Rice vs. UH: Who Has Musical Bragging Rights?

Categories: Only In Houston

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Photo by Marco Torres
Proud Cougar alumni thelastplaceyoulook
STUDENT BANDS
UH: Besides the aforementioned Fat Tony, former UH students currently entrenched in the local music scene include guitarist Enoma Asowata of Otenki and Adam Martinez of the Tontons, arguably the hottest band in town right now. Furthermore, four of the five members of thelastplaceyoulook went to UH, as did Cody Swann of the Wild Moccasins, Arthur Yoria and Dwight Taylor Lee of The Literary Greats, Finnegan and The Wandering Bufaleros. And speaking of student bands, Rice can keep the MOB; UH has the fightin' Cougar Marching Band. Eat 'em up.

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RICE: I'll admit I don't know every ensemble produced by the university, but it matters little when your marching band is the MOB. Like no other college band out there, the MOB descends on sporting events donning pinstripes and sporting instruments ranging from horns to electric guitars to violins and kazoos. When you go to Rice, smart often translates into smart-ass and the MOB is perhaps the university's greatest example of that character trait (or flaw, if you are a stick-in-the-mud).

WINNER: UH. The present-day Houston music scene bleeds Cougar red. Besides, we doubt anyone in the MOB (bless their hearts) much cares what we think. And as far as local marching bands go, TSU's Ocean of Soul gets our vote any day of the week.


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Photo via scholarship.rice.edu
The Rice Stadium crowd at the 1988 Texxas Jam
CLOSING ARGUMENTS
UH: I'll admit that Rice is the more renowned regional university. Some amazing things happen on that campus, and Houstonians should be proud to have it so centrally located in our city. But when it comes to music, UH is the superior school. Its music school is better, and it has educated and nurtured far more musicians who have gone on to do great things, locally and otherwise.

RICE: I did not attend Rice University. In fact, I attended UH, but my wife is an alumnus and her father has been a popular professor and administrator at Rice for more than 50 years. But their collegiate history had no bearing on my praise of Rice. The fact is, Rice has consistently incubated interesting and influential artists in the Houston music scene, and KTRU alone should win them the title of best school for music in Houston. Tack on the Monsters of Rock and I don't know how anyone could deny their superiority. I'm pretty sure if you ask a Rice student, he or she will certainly confirm it for you.

OVERALL WINNER: UH. That Monsters of Rock story is compelling all right, and KTRU will always be a treasure. But when it comes to boots on the ground -- successful working musicians -- UH has a depth and scope that Rice just can't match; hell, they spread out over two categories here. And we daresay the Owls will probably get over it.


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11 comments
RebelYellTexan
RebelYellTexan

Texas Southern University's Ocean of Soul band kills both of them. The programs at Rice and UH are better, but the TSU band takes the cake.

christiwakler
christiwakler

"Its music school is better"--- Um sorry but this is ridiculous.  Shepherd has produced Grammy-winners and some of the biggest names in classical music, while Moore is probably only know for its jazz program. Also, Shepherd has an acceptance rate of 10%, while Moore's is 63%. Nuff' said.

elenon
elenon

Are you kidding me? Rice's Shepherd School is internationally renowned and is among the elite tier of music programs in the U.S.  The Moores School may be good but they're hardly comparable. I doubt people know about it unless they're from Houston.

jenni.rebecca
jenni.rebecca

This piece is an insult to the programs at both schools.

kochpman
kochpman

This is a ridiculous comparison.  The two music schools have completely different focuses.  Rice is a conservatory-like atmosphere while UH has an incredibly broad range of offerings - music ed, jazz studies, band studies, etc.  If you want to make a real comparison try doing it with one of UH's peer music schools - say UNT or UH.  Either one of them would bury UH.

mdumont1
mdumont1

Kenny Rogers? Seriously? 

DeHoustibus
DeHoustibus

"My wife is an alumnus"??   Is that a UH edumacashun speaking?

annew_eliza
annew_eliza

@christiwakler Uh, MSM's opera center has won national awards for the last four years and is one of the most prestigious programs in the country.  So there is that.  They also have faculty members and ensembles that have Grammy awards.  The choral program has international renown and international wards from competitions in Wales and Marktoberdorff within the last five years.  The wind ensemble and orchestra were noted and commended for ground-breaking work in transcriptions and playing each other's music.  I think it's fair to say that MSM is known for a little more than just the jazz program.

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