The Houston Symphony Chorus, the official choral unit of the Houston Symphony, is led by Dr. Charles Hausmann. It is a chorus of volunteer singer-musicians who are committed to rehearsing and performing the choral-orchestral repertory at the highest level of choral artistry. In addition to presenting an annual schedule of concerts in Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony, the Chorus has toured Europe several times and performs regularly in Mexico City with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineriá.
The group, originally known as the Houston Chorale, was founded in 1946 by Alfred Urbach, then principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. The Chorale made its debut with the Houston Symphony in 1949 with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This inaugurated what was to be a lasting relationship, one that has produced hundreds of memorable performances of the great choral masterworks led by some of the world's leading conductors. In 1986, the Chorale was renamed the Houston Symphony Chorus.
Dr. Charles S. Hausmann, Director
Dr. Hausmann - HSC's director - has prepared and conducted the Chorus for more than 500 concerts. Since he became director of the Chorus in 1986, he has collaborated with many of the world’s great conductors, including Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Claus Peter Flor and Robert Shaw. His extensive repertoire list includes most of the major choral/orchestral masterworks.
As Director of Graduate Choral Studies and Professor of Conducting at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, Dr. Hausmann directs the masters and doctoral programs in choral conducting, conducts the Moores School Choral Artists (a graduate chamber choir), and oversees the activities of the department. Choirs under his direction have performed for conventions of the Music Educator’s National Conference and the American Choral Director’s Association. He also serves as Director of Choral Music at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.
He has conducted numerous concert tours throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico. In 2007 Dr. Hausmann led the chorus on its fourth European tour where he appeared as guest conductor on the Prague Spring Festival and with the Budapest Concert Orchestra and the Symphonie-Orchester der Wiener Volksoper. He and the Chorus also share a 20-year collaboration with Mexico City’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. He frequently appears as a guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician.
Hyeok Lee, Assistant Director
South Korean conductor and composer Hyeok Lee received his Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from Chong-Sin University in Seoul, Korea and two Master of Music degrees: Composition from the South Western Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and Choral Conducting from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. In 2011, he began coursework in the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Choral Conducting at the MSM under the direction of Dr. Charles Hausmann. Mr. Lee is the recipient of scholarships and teaching assistantships that allow him to serve as assistant director of the award-wining MSM Concert Chorale under the direction of Dr. Betsy Weber. He previously held various teaching assistant positions including the assistant director of the Concert Women's Chorus and University Men's Chorus and was the choral library manager.
In 2012, Mr. Lee premiered his new carol, This is the Truth from Above, with Chorus Angelorum, a semi-professional Anglican Evensong Choir, at their Advent Lessons and Carols service. Chorus Angelorum also commissioned him to write a new evening service which will premiere during their upcoming season. He has prepared several reduced orchestration projects such as Haydn's The Seasons, Mozart's Davide penitente, K. 469, Kyrie in d, K. 341, and Rutter's Requiem at the request of Dr. Hausmann and other conductors.
Mr. Lee also transcribed six church cantatas by Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow – one of Handel's teachers – into modern editions which will premiere in fall 2013 with the Cantica Nova Houston, a chamber choir consisting of UH singers dedicated to the performance of new choral music and lesser-known early music. In addition, Dr. Albert LeDoux, artistic director of Bach Society Houston, requested him to transcribe one of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach's church cantatas for its modern premiere in fall 2013.
In addition to his doctoral studies, Mr. Lee is an adjunct faculty member at Houston Community College (Southeast Campus) where he teaches two music courses. Mr. Lee is director of Schola Cantorum at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Katy, Texas, where he regularly leads monthly chanted mass. He is assistant director of Chorus Angelorum. In 2012, he founded the Cantica Nova Houston. He has served as guest conductor and clinician at the Aldine School District Summer Kodály Workshop, leading daily choral rehearsals and teaching level III conducting students since 2011.