rice has, over the past decade or so, been working hard to elevate their music school to national prominence and their efforts have succeeded. during the months of summer between school terms there aren't any events usually scheduled. but during the school year there are events most every evening of the week. some highlights: the yearly piano competition, the ima hogg competition, visiting conductors, musicians and educators, the school orchestra...and student performances for completion of their degree requirements. the energy and level of musicianship is outstanding. most events are free. inexpensive and ample parking (using a credit card) is right next to the school. the shepherd scool is gaining a reputation as a premier institution of higher music education in the usa and i don't think most locals have any idea of this. i've attended a lot of events there and have not been disappointed.
Pros: excellent musicianship, quality of events, enthusiasm or performers