Houston Chamber Choir announces cancellation of spring concerts and gala

Style Magazine Newswire | 3/17/2020, 8:58 a.m.

The GRAMMY® Award-winning Houston Chamber Choir regretfully announces the cancellation of its spring events, including the concerts Night Vision and Anthracite Fields (with partner Da Camera) on Mar. 28 and May 8, respectively, along with the annual gala, Take Flight!, slated for Apr. 19 at the Petroleum Club.

“We have been closely monitoring the unfolding and rapidly changing Coronavirus pandemic,” says Mariam Khalili, Managing Director. “The CDC now recommends that all gatherings of 50 individuals or more scheduled to take place within the next eight weeks be postponed or canceled. The safety and wellbeing of our patrons, volunteers, singers and staff is our highest priority, and as such, we have canceled our two spring concerts as well as our gala honoring Artistic Director and Founder of the Chamber Choir, Robert Simpson.”

Additionally, Khalili announced that the World Symposium on Choral Music 2020 scheduled for July in Auckland, New Zealand has been canceled by the symposium’s organizers, the International Federation on Choral Music. The Houston Chamber Choir was one of 24 choirs chosen from 179 entrants around the world to participate in this prestigious international festival, which is held once every three years.

“This decision did not come easily for the WSCM2020 leadership,” says Khalili. “This is a bitter pill to swallow for all of our members. However, we believe this to be the best outcome for the safety and wellbeing of our singers and their families.”

In light of these changes to the final months of the Choir’s 24th season, all ticket purchases for the canceled events will be converted into tax-deductible donations with a receipt sent to each patron. If anyone would like a refund instead, they can contact the Choir at info@houstonchamberchoir.org.

Khalili notes that as a nonprofit organization, the Choir needs financial support now more than ever before. “We’ve worked hard for the last 24 years to create a thriving ensemble and organization that provides employment to a wide range of celebrated, professional working artists and administrative staff. Together we’ve made it to the top and earned a coveted GRAMMY® Award and the prestigious honor of being recognized by the International Federation on Choral Music as one of the top choral ensembles in the world. We want to continue to protect the livelihood of our artists during this uncertain period.”

Over the next week, the Choir will release choral music tracks and full-length video presentations featuring select live performances taken from Simpson’s favorite concerts with the Chamber Choir, at no cost to the public. More details will be available soon at houstonchamberchoir.org. With people sheltering in place, this is an opportunity to enjoy beautiful music at home.

About Houston Chamber Choir

The Grammy-award winning Houston Chamber Choir has established # # as one of the premier professional choirs in the United States, serving Houston through concerts and educational initiatives that enlighten, entertain, and educate people of all ages. The Chamber Choir released its fifth CD, “Duruflé: Complete Choral Works,” with organist Ken Cowan in April 2019, which won a GRAMMY Award in the category of “Best Choral Performance” at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in January 2020.

Winner of Chorus America’s 2018 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the Choir has been described by The Tallis Scholars founder Peter Phillips as “one of this country’s leading ensembles.” It also received The American Prize for best choral performance in the country and its Artistic Director Robert Simpson received the award in the conducting category in 2015. Additionally, Houston Chamber Choir was selected as one of 24 choirs to participate in the prestigious World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand, which has now r been canceled by the organizers due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Simpson, the Houston Chamber Choir is composed of 25 professional singers, most of whom have studied at the top music schools and conservatories in the United States including Julliard, New England Conservatory, University of Houston, and the University of Texas. These musicians are selected through rigorous auditions from the finest singers in our region and are compensated for all rehearsals and performances. Simpson was honored by Chorus America with the Michael Korn Founders Award in 2015 for his contributions to developing the professional choral art.