The University of Houston Moores Concert Chorale has been hitting high notes and impressing international audiences for a few years. At the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in 2009, the ensemble received top honors from an esteemed panel of judges, who cited its unique vibrato-free and thunderous sound.
For choral director Betsy Cook Weber, it's about a big, clear sound and bringing out harmonies cleanly.
In just a few days, the choir will travel to another far, far away land to partake in an even more exclusive competition. Since 1972, the Floriège Vocal de Tours (about two hours south of Paris) has hosted a myriad of crème de la crème vocal ensembles. This year, the competition will assemble 13 choirs, only two from the United States, performing an ambitious repertoire from memory, ranging in artistic periods, styles and genres specified in a fairly strict criteria.
Mastering music from as early as Heinrich Schütz and Claudio Monteverdi, through Francis Poulenc and as late as a premiere by David Ashley White, director of the Moores School of Music, the students' intense rehearsal schedule and personal preparation regiment inspired an "Art and About" adventure.
So, isn't it time for you to notice what others have recognized as great in your hometown?
Before the choir takes off to Tours, it is bidding adieu to you (and you and you) by putting together a musical soiree of the repertoire it's mastered for the voyage. The send-off concert takes place on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Moores Opera House at the University of Houston.
Care to listen?