, gracious host. Their support has been instrumental in our success, and we are lucky to have found such a great partner. Nevertheless, the cost for renting their sanctuary is $500 a concert. Printed materials (including programs and advertising) cost roughly another $200 each concert.

Every donation to the Verreaux Collective makes an outsized impact on this community. $1500 dollars might not be a lot for the Houston Grand Opera, but for us, that’s funding for a whole concert. If you know or are associated with any companies looking to make an impact in the cultural life of their community, you will not find a more meaningful and effective way to do that than through the Verreaux Collective.

We can’t wait to show you all that we have planned for the coming season and the years beyond, but for now, on behalf of the whole Verreaux team, I’d like to wish you a very Happy Holidays!


Andrew White

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