Michael Molitoris" />
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Monday, October 2, 2023


Conducting student appointed

UH doctoral candidate Hector Aguero Jr. is finding critical elements of his life melding into agreeable harmony.

The 29-year-old father, husband, musician and teacher finished his coursework toward a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the Moores School of Music. He expects to receive his degree either by year’s end or next spring. In the meantime, the Laredo native is already plucking the fruits of his musical and academic labors, having recently become music director of the mostly volunteer Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, located south of Houston.

"I’ve just been applying around," Aguero said. "It turned out that it was pure coincidence that a position would turn up locally."

The orchestra, which performs a repertoire ranging from standard classical fare to modern pop and orchestral selections, was founded in 1992. Aguero said the group is trying to transition into a more professional-level orchestra and that is something he hopes to shape from his perch at the conductor’s podium.

"I feel that with me being a young conductor, and because this orchestra is kind of in its infancy, it’s a great opportunity for us to grow together," Aguero said.

Already serving as director of orchestras at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Aguero said he never anticipated a professional life in the Houston area – let alone a chance to pursue his doctorate at UH.

"The Moores School came across as very warm and welcoming," Aguero said. "I had gone to several other schools in Michigan and Kentucky, and this place seemed the most inviting of all the schools I went to audition for. Everybody I met was immediately friendly and it felt like a good fit for me.

"I had agonized about going to another Texas school for my doctorate, because in this field, you’re supposed to go to different places. But Franz Anton Krager, professor of conducting and director of orchestras at Moores School really seemed like he knew all his stuff."

Aguero earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in conducting at Texas Tech University’s School of Music in Lubbock.

"I’ve really enjoyed studying here in Houston," he said. "This is not a place that I anticipated coming, but I’ve been very surprised and pleased with the outcome. … In terms of preparing me for the future, I think it’s done what it’s supposed to do."

As he prepares for his first season with the Fort Bend Symphony, Aguero admits working with a mostly volunteer ensemble is going to be a challenge. Not only are performers expected to learn some taxing musical pieces, but many of them will do that in the spare time they have aside from full-time jobs.

"I think what makes it very special is that these people are giving of themselves and want to be there," Aguero said. "They don’t have to be there, and I think this is firmly something that comes through in the music. It might be a little rough around the edges, but the emotion that’s in the music definitely is not."

For more information about the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, visit www.fbso.org.

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