A seasoned executive director, Mariam comes to the Houston Chamber Choir with extensive experience working in the non-profit sector. She is known for successfully leading and growing a regional performing arts 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Her executive management career began at Opera in the Heights during the 2013-2014 season, where she quickly realized her many creative talents and business experience could be used to the fullest extent, impacting her community in an important and positive way. Today, as Managing Director of the Houston Chamber Choir, she delights in the privilege of serving such incredible musicians and those who have a deep love for choral music and vocal performance. She would tell you that simply having a love for something bigger than yourself is a precious super power, and heaps of good can come from using those powers and sharing them with others.
Prior to accidentally venturing into the fast-paced world of nonprofits, her professional career began in the early 2000’s when she hustled in the residential property management industry, which ultimately convinced her that her heart belonged in the arts. While completing her bachelor of fine arts degree she began working as a full-time photographer and mixed media artist, participating in juried shows and presenting several of her own solo shows. She is a proud Bayou City Art Festival artist alumna. As a former ‘starving artist’ Mariam understands first-hand the great importance of supporting the arts and how underwriting arts programs can make or break an artist or arts organization.
She has had the pleasure of working in a variety of industries, including working as a freelance marketing consultant, and graphic and web designer. One of her greatest achievements was stepping into the classroom at Trinity Lutheran School – Downtown, where she took on the role of art instructor to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, teaching and encouraging students to creatively express themselves through visual art. She loved interacting with students and hearing about their day, what their hopes and dreams were, and watching them grow and mature as the year progressed! In many ways, she feels that non-profit leadership is very similar to teaching, as every executive director is filled with joy when they see their organization grow and mature as the months move forward, hopefully each month bringing great progress within the organization and to the community it works to serve.
She is a former bassoonist, sang in choirs growing up, and she would give anything to perform in a drum-line again. Who doesn’t love music that moves? She also has an intense love for Dachshunds and animals in general, but that's another story for another time.
If you have a passion for music and supporting the arts, Mariam would love to hear from you. She can be reached via email at Mariam@houstonchamberchoir.org.
manager of operations
Grace Roman received her Bachelor in Music Education degree from the University of Florida before getting her Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she studied with Laura Brooks Rice. While in graduate school, Grace was a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir and Westminster's Williamson Voices, performing regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. She made her solo debut in the spring of 2015 in Bach's St. Matthew Passion (Ancilla II) with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Grace has received additional training at OperaWorks and CoOPERAtive summer training programs and has performed multiple roles with the Westminster Choir College Opera Theater and the CoOPERAtive program. In addition to performing, she has enjoyed working behind the scenes as the graduate assistant for GRAMMY®-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices under the direction of Dr. James Jordan, and as a stage manager for the CoOPERAtive program. Grace lives in Houston with her husband, Jim, and sings with the Houston Symphony Chorus.
Carol Brejot is a public relations specialist whose expertise includes media relations, (local and regional) writing, editing, research and event planning. Her niche is in nonprofit PR, including representing several “green” groups and arts organizations over the past few years. In addition to working for the Houston Chamber Choir, Carol’s most recent clients include Elmore Public Relations (Houston Parks Board, Society for the Performing Arts, Houston Grand Opera, Scenic Houston, Ronald McDonald House Houston); Levy Park Conservancy; Katy Prairie Conservancy; Sterling Associates (Friends of Jones Hall); Bayou Preservation Association and Upper Kirby District. She has done pro bono works for various nonprofits, including Special CHEERS (equine therapy), Modern Widows Club and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Charitable Foundation. Carol has a B.A. in journalism/public relations from Southern Methodist University and has lived in Dallas, New York City, Austin and Houston.
For all media inquiries please contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Cook is in his second year of doctoral studies at the University of Houston under the tutelage of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Houston and holds an undergraduate degree from Brigham-Young University – Idaho, where he directed the 90-voice Men’s Choir under faculty supervision. He led Houston-area school choirs to Superior ratings in concert and sigh-reading evaluations. A Colorado native, Brian served as Director of Choirs at Wheat Ridge High School in the Mile-High City. He led ensembles to Superior ratings in state festivals, produced award-nominated musicals, and conducted internationally. His choral associations have taken him to Asia, Europe, South America, and throughout the United States, including a 2003 National ACDA appearance in New York City, the Florilége Vocal de Tours in France, and the convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in Baton Rouge. He is published with Houston-based Alliance Music.