The Houston Children’s Chorus was founded in 1989 by Stephen Roddy. The Chorus involves over 200 children in grades 2 through 8, by annual audition. In the first year of its existence the Chorus performed for over 15,000 people in events including the 1990 World Economic Summit and the UNICEF Gala with Audrey Hepburn and Michael Tilson Thomas. The annual audience for the Chorus numbers in the tens of thousands. It is the only auditioned, city-wide chorus for both girls and boys in the greater Houston area. It is also the only children’s performance ensemble in the greater Houston area that truly represents the diversity of the city.
Education is the primary purpose of the Chorus. Its goal is to teach children to achieve high artistic standards through choral singing and performance. The Chorus provides the Houston community with a major children’s choral group, celebrating the diversity of Houston’s population. Chorus membership encourages personal growth, teamwork, discipline, confidence and self-control.
Members of the Chorus represent all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students come from every school district of the Houston area, private schools and home schools.
The Houston Children’s Chorus has performed all around the world. Over the years, Chorus groups have presented concerts in Russia, England, Scotland, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, China, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and Taiwan. Domestically, HCC has performed several times at Carnegie Hall in New York City and toured a number of states. Most recently, a performance residency was held in New England, with concerts in Boston, Maine, New York and the Poconos in Pennsylvania.
The Chorus has performed for the President of the U.S. over 32 times, including the 1992 Republican Convention and the 2005 Bush/Clinton Tsunami Relief Fund Celebration. Civic performances include the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and numerous civic ceremonies for world leaders. The Chorus performs with the Houston Symphony and has been featured in their annual Christmas Pops Concert, Carmina Burana, The Matrix, and several performances of The Lord of the Rings. The Houston Masterworks Chorus, Cantare and the Rice University Orchestra and Chorale have all performed with the Chorus in various concerts through the years. Soloists from the Chorus have performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Theater Under the Stars, and the Alley Theater. Alumni from the Chorus have been finalists and winners in “American Idol,” Metropolitan Opera auditions, Hollywood movies, and Broadway musicals.
Celebrities calling upon the Chorus to perform include Celine Dion, The Beach Boys, Lee Greenwood, Tommy Tune, Randy Travis, Marilyn McCoo, Dionne Warwick, Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack, Shirley Jones, Tommy Tune, Josh Groban, Larry Gatlin, Susan Graham, Sarah Chang, Maureen McGovern, Reba McEntire, Ana Maria Martinez, and Yolanda Adams. Memorable performances were the opening gala concerts for the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston, recording the BlueBell Ice Cream commercial for radio and television, and singing with Josh Groban at the 2004 Super Bowl.
Fred Bock Music Company of California has printed over 1 million copies of the “Houston Children’s Chorus Choral Series,” a collection of anthems for churches and schools. Several compact discs featuring the Chorus have been produced by the Fred Bock Company.
The Houston Children’s Chorus is known throughout Houston and the State of Texas for their diversity in membership and repertoire. They perform all types of music, from classical to pop, by memory. The Chorus is constantly in demand for weddings, gala fundraisers, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, church services, corporate events, radio and television commercials, recordings and civic events. It is the goal of the Houston Children’s Chorus to make singing accessible to every child in the Houston area regardless of race or economic status.
The affairs of the Houston Children’s Chorus are managed by its Board of Directors, comprised of individuals from a cross-section of the community. The Board oversees financial and legal aspects of the Chorus. Stephen Roddy, Founder & Director, conducts all concerts and oversees the artistic aspects of the Houston Children’s Chorus.