The Houston Symphony has appointed four string players as part of Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musicians, an initiative announced earlier this year. The four musicians/educators will focus on enhancing the orchestra’s education and community-engagement activities while also performing in approximately 25 Houston Symphony concerts each year. The first group of embedded musicians will consist of JENNA BARGHOUTI, violin; DAVID D. CONNOR, double bass; ANTHONY PARCE, viola; and HELLEN WEBERPAL, cello. Beginning in fall 2015 they will spend most of their time in schools, neighborhoods, and health-care settings. In addition to participating in a wellness program, they will be heavily involved in activities designed to boost problem-solving, critical thinking, and essential life skills in area students.
Jenna Barghouti has taught violin to underserved children in her native Palestine and in Bloomington, Indiana, where she received a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and is currently pursuing a diploma in violin performance from Jacobs. She is fully bilingual in Arabic and English.
Bassist David Connor has worked with children with neurological disorders at The Monarch School in Houston as a fellow in the Da Camera of Houston Young Artist Program. He has taught in the New World Symphony’s exchange program with Colombia’s Medellin Philharmonic Academy (AMFED) and participated in Classical Revolution, an international organization that brings chamber music to accessible locations such as bars and clubs. He holds a master’s degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Violist Anthony Parce is a former member of the New World Symphony who also participated in its AMFED exchange program. Fluent in Spanish, he holds degrees from New England Conservatory and from the Shepherd School of Music.
Hellen Weberpal has served as substitute cellist with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Ballet, and like Connor is a former fellow in the Da Camera of Houston Young Artist Program. She has extensive experience as a teacher and coach in Houston-area schools and offers private lessons to a wide variety of students, including those with neurological disorders and autism. Weberpal holds a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and a master’s from the Shepherd School of Music.
Posted August 4, 2015