Accessibility Help
Renee Fleming
Outdoor Rendering Architectural rendering of the new music and opera building.


With its European design, unique size and generous orchestra pit for musicians, the new music and performing arts building will be the first opera theater of its kind among U.S. universities and conservatories. The building will offer premium performance space for opera and chamber music, meet the growing need for rehearsal and practice space, and provide a hallmark venue to attract and host high-profile speakers.

  • A new 84,000-square-foot facility designed by acclaimed architect Allan Greenberg.
  • A three-tiered, 600-seat, European-style opera theater with orchestra pit for 70 musicians designed by theater planning and design consultants Fisher Dachs Associates.
  • A state-of-the-art, “pin-drop” acoustic experience created by Threshold Acoustics.

RUMPAC location
Tommy Glass, Jack Swanson and Laura Liu, promising young Shepherd School performers, share how the center will prepare them to shine.


Students in the opera program at The Shepherd School of Music enjoy top instruction and intensive training in vocal performance, dramatic arts and language study. Collaboration with peers in the famed orchestral program and master classes with renowned visiting artists like Renée Fleming add yet more to their preparation. Just as this training prepares our students for fruitful careers, the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center will provide them with the venue to shine as performers, giving them every opportunity to raise their voices even higher.

Learn how Shepherd School training has unlocked opera’s dramatic potential for baritone Tommy Glass (M.Mus ’16). Read More >>

Tenor Jack Swanson (M.Mus ’16) has already begun a promising career after stellar instruction and preparation. Read More >>

Violinist Laura Liu (M.Mus. ’17) knows the importance of performance space to finding creative inspiration. Read More >>


Dear friends and fellow supporters,

As passionate advocates of the Shepherd School and the performing arts at Rice, we are privileged to co-chair this effort in support of Dean Yekovich’s vision to build an opera program that joins the orchestral program atop their respective fields.

The Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center will mark a great leap forward in carrying out this vision. When our opera students perform for audiences of 600, accompanied by a full complement of orchestral musicians and prepared by training with expert instructors and masters, the vision will be complete. We are thrilled at this rare opportunity to create such an experience for our students, our campus and the Houston community.

In this spirit, we ask you to participate in this effort, which will set the stage for our students and faculty to shine even brighter in this new era for The Shepherd School of Music.


Anne S. Duncan
Steering Committee Co-Chair

Susanne “Susie” M. Glasscock ’62
Steering Committee Co-Chair


Making Your Gift

The Shepherd School of Music and Rice University enjoy a passionate community dedicated to supporting the arts on our campus and in the city of Houston. We look forward to working with you as we endeavor to complete the next great step forward for the arts at Rice.

If you would like to learn more about supporting the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center or have any questions, please contact Rosemary Price, director of development, at 713-348-4992 or