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Press Releases

Press Releases

  • HCC releases fourth commercial album, Soft Blink of Amber Light, featuring contemporary choral music

     

  • Announcing our 20th Season: 20 and Counting!

    We are proud to announce our 2015-16 season, 20 and Counting! The Choir’s 20th season will be one of exciting programming and surprises for audiences new and old, including: an audience pick of favorite musical moments from the past twenty years, a Sinatra-themed return to Miller Outdoor Theatre, dramatic music by Benjamin Britten and Mexican masters, our annual Christmas at the Villa concerts, and an evening of jazz with one of the genre’s foremost heavyweights.

    The Chamber Choir welcomes several special guests and collaborators in the coming year. Past choir members will join the current lineup for a season opening concert honoring the people who helped the ensemble flourish over the past 20 years. World-renowned conductor Anton Armstrong makes his Houston Chamber Choir debut as guest conductor for a special concert in November. The season comes to a climactic finish with four-time Grammy award winning jazz bassist Christian McBride and his trio for an evening of jazz and choral music. McBride and his trio will be joining the Chamber Choir for the premiere of his piece for chorus and jazz ensemble, commissioned by the choir.

    Houston Chamber Choir again offers subscription benefits for the 2015-2016 Season with two options for subscribers: a Full Season Subscription with reserved seating and a free "Friend of a Subscriber" pass, and a 3-concert Build Your Own Subscription. Both subscriptions include early ticket purchases before single tickets go on sale, discounts on additional ticket purchases, and exclusive program updates ahead of performances.

    Please note: Single tickets go on sale to the public August 1, 2015.

    Season at a Glance:

    Now and Then: The First 20 years
    Sunday, September 20, 2015, 4PM
    South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas

    The Original Jersey Boy - Frank Sinatra, Big Band to Vegas
    Sunday, October 11, 2015, 8pm
    Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, Texas

    Ya Gotta Believe
    Anton Armstrong, Guest Conductor
    Saturday, November 14, 2015, 7:30pm
    South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas

    Britten: St. Nicolas Cantata
    Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7:30pm
    South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas

    Christmas at the Villa
    Saturday, December 12, 2015, 3:30 and 7:30pm
    Sunday, December 13, 2015, 3:30 and 7:30pm
    Convent of the Villa de Matel, Houston, Texas

    Hear the Future - 17th Annual Invitational Choral Festival
    Sunday, January 31, 2016, 4pm
    Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston

    Mexicantos: Five Centuries of Mexican Choral Treasures
    Saturday, March 5, 2016, 7:30pm
    Church of St. John the Divine, Houston, Texas

    Just Gettin' Started
    Christian McBride, Guest Artist

    Sunday, May 22, 2016, 4pm
    Cullen Theater in the Wortham Theater Center, Houston, Texas

     

  • The Houston Chamber Choir invites applications from singers in all voice parts

    The Houston Chamber Choir is a professional ensemble of 28 members. Now entering its 20th season the Chamber Choir has been described by Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars as “one of this country’s leading ensembles.” Upcoming season highlights include the premiere of a work for jazz trio and choir by Grammy-winning bassist, Christian McBride, a celebration of the choral tradition of Mexico, performances at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists, and the guest appearance of American conductor Anton Armstrong. Recent guest conductors include Paul Hillier, María Guinand and Simon Carrington.

    Please submit a resume, a brief cover letter, and a sound clip of a recently performed solo work to auditions@houstonchamberchoir.org. Auditions are held at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue, 77002, in downtown Houston.

    Auditions consist of:
    -2 prepared pieces of your choice, one in English and one in a foreign language. These solos may drawn from the art song, opera, or oratorio repertoire. They need not be memorized. An accompanist will be provided.
    -A sight-reading passage
    -Vocal agility and ear training exercises
    A conversation with the Artistic Director about your experience and personal goals.

  • Introducing Lorenzo Martinez, Executive Director

    The rumors are true- there is a new member of the Houston Chamber Choir family! Houston’s foremost professional choir is pleased to announce the appointment of Lorenzo Martinez as executive director. The new appointment comes as the Chamber Choir enters its twentieth season of presenting exciting, diverse, and world class choral music to the Houston area and beyond.


    “I am thrilled by Lorenzo’s appointment,“ says Houston Chamber Choir Founder and Artistic Director Robert Simpson. Adding, “He possesses a rare combination of personal warmth, administrative experience, fundraising expertise, and imagination. The Chamber Choir could not be in better hands.” Frances Kittrell, President of the organization’s Board of Directors adds, “His passion for the arts and his non-profit work experience is surpassed only by his energy and charm!”


    Martinez succeeds Becky Tobin as executive director, following Becky’s departure in December to assume the role of Vice President of Operations at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

    For close to twenty-five years, Lorenzo Martinez has overseen the development, marketing, and communications departments for a number of non-profit organizations, among them, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), for which he served as Vice President of External Affairs. He has represented these organizations at national and international conferences and has been a lecturer at several New York institutions such as New York University, the New School, York College of the City University of New York and the 92nd Street Y. Lorenzo Martinez holds a master’s in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has appeared as a pianist on radio and television.

    Hailing from Cuba, Martinez has written a book recounting his participation in an airlift that brought more than 14,000 children to this country to escape Castro’s regime. Described as “a tour de force” and “reads like a symphony,” Cuba, Adios is a poignant story of a boy who leaves family and his musical studies behind in search of political and personal freedom.


    Commenting on his new position as Executive Director of the Houston Chamber Choir, Martinez said, “I’m thrilled to have joined an organization that is synonymous with the highest standards in vocal chamber music. I can’t wait to see the Choir reach new heights and claim the successful future that is rightfully theirs.”


  • 2015 Annual Gala

    The Houston Chamber Choir’s upcoming annual gala "Giving Voice to the Future" will be held on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the Rice Crystal Ballroom in downtown Houston. The event will benefit the Houston Chamber Choir, a 501 (c)(3) organization, and will honor Charles Schwab Co., Inc. a most generous supporter. The Houston Chamber Choir is a professional ensemble devoted to increasing the awareness, appreciation, and esteem of choral music and musicians through performance, outreach, and education.

    Nineteen years after its founding, the Houston Chamber Choir continues to build upon its record of distinguished performances and community engagement. We are pleased the Choir has begun the third year of its in-school residency, Rise Up Singing! at The Rusk School on the East side of Houston; this inspiring program is changing the lives of young students who have no access to music at school. Our goal is to add an additional school in the new school year. As a supporter, you can take pride in knowing you have furthered the success and community impact of one of Houston’s most significant performing arts ensembles.

    At last year’s event, the Houston Chamber Choir raised over $90,000 to support its performances and music education programs. This year, our goal is to raise over $100,000. The evening will include wine, dinner, live and silent auctions, and most importantly, music!


  • Mozart's Messiah Magic

    Mozart greatly admired Handel's Messiah and when asked in 1788 to perform it he happily agreed — that is, of course, after he'd given it a thorough updating. The Houston Chamber Choir brings Houston audiences a rare chance to hear this masterpiece as re-orchestrated by Mozart, complete with all the instruments then considered standard for a classical symphony: trombones, horns, and, Mozart's favorite instrument, the clarinet. What a team Handel and Mozart make! Handel's original intention remains unchanged. It will be performed in its entirety as an Easter reflection on the biblical depiction of the life, birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


  • A Sea Change | Music of the Baltic Nations - with award-winning conductor Paul Hillier

    On February 21st, world-renowned conductor Paul Hillier makes his Houston debut leading the Houston Chamber Choir in passionate music from the Baltic Sea. In the late 1980s, the world watched in admiration as three little Baltic countries overthrew their oppressive Soviet regimes. Throughout their struggle for freedom the Baltic peoples gathered by the thousands to draw strength from choral music in what became known as "The Singing Revolution." We pay tribute to their courage and resolve in a concert of music by Arvo Pärt and his fellow composers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

  • The future has never sounded brighter!

    Houston Chamber Choir presents Hear the Future: 16th Annual Invitational School Choral Festival, with St. John’s Singers, Arnold Middle School, and Klein Oak High School. Hear the Future pays tribute to the essential work done by outstanding choral music educators and their excellent choirs in our region. Concert-goers enjoy an afternoon of music while showing their support of arts education in our schools, leaving convinced that the future has never sounded brighter! A highlight of the Houston Chamber Choir season, this invitational school choral festival annually showcases three exceptional schools. This year’s invitees are the St. John's Singers from St. John’s School, co-directed by Angela Brill and Audra Parrish; the Bella Voce Women and Chorale Men from Arnold Middle School in Cy-Fair ISD, under the direction of Marie Parisot, Laura Martin, and Andrew Passmore; and the Klein Oak Chorale from Klein Oak High School in Klein ISD, directed by Michael J. Goede, Austin Dean and Bryanna Johnson.


  • Double Your Impact by Giving Before the New Year

    If someone offered you the chance to double your money, would you take it? At the Houston Chamber Choir, we most certainly did when Michael and Laura Puzio committed to matching all new and increased gifts received before January 1, 2015!

    This exciting challenge means your support could have twice the impact to the Houston Chamber Choir’s performances, its music education opportunities to students in need and sharing music through critically acclaimed commercial recordings.

    In our 19th Season, we are proud to share with you superb choral music with our popular holiday concert tradition: Christmas at the Villa. In February, we welcome world-renowned guest conductor Paul Hillier with a program of music from the Baltic nations. In March, we present Mozart’s majestic re-orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. May brings a collaboration with Da Camera of Houston featuring a performance of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, as well as our first appearance with the Houston Ballet.

    the rusk school rise up singing houston chamber choirOur educational initiative at The Rusk School – Rise Up Singing! – is changing the lives of young students who have no other access to music at their school. Each week the Houston Chamber Choir goes into the school and helps launch these students on a life-long journey of music appreciation. We are dedicated to making a lasting impact with our education programs.

    In the spring of 2015, the ensemble will release its latest commercial recording presenting outstanding works written especially for the Houston Chamber Choir by four of our country’s leading choral composers.

    Your new or increased year-end gift will have a significant impact on our work in the community enabling us to change lives with the power of choral music through performance, outreach and education.

     

     

     

     

  • Announcing 2014-2015 Season

    houston chamber choir season 2014-2015Robert Simpson, Artistic Director and Founder of the Houston Chamber Choir is pleased to announce the Chamber Choir’s 19th season: The Voices of Houston. Each of this season’s offerings highlights the Houston Chamber Choir’s multi-talented musicians in a wide range of diverse choral repertoire. ‘The Voices of Houston’ is a season of thrilling firsts as the Houston Chamber Choir welcomes Grammy Award- winning conductor Paul Hillier to Houston for the first time, celebrates its inaugural performance with the Houston Ballet, and makes its Miller Outdoor Theatre debut.

    The 2014-2015 season opens in September with ‘The Splendor of Venice’, antiphonal music for 2 and 3 choirs by Gabrieli, Hassler, and Schütz presented in collaboration with preeminent Canadian sackbut and string ensemble ¡Sacabuche!.

    In October, ‘Love Me Do!’ featuring Brahms and The Beatles returns with a special program at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

    The Chamber Choir’s November offering, ‘Farewell to Arms,’ is an observance of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the world’s subsequent yearning for world peace. The program includes works by Richard Rodney Bennett, Karl Jenkins, and Francis Poulenc.

    Houston Chamber Choir celebrates the joys of the Christmas season with a Houston holiday favorite, ‘Noël, Noël: Christmas at the Villa’ in December. This season the Chamber Choir offers a festive mixture of lilting carols, choral classics, and new works sure to become audience favorites.

    The region’s young choristers take the stage in January with another Houston Chamber Choir tradition: ‘Hear the Future.’ The annual Invitational Choral Festival features notable Houston-area choirs from elementary to high school.

    In February, internationally renowned choral conductor Paul Hillier makes his Houston debut leading the Chamber Choir in ‘Baltic Sea Change.’ This will be an evening of passionate music from the Baltic coast including works by Arvo Pärt and fellow composers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

    As the Easter season approaches, ‘Mozart’s Messiah Magic’ gives Houston audiences a rare chance to hear Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s masterpiece at the time of year for which it was originally intended. Mozart updated this legendary oratorio with woodwinds, timpani, and extra brass, all essential instruments for a classical period composer.

    ‘Sacred Visions,’ presented in collaboration with Da Camera offers Stravinsky’s moving Symphony of Psalms in a rarely heard version for chorus and two pianos. Adding to the drama of the program will be the lighting effects of Tony Award and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner, Jennifer Tipton.

    The final concert of the season marks the first joint performance of the Houston Chamber Choir and the Houston Ballet. Jiří Kylián’s Svadebka will be danced to one of the most important compositions in ballet history, Stravinsky’s Les Noces featuring Houston Chamber Choir.

    Houston Chamber Choir
    The Voices of Houston 2014-2015 Season

    The Splendor of Venice | Antiphonal Music for 2 and 3 choirs
    Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:30 pm
    The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

    Love Me Do!
    Love Songs of the '60s
    Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8:00 pm
    Miller Outdoor Theatre
    Free Admission

    Farewell to Arms
    Saturday, November 8, 2014, 7:30 pm
    Christ Church Cathedral

    Noël, Noël | Christmas at the Villa
    Saturday, December 13, 2014, 3:30 & 7:30 pm
    Sunday, December 14, 2014 3:30 & 7:30 pm
    The Chapel of the Villa de Matel

    Hear the Future
    16th Annual Invitational School Choral Festival
    Sunday, January 25, 2015, 4:00 pm
    South Main Baptist Church
    Free Admission

    Baltic Sea Change | Music of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
    Saturday, February 21, 2015, 7:30 pm
    South Main Baptist Church

    Mozart’s Messiah Magic
    Saturday, March 28, 2015, 7:30 pm
    South Main Baptist Church

    Sacred Visions
    Saturday, May 2, 2015; 8:00 PM
    Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center
    Presented in collaboration with Da Camera

    HOUSTON BALLET presents
    Morris, Welch and Kylián with Houston Chamber Choir

    7:30 pm on May 28, 30, June 5 & 6, 2015
    2:00 pm on May 31, June 7, 2015
    Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center
    HoustonBallet.org or (713) 227-2787

    Season subscription packages will be available for purchase on May 17, 2014. Individual tickets for concerts will go on sale on August 1, 2014.

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Audience Comments

Best choral group I've ever heard!

—Jan Kellogg

You are so versatile, so spirited, so excellent!

—Patron survey comment, after the Love Me Do! concert (May 2014)

Joy beyond description! So entertaining - gorgeous voices, fantastic dancing, instrumentalists. The conductor was so expressive and fun to watch.

—Patron survey comment, after the "Todo Unidos - Todos Cantamos" concert (February 2014)

This concert has become a family Christmas tradition!

—Patron survey comment, after the "Christmas at the Villa" concert (December 2013)

Beautiful singing - impeccable playing. Wonderful preparation and conducting.

—Patron survey comment, after the "Requiem for a President" concert (November 2013)

To submit your thoughts on your recent Houston Chamber Choir experience, please email paige.myrick@houstonchamberchoir.org.