Rise Up Singing

Rise Up Singing

The Rusk School Residency

Houston Chamber Choir is committed to launching young students on a life-long journey of music appreciation with a targeted, long-term residency at one of Houston's most economically challenged elementary schools: The Rusk School.

In the context of a fast-paced and encouraging group rehearsal, Rise Up Singing! brings weekly ear training, music history, and vocal instruction to students in grades 3-5 while introducing them to classic American folksongs. Artistic Director Robert Simpson and Chamber Choir musicians lead the rehearsals.

Rise Up Singing! is made possible in part by the Kinder Morgan Foundation, the Lillian Kaiser Lewis Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have changed the way I view music in schools and changed the lives of these children. Not only will you always hold a special place in the heart of the children you have inspired, but also mine.

- Holly Holleran, Assistant Principal at The Rusk School


national endowment for the arts  

texas commission on the arts 

Kinder Morgan Foundation

Lillian Kaiser Lewis Foundation

An Interview with Monica Isomura, HCC Alto and Rusk School Program Coordinator

What is the goal of the Rusk School/HCC collaboration?

“Our mission is to instill in the Rusk School students a love of music and passion for singing that will compel them to engage in music as they grow into adulthood. Toward that aim, we teach them as much of the fundamentals of music as possible which includes music literacy, aural skills, and music history. Through the selected repertoire we sing, we expose them to music from many different cultures and in different languages. Above all, we are there to provide them the opportunity to find their voices and discover the magic that is choral singing!”

How has music education impacted you personally?

“Personally, my music teachers in and outside of school have been my greatest influences and are the reason I am a professional musician today. Though I studied violin privately as a very young child, it was really in my elementary school music program that I discovered my greatest passion, and arguably greatest natural talent, was in fact in singing. My choral directors in public schools all throughout my education encouraged me to do more extracurricular activities and my private voice teachers and honors choir conductors nurtured and inspired me to further develop my skills to go on to major in voice and music education in college. The seed really can be planted at an incredibly young age!”