ChoralNotes, October 2017

In This Issue...

  • A recap of our first concert of the 2017-2018 Season, This American Voice
  • Coming up: free concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre!
  • Meet the Singers: Soprano Rebecca Heath!
  • Check out our new website!

To download the full issue, click here!

Meet the Singers: Rebecca Heath

Rebecca Heath is a new member of the Houston Chamber Choir this season! See our interview with her below and get to know her better.

CC: Tell us a little bit about your musical background and how you ended up in Houston.

RH: I was born in Bellaire, but thanks to my Australian mother I'm a dual citizen of the United States and Australia, so strangely enough, my early singing career began as a duet with my sister Meaghan Heath, performing Australian folk music and American popular and Broadway music. When we were kids we were sort of "discovered" on an Australian radio station and ended up making a music video that aired on Australian National television.That led to some other performances through the Australian Consulate in Houston and at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. when we were in high school. By then we had taken an interest in opera while we attended HSPVA, so we went off to pursue solo careers. I've been extremely blessed to have performed some dream roles with great opera companies, and now I'm so pleased to be back in Houston with my friends and family.

CC: Why audition for the Houston Chamber Choir?

RH: It's a funny story! I'm a staff singer at my parish, The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, and also a member of Chorus Angelorum, I was fortunate to be chosen as one of the soloists during Chorus Angelorum's Ninth Choral Workshop with guest conductor and clinician, Simon Carrington. After the concert, I saw two familiar faces in the crowd: Robert and Marianna Simpson! I hadn't seen them for a very long time, but I've known them since childhood when my sister and I sang with the Houston Children's Chorus and Marianna became our very first private voice teacher! We reconnected, I auditioned for Houston Chamber Choir, and I'm so honored to now sing with such an elite group.

CC: What was your favorite part about your first concert with the Chamber Choir, This American Voice?

RH: It's hard to choose, because each piece was so unique and it was a great challenge to tailor our singing to each vocal style, but our final piece, "Unclouded Day," by Shawn Kirchner won my heart. I felt so full of joy and excitement as we sang that piece - probably also because it was the exclamation point on a great concert. I also adored singing the solo in "Hymn to the Eternal Flame" by Stephen Paulus - it's a very powerful piece; so simple, but with a very dramatic, ranging solo line. You can't help but connect to your soul while singing it.

CC: What are some of your favorite things to do in Houston?

RH: Going to shows at Miller Outdoor Theatre is my absolute favorite outing. You're surrounded by art and the outdoors and the museums and zoo are right there. It's the best.

CC: Favorite place you’ve lived?

RH: I'd have to say Binghamton, NY, because I met my fiance Dan while working at the local opera company Tri-Cities Opera. There was a really supportive community of artists and fans and I still miss them. It was very cold there most of the time, but full of warm memories.

CC: Favorite job you’ve worked?

RH: I LOVED singing with Anchorage Opera. I was there in Alaska for an entire month and it was just beautiful. The management, cast, and crew were the nicest, most professional people you could hope to work with, and when you walk outside you're surrounded by mountains. On my days off, I'd take walks and do nature sketches.

CC: The Chamber Choir’s Miller Outdoor Theatre performance of Broadway musical numbers is coming up! Do you have a favorite musical?

RH: As children my sister and I were obsessed with all things Andrew Lloyd Webber - we had this greatest hits VHS tape that we played till it broke- but I'd have to name Les Miserables by Boublil and Schonberg as my all-time favorite. I really wanted to be Inspector Javert, though! He's such a compelling character.

CC: What are you looking forward to most this season with the Houston Chamber Choir?

RH: It's so rare to be in a group like this. We have the opportunity to sing anything and everything at such a high level of technique and artistry. I'm looking forward to each new test of my limits. This first concert has definitely given me a taste of what The Houston Chamber Choir is all about.