Organized – May 1989; the first rehearsal was held in September 1989.
Purpose – The purpose of the Houston Children’s Chorus is primarily education. Its goal is to teach children to achieve high artistic standards through choral singing and performance. An equally important goal is the nurturing of discipline, responsibility, teamwork and self-confidence.
Membership – Membership in the Chorus is open to boys and girls, grades 2 through 8, by annual auditions. Children from all economic and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to audition. Approximately 200 children participate each week in Chorus activities.
Rehearsals – The Chorus is divided into three levels: Preparatory Choir for 2nd and 3rd graders, Town Choir for first-year 4th through 8th graders, Concert Choir is the main performance choir. Each choir meets weekly. “Music in the Schools” is the educational outreach program of the Chorus in inner-city schools.
Artistic Director – Stephen Roddy is the Founder and Director of the Houston Children’s Chorus. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Over the years, he has served on the music staffs of Grace Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church, St Luke’s Methodist Church, First Methodist Church/Westchase, First Presbyterian Church and Tallowood Baptist Church. A noted children’s choir festival conductor and clinician, Mr. Roddy is frequently called upon to conduct state and church festivals involving 500 or more children. He is in demand as a recording specialist for children, producing and directing numerous recordings for school music textbooks, Warner Bros. Music, Fred Bock Music Company, Lifeway Christian Resources, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Gerber Baby Foods and the Hal Leonard Corporation.
Funding – Chorus members pay an annual tuition. Performance fees and ticket sales provide additional income. Grants are received from individuals, corporations and foundations. The Chorus is also funded in part by the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts.
Scholarships – Scholarships are available upon application. Talented and deserving children are encouraged to audition without regard to financial consideration.
Repertoire – The Chorus learns and performs from memory secular and sacred choral compositions ranging from the Renaissance to Baroque, contemporary to pop, and from international folk songs to Broadway selections.
Performances – The Chorus performs approximately 50 concerts per school year. Major concerts include secular and sacred Christmas season concerts and a Spring Concert conducted in major concert halls. The Chorus performs regularly for civic, cultural and charity events throughout the year. They are in demand for weddings and galas and have performed for the President of the United States on 28 occasions.
Affiliation – Houston Children’s Chorus is not affiliated with any particular organization, school district or religious group. It is a non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas.
Board of Directors – The financial and legal affairs of the Chorus are managed by a Board of Directors. Board members come from a cross-section of individuals from the Houston community. Several former Chorus parents and Chorus alumni are included on the Board.