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Newlyweds Think Outside the (Gift) Box with Endowment

Giving News

By Jamey Smith

Music fans — and romantics — take note. There’s a new way you can support the Butler School of Music, thanks to a pair of philanthropy-minded young alumni.

Kathryn Hutchison and Rami El-Farrah met in a music class when Kathryn, BM ’08, was an undergraduate and Rami, MM ’07, DMA ’10, had just begun work on his master’s degree. They were drawn closer when both performed — Kathryn on oboe, Rami on saxophone — in the Wind Ensemble, UT’s elite wind band. Cupid’s arrow struck, as it has for so many on the Forty Acres, and Rami and Kathryn were married in 2010.

Kathryn Hutchison and Rami El-Farrah met in a University of Texas music class, so it is fitting that their scholarship will help UT music students.

That would make for a charming story on its own, but it’s not the whole story. Rami, now teaching and performing with Austin’s Bel Cuore Quartet, and Kathryn, an outreach coordinator in the Butler School, knew they wanted to do something charitable in lieu of a traditional wedding registry.

“When we were choosing what kind of project to support,” Kathryn says, “it was obvious that the school had played a huge part in bringing us together. Creating a scholarship was the perfect fit. We have so many happy memories at UT, and this gives us a chance to share that experience with students here forever.”

The couple established the Kathryn Hutchison and Rami El-Farrah Endowed Scholarship in Oboe and Saxophone because they know firsthand of the acute need for scholarships for both of those instruments. They also stipulated that the recipient participate in a University ensemble, be it the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Longhorn Band, or any of several other options.

There are benefits, Kathryn says, when a student performs in such a group. “She studies with our top faculty, interacts with a wide variety of other students, and enhances the educational experience of her peers.” Not to mention the dating possibilities!

Help music students by contributing to this scholarship — or endowing your own. Visit for more information or contact Lauren Zachry-Reynolds, assistant director for development in the Butler School, at 512-232-3515 or

Photo by Nathan Russell Photography.

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