Catherine McShane - Doctorate: Music Theory, 1995
I am a music coach and prompter at the opera house in Graz, Austria, a position that I have held for the last 23 years. The single accomplishment of which I am most proud is earning the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Theory from The University of Texas at Austin. Beginning in the fall of 1987, I worked in Graz but returned to Austin every summer to further my doctoral studies. Through much perseverance on the part of myself, my parents, my committee chairman Dr. Delmer Rogers and my dear friend Martha Boyd, I finally completed my dissertation and received my degree in 1995. The years spent at the School of Music at UT Austin broadened my ability to think creatively, to carry through on long-term goals, and to have faith in my own ideas.
My music degree from UT has given me the confidence to function among musicians of world-class standing. I have fulfilled my dream of making a living with classical music. What I remember the most about my time in the Graduate School are the values, intelligence and outstanding character of my professors in the music department. Whenever I hit a rough patch in my life, I often think of my time at The University of Texas at Austin. That always gives me a very clear sense of guidance – as in “the eyes of Texas are upon me” – I have to try to live up to the standards of the people I met there.