Robert Simpson, Founder and Artistic Director
The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts Artistic Director Chair
Robert Simpson, AAGO, ChM, SMM, is founder and artistic director of the Houston Chamber Choir, and Canon for Music at historic Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), Houston, Texas, of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He also serves on the faculty of the Rice University Shepherd School of Music as Lecturer of Church Music.
Choirs under Mr. Simpson’s direction have toured the United States, Europe and Mexico, and performed before national conventions of Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, The American Guild of Organists, The Association of Anglican Musicians, and The Hymn Society of America. They have appeared nationally over CBS-TV, ABC-TV and American Public Radio. Mr. Simpson was awarded the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art at the Chorus America national conference in Atlanta on June 18, 2010.
Prior to moving to Texas, Mr. Simpson served as organist-choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States. Under his leadership The St. Philip Choir made several recordings including Great Hymns of the Church, produced and distributed by the National Episcopal Church.
Mr. Simpson has served as adjunct professor of organ at Georgia State University and senior teaching fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. An active clinician and guest conductor, he has been on the faculty of many festivals including those at Lake Junaluska and Kanuga conference centers in North Carolina, the Sewanee Tennessee Province Conference on Church Music, the Evergreen Colorado Music Conference and choral festivals in Sacramento and San Jose, California.
Following his graduation with honors from Brown University and The School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Mr. Simpson studied for two years at the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, Germany. His teachers have included organists Barclay Wood, Robert Baker and Michael Schneider and conductors Abraham Kaplan, Peter Neumann, Gustaf Sjökvist and Eric Ericson.
In 1989 Mr. Simpson earned the Associate and Choirmaster Certificates from the American Guild of Organists, receiving the S. Lewis Elmer Prize for attaining the highest test scores.
Mr. Simpson served as vice chair of the Standing Commission on Church Music for the Episcopal Church and on the editorial board of the African American hymnal, Lift Every Voice and Sing II. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America, a national service organization addressing the needs of professional and volunteer choirs.