Announcing 2023-2024 Rainwater Grant Winners


March 7, 2024

A group portrait of students holding their instruments

We are delighted to announce this years' recipients of the 2023-2024 Rainwater Grants. We'd like to thank the selection committee for their hard work in selecting these six winners. The Butler School of Music launched the Rainwater Fund for American Music in 2017, after a $5 million endowment was created by the late UT alumnus Richard E. Rainwater.  

Dimitris Gkoulimaris (PhD), $5,000 grantCourt-ing Community: Music of the Ottoman Court, 1690-1710  

Objective: To host renowned Greek performer and teacher Evgenios Voulgaris for a six-day residency that will include a seminar, capstone recital, and guest lectures. Together with Voulgaris, this project will explore the intercommunal musical world of the court of Istanbul at the turn of the 18th century. Gkoulimaris hopes to bring an underrepresented musical system (Ottoman makam modality), repertoire (early Ottoman court music), and pedagogical method (orality) to the BSoM community as well as to diasporic Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Eastern European and Middle Eastern communities in the larger Austin area.  

Xu, Yilin (BM), $5,000 grantSongs of the Era: Shanghai Jazz Project

Objective: to revive the underrepresented music genre, known as Shanghai Jazz, that emerged in 1920s-era Shanghai, China. The project will feature two live multimedia concerts with several Shanghai Jazz songs rescored into Western notation for a jazz band, as well as Chinese music history lectures and a history exhibition on the evolution of qipao. Xu strives to promote cultural understanding and appreciation of Asian artists and their contributions to the world of music by presenting this unique music genre that fuses both Western music and Chinese folk tunes.  

Lauren Casey-Clyde (DMA), $4,500Celebrating Solo Works for Trombone by Female Composers

Objective: to produce high-quality video video recordings of three solo trombone pieces that are rarely performed: Yvonne Desportes’s Fantasy, Hedwige Chrétien’s Grand Solo, and Jeanine Reuff’s Rhapsody. With a focus on French female composers, this project seeks to diversify the canon of solo trombone music. The grant will also fund live trombone performances at conferences, creating visibility and improving representation of careers for women in trombone.

Hannah Neuhauser (PhD), $3,000 grantThe Hums of Childhood: Companion Database

Objective: a public musicological lecture recital to promote songs of children’s literature from the Harry Ransom Center collections. The performance will be recorded live at the Austin Public Library and uploaded to the American Musicological Society Childhood and Youth Studies Group database. The project is designed to expand the scholarship on children’s music and address a transdisciplinary intersection that has yet to be fully developed in the fields of musicology and comparative media studies. The grant will also provide Neuhauser an opportunity to create recordings of children’s music that have become nearly inaccessible since their inception.  

Alex Molina Shawver (DMA), $5,000 grant —  [Drag Queen]’s Guide to the Orchestra

Objective: to create a fun, educational, musical twist on “drag queen story time.” The project seeks to integrate the everyday art of drag with the typically academic disciplines of classical music performance by putting a spin on a practice that normalizes and celebrates queer expression and identity for young people. A drag performer will orate an original kid-friendly tale, incorporating introductions to each instrument and fun musical facts, while the live orchestra plays to augment the storytelling experience. Shawver will compose and conduct an original score to accompany the drag performer’s reading. The story will highlight instrumental families and feature a narrative about uniqueness, community, and cooperation.

Brandon L. Foskett (BM), $1,100 grantunmUTe: The University of Texas Undergraduate Music E-Journal

Objective: to create a digital undergraduate music journal. The project is aimed at providing undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Austin a new platform to demonstrate their passions and scholarship on various musical subjects. unmUTe will provide undergraduates an accessible, in-house journal where they can submit their coursework, term papers, and other unique passions for publication at the end of the academic year.


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