Tag Archives: Houston arts

Music Musings: The Houston Chamber Choir

For a singer and lover of all types of music, the recent resurgence of choirs has been a stunning event to witness. Of course choral groups have always had their fan base, but the broad-based popularity is something new, at least for the millennial generation.  No doubt it’s due to in part to shows like Glee and The Sing-Off… people have discovered that something magical happens when voices come together in song.

It’s been especially great to experience this resurgence as a member of one such group… the Houston Chamber Choir, under the direction of Robert Simpson. Now in its eighteenth season, the ensemble has firmly distinguished itself as a national leader in classical choral music. The choir has performed with a diverse group of artists, including singing sensation Jackie Evancho, Grammy Award winning Gospel star Cynthia Clawson, and the late great Dave Brubeck.

One way this group sets itself apart is not just through beautiful sound, but a commitment to innovative and relevant concert programs. Just in 2013, Houston Chamber Choir concerts celebrated the election of Pope Francis, and commemorated the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Members of the ensemble will also perform for the 2014 inauguration of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Controller Ronald Green, and the Houston City Council.

Along with stunning musical performances, the Houston Chamber Choir is equally committed to educational outreach. The choir is currently hosting a multi-year residency at Rusk Elementary school, working with young, economically- challenged students to foster music appreciation and creativity. 

To kick off 2014, here is the choir singing a brilliant new piece… O Magnum Mysterium by composer Wayne Oquin. Enjoy the sounds of the Houston Chamber Choir. 

For information on upcoming performances, visit www.houstonchamberchoir.org.

By Dome I Think He’s Got It… An Astroplan

One thing that typically surprises visitors to Houston? We’re actually quite the town for art. Our museum district, opera, and ballet are world-class institutions, as well as some impressive structures like the Waterwall. And of course don’t forget the Art Car Parade, and biennial Bayou City Arts Festival. Houston in fact does love art.

Which is why the latest idea surrounding the impending fate of the Astrodome is highly intriguing. A University of Houston grad student has a plan to not destroy the Astrodome, but instead turn it into a sculptural homage to the building’s unique history, and special place in the hearts and minds of Houstonians. Ryan Slattery proposes that we turn the Astrodome into a massive sculpture by stripping the structure to it’s skeleton. As KHOU states, it would be kind of like an “Eiffel Tower” of Houston.

Now this is an idea that I can support. This structure is too important to just destroy and create yet another parking lot. This would give Houstonians a great place to observe their city’s history, while enjoying sports games and the rodeo. In my opinion, we have a winner here. As a town that is already crazy for its art, this would fit the 21st century aesthetic of Houston quite well, while still leaving future possibilities in the area.