ChoralNotes, June 2018

In This Issue...

  • Preview our 2018-2019 Season, Art & Soul, and subscribe today!
  • Houston Chamber Choir staff heads to Chicago next week for the Chorus America Conference!
  • Meet the Chamber Choir: get to know soprano Kelli Lawless!

To download this issue, click here!

Meet the Singers: Kelli Lawless

Kelli Lawless has been a longtime member of the Houston Chamber Choir and wows audiences with her crystal-clear voice. Manager of Operations Grace Roman got to know this busy soprano a little a better this week. Read below for the full interview!

GR: How long have you been in the Houston Chamber Choir and how did you find out about it originally?

KL: I have been in the choir for the past 13 consecutive seasons. When I first moved to Houston, I had several friends in the ensemble. They invited me to my first HCC concert, which happened to be a very special one- Tallis at 500, with guest conductor Peter Phillips from the famed Tallis Scholars. I thought to myself that night, "I HAVE to be in this group!" I went and auditioned for Bob shortly thereafter, and left my audition a very happy soprano with a packet of music in my hand for the next concert!

GR: What was your favorite Chamber Choir concert this past season? Do you have an all-time favorite?

KL: My favorite concert this past season was definitely Mind Craft, a program of incredible renaissance music with guest conductor Alex Blachly. Music of the renaissance is my absolute favorite to sing because my voice naturally lends itself to that style, so any time we get to perform anything from that period I am in early music heaven. It's REALLY hard to pick a favorite concert out of all my seasons, but I would probably go with Houston's first period performance of Bach's Mass in B minor in 2007. Way up there would also be the fun we had singing with the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience and Hans Zimmer Live last year. It's a wonderful privilege to have so many amazing performance opportunities as a part of this ensemble.

GR: Favorite choral piece? Or genre?

KL: I think I pretty much answered this in the last question, but I adore renaissance music. It is so hard to pick a favorite piece, but if you pressed me I would have to say Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass. It is sheer perfection to sing and to hear.

GR: Where else do you work?

KL: When I'm not singing in HCC, I am the Coordinator of Operations for First Presbyterian Church, I own my own small business, Olovex (industrial automation), and I co-founded a women's a cappella ensemble, Six of One. I guess you could say I keep busy and I wear many hats!

GR: Any hobbies?

KL: If I ever had spare time, you would find me curled up with a book in my hand. I also love visiting antique and thrift stores.

GR: Favorite dessert?

KL: I'm not really a sweets eater, but give me some stinky cheese and some crackers and I'm a happy camper!

GR: What do you like to do on the weekends?

KL: In the famous words of the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, "What is a weekend?"

GR: Do you have any pets?

KL: I have a 19 year old Maine Coon named Chester who is my baby. He's the most handsome cat in the world, and that fact is not up for debate. :)

GR: What are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season at the Chamber Choir?

KL: A highlight of every season for me are the Christmas at the Villa concerts. My twin sister Kammi also sings soprano in HCC, and our birthday is December 7th. Most of the time we have a rehearsal for these concerts on our birthday, but this is one of the years where one of the concerts actually falls on our birthday. It makes it doubly special for us to spend our birthday together, sharing incredible music in such a beautiful and sacred space.

[Interview conducted by Grace Roman on June 11, 2018]