ChoralNotes, August 2018

In this Issue...

  • We're getting closer to meeting our $30,000 Matching Gift Challenge!
  • Coming up this weekend: Gallery Concert at MFAH!
  • In the News: Arts + Culture Texas Feature and Entercom Houston Radio Interview!
  • Get to know the Chamber Choir Board of Directors member, Dr. Warren Ellsworth!

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Meet the Board of Directors: Dr. Warren Ellsworth

Between being a very successful plastic surgeon and a family man, Dr. Warren Ellsworth still manages to be an incredible supporter of the arts here in Houston. A relatively new member of our Board of Directors, Manager of Operations Grace Roman got to know him a little better this week.

GR: You were just named one of Houstonia Magazine's Top Doctors of 2018. Congratulations!!! We loved seeing your name in print when we picked up the magazine at the store. You are also a tremendous supporter of the arts here in Houston. As a young patron of the arts, what do you love about the Houston Chamber Choir and when did you first discover our company?

WE: The Houston Chamber Choir stands out among the many excellent performing arts offerings in Houston. As a choral singer in a past life, the chamber choir concerts remind me of how remarkable it is to work with many to create one sound. It's truly an amazing feeling as a singer -- and the great part is it's an amazing experience as an audience member as well. I first heard of the Chamber Choir several years ago, however my first concert was just a couple of seasons ago. After I heard the choir, I was hooked - and the rest is history!

GR: You just finished your first year as a member of Houston Chamber Choir's Board of Directors! Can you tell me what sparked your interest in joining the board initially?

WE: Bob! My wife and I attend Christ Church Cathedral, and we have known Bob Simpson for many years in his role as Canon for Music for the church. He helped coordinate a beautiful choir performance during our wedding years ago and we have been fans of Bob ever since! Rachel and I helped to Chair the Gala in support of the Chamber Choir two years ago. After we had such a great experience with the Choir and with Bob during that year I was thrilled to be asked to join the Board.

GR: We're in the middle of an incredibly exciting $30,000 Matching Gift Challenge! What is it about our mission that keeps you giving and what would you say to a new donor about the importance of supporting the Chamber Choir?

WE: Yes - it is an especially exciting time for the Choir. I give because the Houston Chamber Choir is simply outstanding. Although I've always known how remarkable the choir is, it was nice to confirm my suspicion when the choir recently won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America. In addition to supporting a choir with a true national and international presence, I support the Chamber Choir because it offers something different to our city and culture. We are lucky to have such remarkable talent from many walks of life unite for this beautiful sound. Finally, I support because I love to see and hear something new. Despite having a lengthy and rich history in choral arts, Bob ALWAYS orchestrates remarkable themed and well programmed concerts that warm the hearts of the listener.

GR: You're bringing a new friend to a concert! What is the first thing you would tell them about the exciting evening ahead?

WE: Prepare to erase whatever preconceptions of a choir concert you may have! From sacred to secular and on to contemporary pieces of living composers; this choir does it all.

GR: Our 23rd Season, Art & Soul is bound to be one of our best seasons yet! What are you looking forward to the most about Art & Soul?

WE: Although I'm excited about much of the programming this season, I am especially drawn to Leipzig After Bach -- As a student of music, one studies Bach's 4-part SATB creations as the archetypal example of rules in choral progression. I look forward to learning about the music of Bach's students and comparing it to the sound of their great teacher.

GR: Being a season ticket holder and a member of our new young professional organization, The Luminary Society, do you have an all-time favorite Houston Chamber Choir performance?

WE: This American Voice brought together new and old music in a moving performance, just weeks after Hurricane Harvey. It was a trying time for our wonderful city, and the choir's performance moved the audience in many ways.

GR: We know you're quite busy as a prominent plastic surgeon in the area and as an avid arts supporter. What do you enjoy doing when you manage to have some down time?

WE: Free time? What free time! With a two-surgeon family, a 2-year old, and a second kiddo on the way, there is hardly ever a moment to spare... BUT when we can, I love to travel internationally, revisit previous favorite places and discover new ones -- always learning about different cultures, foods and wine!

GR: What's your favorite restaurant in Houston?

WE: One of the great things about the city is all of the wonderful food! Many fancy places to enjoy. With that said, I can't help but say its a tie between Lupe Tortillas (where my child can scream and no one cares) and El Tiempo (where the fajitas will change your life).

GR: What are you the most excited about for the future of the Houston Chamber Choir?

WE: It is a period of growth for the choir. I'm honored to help in a small way, but the reality is that the Houston Chamber Choir will hit it's 23rd season with a major award under it's arm ready to tackle challenging repertoire for the city of Houston. I look forward to more collaborations with major groups/institutions in Houston as well as new recordings to take home! It will be a fun journey.