Austin | Dallas | Houston
Musical diversity

A shout out to Queen: Houston Chamber Choir gets down for Bohemian Rhapsody

Enlarge
Slideshow
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Eric Larson,  Melissa McCrimmon, Becky Tobin, Stephen Tobin
Eric Larson, from left, Melissa McCrimmon and Becky and Stephen Tobin Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Robert Simpson, Robin Angly
Robin Angly and Robert Simpson Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 David Adickes with his painting of Artistic Director Robert Simpson
David Adickes with his painting of artistic director Robert Simpson Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Melissa McCrimmon, David Ashley White, Alan Austin
Melissa McCrimmon, from left, David Ashley White and Alan Austin Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Shelly Chapman, Paul English, Stefanie Degruyter, Chris Chapman
Shelly Chapman, from left, Paul English, Stefanie Degruyter and Chris Chapman Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Bill Rosene, Effie Rosene, David Ashley White
Bill Rosene and Effie Rosene, left, with David Ashley White Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Frank Hood, Becky Tobin
Frank Hood and Becky Tobin Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Houston Chamber Choir members Laurie Robertson, Jeff Ragsdale, Jennifer Gallagher, Wayne Ashley, Marianna Parnas Simpson
Houston Chamber Choir members, from left, Laurie Robertson, Jeff Ragsdale, Jennifer Gallagher, Wayne Ashley and Marianna Parnas Simpson Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 silent auction
Silent auction Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Houston Chamber Choir, audience
Houston Chamber Choir in performance Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Eric Larson,  Melissa McCrimmon, Becky Tobin, Stephen Tobin
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Robert Simpson, Robin Angly
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 David Adickes with his painting of Artistic Director Robert Simpson
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Melissa McCrimmon, David Ashley White, Alan Austin
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Shelly Chapman, Paul English, Stefanie Degruyter, Chris Chapman
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Bill Rosene, Effie Rosene, David Ashley White
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Frank Hood, Becky Tobin
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Houston Chamber Choir members Laurie Robertson, Jeff Ragsdale, Jennifer Gallagher, Wayne Ashley, Marianna Parnas Simpson
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 silent auction
Houston Chamber Choir gala April 2013 Houston Chamber Choir, audience
Czech Cultural Center Houston
Get Directions - 4920 San Jacinto Street Houston

It may be the big four that anchor the city's art scene. But in addition to the Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre and Houston Grand Opera, it's the smaller groups that add their own tune to the Bayou City's cultural score and paint the town with artful diversity.

Among them is the Houston Chamber Choir, whose second fundraising gala on Sunday grew from last year's affair. The choir welcomed 170 donors to the Czech Center Museum Houston for a buffet supper, mini concert and both silent and live auctions.

This isn't a spirit fingers glee club, although the 24 professional choristers don't shy away from belting notes that reach beyond their classical training. A selection by Czech nationalist composer Antonín Dvořák sure was fitting as the opening number, but tongue-in-cheek songs such as The Who's "Pinball Wizard" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which showed off alto Ryan Stickney and soprano Kelli Shircliffe, had guests smiling and wiggling in their chairs.

Robert Simpson honored Moores School of Music director David Ashley White, whose compositions have become a standard in the repertoire of many choral ensembles.

Artistic director Robert Simpson honored University of Houston Moores School of Music director David Ashley White, whose compositions have become a standard in the repertoire of many choral ensembles. In fact, Houston Chamber Choir's first ever commissioned piece, The Blue Estuaries, was by White.

On the auction block was a painting of Simpson by Huntsville native David Adickes, a sparkly Baccarat vase bundle with a fresh monthly flowers courtesy of Aubrey Sellers and trips to New York City and New Mexico. Former board chair and funny man John McCoy's auctioneer skills cleaned up some wallets to help raise $78,000 for the nonprofit, setting a record for the Houston Chamber Choir.

Luck was on the side of Adele and Dr. Anthony Gorody — the door prize, a floral arrangement also by Sellers, was theirs to keep.

In the melodious affair with executive director Becky Tobin and hubby Stephen were Laura and Michael Puzio, Stefanie and Philip de Gruyter, Sally and Mike Clark, board chair Frank Hood, Alan Austin, Paul English, Effie and Bill Rosene, Melissa McCrimmon and Eric Larson, Stephanie Dory, Robin Angly, and David Whorton.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address