Press Releases

Press Releases

  • Post Featured Image

    2017 Gala: A Huge Success!

    Our 21st Anniversary Gala, “An Evening in the French Quarter,” was a tremendous success! April 23rd was such a special evening honoring Franco Valobra.

    Mr. Valobra comes from a multi-generational jeweling business, started by his great-grandfather Vittorio Valobra in Italy. He opened the first Valobra Jewelry showroom in the United States in 1982 in the heart of the French Quarter. Two more stores were then opened in Highland Village in 2006 and Lugano, Switzerland’s work-renowed Via Nassa in 2012. Mr. Valobra is very involved in children’s health and well-being charities, including the New Orleans French Quarter Classic benefiting cancer research, the Highland Village Ferrari Festival benefiting Texas Children’s Hopical Cancer Unit, UNICEF, and many more. We were so excited to honor Mr. Valobra at our event!

    We celebrated in the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel with cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, and of course, music! Our wonderful Houston Chamber Choir performed as well as the Boomtown Brass Band. We love them! Another highlight of the evening was HCC’s very own Lauren Pastorek singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” during dinner! Our silent auction was amazing; so many incredible items from an array of donors and organizations all around Houston. We had a record-setting fundraiser this year, raising almost $100,000!

    This evening would not have been possible without the many wonderful people who helped put it all together. A special thanks to our Gala Chairs, Drs. Rachel and Warren Ellsworth; Silent Auction Chair Laurel Flores; and Gala Committee members Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Sonja Bruzauskas, Jack Byrom, J. Todd Frazier, Jeremy Garcia, Nancy Hixon, Brian McCulloch, and David Ashley White. A final thank-you to all of our generous donors and friends who attended.

    Click here to see more photos from the Gala!

    What a special night! We can’t wait to start planning our 2018 Gala… See you there!

  • 2017 Annual Gala: An Evening in the French Quarter

    It's almost springtime here in Houston, so you know what that means: GALA TIME! Our 2017 Annual Gala, "An Evening in the French Quarter," will be held on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at the Rice Crystal Ballroom in downtown Houston. The event will honor Franco Valobra, a most generous supporter of the Houston Chamber Choir.

    Franco Valobra is the fourth generation of jewelers.  In 1982, he immigrated to the US and opened the first international branch of his family's business in New Orleans.  When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, he opened up a store in Houston; Valobra Master Jewelers

    Franco is extremely active in generously giving back to his communities.  Inspired by his parents, he is inspired by other people's passion for the projects they support.  Houston Chamber Choir is honored to honor him.  

    Our gala theme is inspired by the location of our honoree's first US jewelry store. The event includes dinner, drinks, a silent auction, and of course, music!  We hope you'll join us! 


  • Renowned conductor, Elena Sharkova, takes audiences on a musical journey through the Russian Soul

    HOUSTON, TX – Brilliant young conductor Elena Sharkova leads Houston Chamber Choir on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 pm in a concert entitled “A Window into the Russian Soul” at St. Philip Presbyterian Church. The program will explore the depths of the mysterious Russian soul in a moving concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and the Houston premiere of Chimes by Valery Gavrillin.

    “We are thrilled to welcome such an incomparable conductor to the city of Houston,” says Lorenzo Martinez, Executive Director of Houston Chamber Choir. As a passionate advocate for Russian choral music, Sharkova intends to spotlight various chambers of the Russian soul in musical terms. “This music is going straight to the heart. The audience will be taken so strongly by the sincerity and emotion in every piece,” says Sharkova. The program will chronologically explore historical segments of Russia’s both turbulent and triumphant past.

    As a graduate of the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory, Sharkova has reached a pinnacle few, if any, Russian female conductors can claim. She is recognized nationally and internationally as an inspirational, versatile, and effective conductor, choral clinician, music educator, and lecturer. Her upbringing in St. Petersburg molded Sharkova both personally and professionally. “Music has been my religion since I was little because there wasn’t much else that was so divine, so beautiful.”

    Tickets are $36 for Adults and $32 for Seniors (65+). Student tickets are available for $10 with valid student ID. They can be purchased online at www.houstonchamberchoir.org, or on site the day of the performance. Advanced purchase is recommended because of limited seating capacity.

  • Post Featured Image

    A 5-Concert Subscription Series Designed to Attract Young Professionals

    Ars Lyrica Houston, Da Camera, Houston Chamber Choir, Mercury, and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra collaborate in a five-concert subscription series designed to attract young professionals. The series, called Circle of Fifths, includes special event invitations, backstage tours, a ‘bring a friend’ pass, complimentary drinks, and opportunities to mix and mingle with other concert-goers. Set at the reasonable price of $99.00, subscriptions will go on sale Friday, July 22nd, 2016. This dynamic series includes the following concerts:

    Handel's Jephtha, Sat, Oct. 15, 7:30pm Ars Lyrica Houston, Hobby Center for Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall Handel’s final masterpiece sets an Old Testament tale about a warrior’s foolish promise to God and its terrible consequences. The austere subject matter (from the Book of Judges) becomes pure gold in Handel’s hands; his oratorio is full of beautiful melodies, searing choruses, even a surprise ending. A Window into the Russian Soul, Saturday, Nov. 12, 7:30 Houston Chamber Choir, South Main Baptist Church The brilliant young Russian conductor Elena Sharkova takes us into the depths of the mysterious Russian soul in a moving concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and the Houston Premiere of Chimes by Valery Gavrilin. Brass Quintet, Friday, January 27, 6:00pm River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, MATCH The ROCO Brass Quintet is distinct from other professional groups in Houston in that it champions modern classical music, while also performing music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, as well as jazz music by American composers such as Duke Ellington. The ensemble offers a unique concert experience while upholding the familiar ROCO characteristics of virtuosic performance and approachability. Brentano String Quartet--Art of the Fugue, Friday, March 3 8:00pm Da Camera, Cullen Theater, Wortham Center The Brentano Quartet presents a cornerstone of classical music in a new way, elucidating and visualizing the fugue with a performance installation created by engineer Gabriel Calatrava. Schubert, Death and the Maiden, Friday, April 6, 7:30pm Mercury, MATCH The String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as Death and the Maiden, by Franz Schubert, is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire and will be the heart of this concert. Audiences will be moved by this powerful, evocative arrangement for string orchestra, originally recorded by Mercury in 2014.

    The young professional’s subscription series introduces audiences to five of Houston’s premiere ensemble and chamber music organizations providing an environment in which to network and create connections. “The idea for the series grew out of a desire to cultivate younger audience members that will act as our next generation of concert goers within the vibrant Houston arts scene,” says Paige Myrick, Marketing and Communications Manager with Houston Chamber Choir. “The future of the arts lies within the audience’s ability to engage with fellow arts enthusiasts and the musicians themselves.” This concert series invites young audience members to come together to experience the incredible artistry provided by Houston chamber and ensemble organizations, many of which are considered ‘home-grown’ and utilize Houston-based musicians. “The subscription is designed to cover a wide range of genres and programming. We’d like to think of this as a musical passport to Houston.”

    Subscriptions can be purchased at houstonmusicpass.com. All upcoming event information and venue locations can be found here.

  • First-Time Subscriptions cost $100

    We invite you to try something new! The Houston Chamber Choir offers an extraordinary 21st season, from the musical transcendence of Bach to the toe-tapping tunes of Big Band and everything in between. First-Time subscriptions also have great benefits, including a 1 free friend pass, a value of $36.00. Go for it-- try something new today!

  • Christian McBride, Grammy-winning jazz artist and composer performs his ground-breaking, commissioned work by the Houston Chamber Choir

    HOUSTON, TX---The Houston Chamber Choir’s 20th Anniversary season will reach its climactic finish in an evening of jazz with virtuoso bassist and five-time Grammy winner Christian McBride. The Christian McBride Trio including pianist Christian Sands, and drummer Jerome Jennings, will headline the concert where the centerpiece is a world premiere of McBride’s groundbreaking work for jazz ensemble and choir. The concert takes place at the Cullen Theater in The Wortham Center on Sunday, May 22nd at 4:00pm.

    Inspired by the works of Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck, McBride approached this piece by keeping in mind the talent and versatility of The Houston Chamber Choir. There are “three aspects of my musical personality well represented in this piece. It’s a combination of my classical training, moving into jazz, with a tinge of gospel and soul,” says McBride who wrote both music and text for “The Healing of the Sun,” a work commissioned by Houston Chamber Choir for the occasion. This is the first time McBride has written a piece for choir and jazz ensemble, making this a turning point in his active compositional output.

    Fresh off the heels of a White House appearance at International Jazz Day where he performed with Aretha Franklin and other jazz giants, and his fifth Grammy win in 2016, McBride’s dynamic career as one of the world’s leading jazz artists shows no signs of slowing down. “Make music that you want to make. Make music that is true to your heart and soul,” says McBride.

    “The deep, dark-maple tone that Christian McBride elicits from an upright bass is one of jazz’s forthright pleasures” –Nate Chinen,The New York Times

    Houston Chamber Choir, a professional choral organization founded by Artistic Director Robert Simpson twenty years ago, is delighted to join forces with a trailblazer of the jazz world in this momentous collaboration.
    TICKETS: Purchase tickets online at www.HoustonChamberChoir.org, directly through the Wortham Center at http://tickets.houstonfirsttheaters.com, or by calling 832- 487-7041. Tickets start at $45.00. The Cullen Theater, Wortham Center is located at 501 Texas St.

  • Houston Chamber Choir appears on 'Hola Houston' Fox 26 to promote Mexicantos


  • Houston Chamber Choir presentará un programa de música coral mexicana titulado "Mexicantos".

    En tributo a la música y cultura de México, Houston Chamber Choir presentará un programa de música coral mexicana titulado "Mexicantos". La brillantez de la tradición coral de México estará en pleno despliegue con obras de la edad de oro del país-- desde composiciones polifónicas hasta obras de la actualidad. El programa incluirá un trabajo que no se ha presentado en más de 250 años. El concierto tendrá lugar sábado, 05 de marzo de 2016 a las 7:30 PM en la Iglesia de St. John the Divine.

    Benjamin Geier, un miembro del Houston Chamber Choir ha descubierto una obra titulada Misas de Réquiem del compositor mexicano Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella. Ben describe esta obra como "un brillante ejemplo de la tradición coral que existió en la ciudad de México desde la Fundación de la catedral en 1573 hasta el final del siglo XVIII". Como parte de su Tesis Doctoral, Geier está completando una edición crítica del Requiem. Ben tomará parte en el programa de 5 de marzo dirigiendo al coro en dicha obra. Ben dice, "Escrito en el estilo galant, el compositor combina melodías de Mozart, estilo operático y texturas rítmicas heredadas de las tradiciones musicales del nuevo mundo."

    Este programa es de gran relevancia para la comunidad de Houston, una ciudad sede de una gran población hispana. Obras de estos compositores reflejan la historia de México, un país frente a guerras, y disturbios políticos durante todo el tiempo que fueron compuestas. Director Ejecutivo del Houston Chamber Choir Lorenzo Martinez dice: "Estamos encantados de honrar a la comunidad mexicana en Houston con un programa de tesoros musicales que reflejan la riqueza cultural de ese país y vinculan directamente a la comunidad hispana en la ciudad."

    Entradas: Comprar entradas en línea en www.HoustonChamberChoir.org o llame al (713) 224-5566 La Iglesia de St. John the Divine está localizada en 2450 River Oaks Blvd, en la esquina de Westheimer St. y River Oaks Blvd. Boletos de admisión general en concierto son de $40 para adultos, $36 para adultos mayores (65 y más) y $10 para estudiantes (con credencial vigente).

  • Houston Chamber Choir celebrates the brilliance of Mexico’s choral tradition in Mexicantos: Five Centuries of Mexican Choral Treasures

    HOUSTON, TX--- In tribute to the music and culture of Mexico, Houston Chamber Choir will perform a program of Mexican choral music entitled, “Mexicantos.” The brilliance of Mexico’s choral tradition will be on full display asthe Chamber Choir presents works from the country’s golden ageof polyphony to its present-day gems, including a rediscovered work performed for the first time in 250 years. The concert will take place Saturday March 5th, 2016 at 7:30pm at St. John the Divine Church.

    Benjamin Geier, a member of Houston Chamber Choir, has uncovered a work to be performed at the concert entitled Misas Requiem in E-flat Major by composer, Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella. Ben describes this work as, “a shining example of the choral-orchestral tradition which existed in Mexico City from the founding of its Cathedral in 1573 until the close of the eighteenth century.” As part of his Doctoral dissertation, Geier is completing a critical edition of the Requiem. He will conduct this portion of the program on March 5th. Ben states, “Written in the galant-style,the composer blends Mozartian melodies, operatic flair, and the unique rhythmic textures inherited from musical traditions of the New World.” The Houston Chamber Choir is proud to present this rediscovered work.

    This program is of great relevance to the Houston community, a city hosting a large Hispanic population. Works of these composers are steeped with tradition that reflect the history of Mexico, a country faced with wars, famines, and political upheaval throughout the time they were composed. Executive Director, Lorenzo Martinez says, “We’re thrilled to honor the Mexican community in Houston witha program of Mexican choral treasures that mirror the rich culture of that country and link directly to the Hispanic community in the city.”

    TICKETS: Purchase tickets online at www.HoustonChamberChoir.org or call (713) 224-5566. South Main Baptist Church 4100 Main Street Houston, TX 77002. General admission tickets at concert are $40 for adults, $36 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for students (with valid ID).

  • Houston Chamber Choir and Artistic Director, Robert Simpson, receive the American Prize Award

    HOUSTON, TX—confirming its role as one of the country’s leading ensembles, Houston Chamber Choir wins The American Prize in Choral Performance, 2015. In addition, the choir’s Founder and Artistic Director, Robert Simpson, receives the Prize in the Choral Conducting category. The award celebrates American excellence in the arts.

    “We take great pride in this honor,” says Robert Simpson. This triumphant news comes during a milestone year for the choir, its 20th anniversary. Prior winners of the award include Houston Chamber Choir alum and composer, Dominick DiOrio, 2014 winner of the Composition category.The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually.

    The Houston Chamber Choir is composed of 27 professional singers who come out the best conservatories and music schools in this country and abroad. “I am thrilled and honored to be part of an organization that has over the past 20 years enhanced the cultural landscape of the city of Houston and is now being recognized as a national leader in the field of choral music,” says Lorenzo Martinez, Executive Director of Houston Chamber Choir. “I congratulate the choir and Bob Simpson for their artistic excellence.”

    The 20th anniversary season continues with two more concerts, Mexicantos, exploring five centuries of Mexican choral music and Just Gettin’ Started, featuring a performance and commission for vocal ensemble by four-time Grammy winner Christian McBride and his jazz trio. TICKETS: Purchase tickets online at www.HoustonChamberChoir.org or call (713) 224-5566.

RSS Feed

Audience Comments

Best choral group I've ever heard!

—Jan Kellogg

You are so versatile, so spirited, so excellent!

—Patron survey comment, after the Love Me Do! concert (May 2014)

Joy beyond description! So entertaining - gorgeous voices, fantastic dancing, instrumentalists. The conductor was so expressive and fun to watch.

—Patron survey comment, after the "Todo Unidos - Todos Cantamos" concert (February 2014)

This concert has become a family Christmas tradition!

—Patron survey comment, after the "Christmas at the Villa" concert (December 2013)

Beautiful singing - impeccable playing. Wonderful preparation and conducting.

—Patron survey comment, after the "Requiem for a President" concert (November 2013)

To submit your thoughts on your recent Houston Chamber Choir experience, please email paige.myrick@houstonchamberchoir.org.