Welcome to Houston Orchestra for All!
Houston Orchestra for All (HOFA) believes that anyone who loves making music should have the opportunity to learn and grow as a musician. With that in mind, HOFA provides educational and rewarding experiences for musicians of all ages and backgrounds.
Houston Orchestra for All is a unique program dedicated to inclusive and equitable music education and performance for all. We are committed to providing access to high quality music instruction for anyone with the desire to learn. Pre-teens, teens, adults, and seniors are all invited to participate.
How it Works
How to Apply
- Fill out the application & pay the $35 application fee
- Once you fill out the form, Dr. Knight will contact you to set up an interview
- Interview with Dr. Knight
- This is an opportunity for you to meet with the musical director and discuss the orchestra. The purpose of the interview is to get to know each musician and make sure we find the best placement in the orchestra for each participant.
- While we aim to accept all participants, we want to make sure all of the instrument parts are covered and string assignments are evenly distributed.
- After the interview, you will receive a letter (email) with instructions on how to complete the registration process and pay tuition.
Weekly group class and rehearsal, Saturdays from 9:00 am-11:00 am
Fall ’22 Rehearsal Dates:
October: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
November: 5, 12, 26, no rehearsal on 11/19
Concert: December 10 during rehearsal time
Spring ’23 Tentative Dates:
Jan. 21 Meet and Greet/Open House
Rehearsals start Feb 4 last day May 6:
FEB: 4, 11, 18, 25
MARCH 4, 11, 25 no rehearsal March 18
APRIL: 1, 15, 22, 29
MAY 6 last day & concert
The Parsley Center at Strake Jesuit Preparatory School
8900 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036
Exact schedule for Spring 2023 will be announced in early November 2022.
$200 per semester + $35 application fee
Weekly group class and rehearsal
At least one performance per semester
Structure of Program
HOFA is a learning orchestra open to string players ages 11 and up. We are devoted to providing enriching musical experience for all participants.
Our orchestra is centered on learning at all levels. We have a teacher mentorship program and a service program in partnership with the Strake Jesuit/Saint Agnes Orchestra Program.
Nina Bledsoe Knight
Co-Founder & Musical Director
I started violin almost 30 years ago and added viola 11 years ago!
I started teaching private lessons in high school and have been teaching in some form ever since, so 20 years!
The people! HOFA members impress me every Saturday morning by bringing their love of music and curiosity around performing with others. I really enjoy teaching people of all ages how to play music together. It’s a joy.
I love cooking. I grew up watching and learning from my mom and Mema.
HOFA is a positive place. The energy is uplifting and encouraging. If you’ve been hesitant to join another group because you haven’t been playing for a long time. Join us! We will teach you what you need to know and connect over the joy of playing music with other people.
Senior String Faculty
I have played the violin for 25 years.
I started teaching in 2011 and have taught public school orchestra, private lessons, chamber music, and fiddle ensembles.
I love that it’s a group of people with diverse backgrounds getting together for the joy of playing music together and that the HOFA staff works to find a role for everyone who wants to participate.
A hobby of mine outside of music is painting with watercolors.
HOFA is an ensemble with an accepting and friendly environment and is open to anyone that wants to learn how to play in an ensemble. It is a great place to get your feet wet and gain confidence in playing music with others.
Brazos Music Emerging Teacher Program
The Brazos Music Emerging Teachers Program provides an opportunity for young teachers to work with musicians of all ages and hone their teaching skills under the direction of the Musical Director and Senior Teaching Faculty.
Emerging Teaching Artist
I have been playing violin for 19 years.
I began teaching in 2017, and installing a love of music and learning is my honor and joy.
I love working with HOFA because it brings me back to my early days in youth orchestra, where I played great music for fun with wonderful people.
Writing in Houston’s numerous coffee shops.
If you are a curious musician who wants the chance to play in an orchestra, then HOFA is for you!
Emerging Teaching Artist
I have been playing viola for 11 years.
I began teaching in 2016.
I really enjoy getting experience teaching other instruments besides just the viola.
Streaming TV shows and walking.
To be a part of a team-based community and to have fun make music with one another.
SJ/SAA Service Program
Members of the SJ/SAA Orchestra have the opportunity to join as tuition paying members or serve in the orchestra as volunteer service members. Service members will earn service hours for their participation in the program.*
Requirements for SJ/SAA Service Program
- Be a current member of the SJ/SAA Orchestra Program during the 2022-2023 school year
- Private lessons outside of school encouraged, but not required (Don’t have a teacher? We’ll help you find one!)
- Be available to play and serve at the majority of rehearsals and play in concerts
Conducting Assistant- position for Fall 2022 has been filled
The conducting assistant will help take attendance, help tune the orchestra, and help oversee the day to day needs of the orchestra. They will also have opportunities to conduct during some rehearsals.
Stage Crew- All Service Members Serve as Stage Crew
Stage crew members help set up and tear down the stage/rehearsal space. These individuals will set up all chairs and stands for rehearsals and concerts.
Stand Partner Buddy (4 positions available)
SJ/SAA Students will be paired with a stand partner who they will assist that semester. This job requires the stand partner buddy to be responsible for their musical part and be ready to assist in any way needed with their stand partner.
Orchestra Librarian- position for Fall 2022 has been filled
The librarian is responsible for distributing music in rehearsals, organizing the music library, and ensuring all orchestra members have music during the rehearsals and concerts. The orchestra librarian will also assist in marking the bowings for the parts.
*Service hours will be determined by amount of time served and is based on the service job requirements under the supervision of Mr. Hernandez-Ching
A Learning Orchestra
Co-Founders Nina Knight and Suzanne Reyes see a need in the Greater Houston area for an ensemble that invites any and all to participate in an orchestral experience. Inspired by intergenerational orchestras in California, Europe, and Australia, HOFA will provide a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn to make music together.