Andrea Priester Houde is a violist whose genuine love and dedication to her craft can be seen in performances around the world and in the unique environment of her teaching studio. Ms. Houde is Associate Professor of Viola at West Virginia University and violist of the WVU Chamber Players. She has served on the artist faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp, Orfeo (Italy), Endless Mountain, Blue Lake, and Master Players Music Festivals and was a board member of the American Viola Society from 2016-2022.
Ms. Houde has played as soloist, chamber musician, and in orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her versatility has led to such opportunities as performing tango with Astor Piazzolla’s godson and playing in a rock band on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. She has recorded for the Delos, Parma, and Albany record labels. Her solo album, The American Viola, features early to contemporary American works for the viola, including the historic world premiere of the first American viola composition.
Ms. Houde has a zeal for teaching and pedagogy that equals that of her performances. She had the honor of serving as a first-round judge for the 2021 Primrose International Viola Competition and was named "Studio Teacher of the Year" by the West Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 2017. She was formerly on the faculty at the University of Delaware and has given masterclasses, presentations, and performances at the International Viola Congress in New Zealand and in Georgia (USA), the American Viola Society Festivals at Oberlin Conservatory and the Colburn School, Quebec Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, Vanderbilt University, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Iowa, Texas State University, Central Michigan University, University of Virginia, Penn State University, North Texas University, Tennessee Viola Celebration, Virginia Violapalooza, Ball State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Arizona, University of Georgia, University of Memphis, among others. Ms. Houde has often presented at American String Teachers Association National Conferences and is an active clinician and adjudicator. She provides outreach through hosting Viola Days at West Virginia University and directing the WVU Viola Bootcamp. Studies were at the University of Memphis with Leonard Schranze and at the Peabody Institute with Victoria Chiang. Other teachers include Heidi Castleman, Jeffrey Irvine, Mark Jackobs, and David Holland. Pedagogy studies were with Rebecca Henry and Drs. Laura and Harlan Parker.