A Trip to the Hospital

To be a member of the Houston Boychoir is to experience life in ways that are unique to the average boy between the ages of 10 and 18. On such opportunity came when we decided to take our talents into the Texas Medical Center this holiday season.

 

It was a beautiful morning on December 8th when the boys of the Chamber Choir set out for Texas Children’s Hospital to spread good cheer and sing.

 

This was a new experience for these boys and in the early morning chill didn’t know what the day would bring.

 

Santa's Medical Center Workshop

Santa’s Medical Center Workshop where we warmed up and sang a few carols for the early morning hospital shift as they arrived.

 

HBC Friend, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia

Singing began in the lobby when who did we meet but HBC Friend, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and his crew, there to bring presents to the children.

 

The Journey Within

The great discipline taught through the study of music creates boys who are unique in their ability to emulate the adults they meet and adapt to the expectations of the environment they visit. And so the boys had the privilege to enter the floors and sing for the patients, their families and the all important hospital staff, doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, all who were there on a Saturday working in an emotionally charged atmosphere with children and health concerns.

 

Boys had the opportunity to sing for patients while on dialysis and their parents who sit with them tirelessly. The nurses on staff seemed to enjoy the joy of the singing as much or even more than anybody.

 

 

 

 

 

We hear they have few visitors on Saturdays and everybody seemed to be glad we were there. We could tell because we heard them singing along.

 

It was a privilege to be in the hospital and we knew it. After dialysis it was time for lunch so we went to the cafeteria where we were treated to cheese and pepperoni pizzas. Always a favorite with singing boys!

 

Of course all the hospital staff and some patients who were having lunch in the cafeteria wanted to hear Christmas carols too so we sang for them. The cafeteria lady who worked the cash register grinned the whole time!

 

 

 

All in all it was a trip to be remembered. At the next rehearsal the boys talked about how much it meant to them to be so close to the people in the hospital, the children, their parents and the staff.

 

To sing and to see on all the faces the sadness that comes from being in the hospital and the joy the boys could bring singing.

 

Gingerbread House Project Texas Children's Hospital  December 8, 2012

Gingerbread House Project Texas Children’s Hospital
December 8, 2012

 

 

 

A Season in Preview

Join us for the 2012-2013 Season when 50 years ago an idea was born and grew and thrived, and is today Houston Boychoir providing a ritch cultural and quality education that will remarkably transform young boys right before your very eyes. Witness human charged energy channeled into a force for good.

September
*Wedding West University Baptist Church

JRR Dinner The promise of Texas
Hilton America’s Hotel –
Grand Ballroom

October

Houston Dynamo
National Anthem
Saturday, October 6, 2012
BBVA Compass Stadium
7:30 PM

*Wedding First United Methodist Church

Center for Performing Arts Medicine
Methodist Hospital
October 26, 2012
5:30 PM

November
Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church
November 11, 2012
11:00 AM Service

December

Bayou Bend Candlelight Tours
Friday, December 7, 2012
5:30 to 8:30 PM

50th Annual Heritage Society Candlelight Tours
Sam Houston Park, Downtown Houston
Friday and Saturday & Sunday December 7, 8 & 9, 2012
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Houston Boychoir Winter Concert
First Presbyterian Church
December 16, 2012
7:00 PM

February

*Wedding A.D. Bruce Religion Center
University of Houston

Sing4Life
First Annual Choral Celebration of Children
Grace Presbyterian Church
February 9, 2013
4:00 PM

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
February 10, 2013
9:30 AM Service

2nd Annual Status of Boys Scholarship Luncheon
Junior League Houston
February, 27, 2013
11:30 AM

March
Houston Rockets

National Anthem
Toyota Center

April
Grace Presbyterian Church
April 7, 2013

*Wedding
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

May
50th Annual Spring Concert
Sunday May 19, 2013
4:00 PM
University of Houston Moores Opera House

*Private Performances

Houston Boychoir Receives Prestigious Award from Mid-America Arts Alliance

Through a competitive application process, Houston Boychoir has been selected by the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) to participate in a unique project called ENGAGE Houston. In a two-year time frame, with hands on guidance, HBC will strengthen its governance, planning, resource development, and civic engagement capacity, which will enable HBC to grow its mission now and for the future. The award, which coincides with Houston Boychoir’s 50th Anniversary Season, is designed to assist staff and board members in building capacity as a cultural leader in Houston, empowering HBC to strengthen and sustain itself for the next 50 years.

As a cultural organization, Houston Boychoir has a strong history of partnership with and service to the Houston community. Working with HISD and the schools, with Texas Children’s Hospital and its commitment to arts in medicine, with Writers in the Schools and with Houston’s greatest cultural treasures: Houston Bach Society, Bay Area Chorus, Hope Stone Dance, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Mercury Orchestra and many more.  Houston Boychoir brings  unique resources of children and the arts to the Houston cultural landscape.

M-AAA, a nonprofit regional arts organization serving Texas and four other states, worked in formal partnership with Houston Endowment to provide 30 arts and cultural organizations in the Houston area the opportunity to address the unique needs of Houston’s cultural infrastructure, “using an outcome-based evaluation approach to ensure effectiveness, ultimately resulting in strengthened cultural institutions – a benefit to all residents and visitors of the Houston area.” Houston Endowment supports nonprofit organizations and educational institutions that produce and maximize enduring benefits for the people of the greater Houston area. Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones established Houston Endowment as a private philanthropic foundation in 1937 to help create a community where the opportunity to thrive is available to all.

The Big Dam Bridge

Boys arrived in the morning at the church eager to swap stories about where they stayed and what their families were like.  After hearing their stories and watching them bask in their new-found royalty, it is easy to see why they enjoy the event. Some of the boys were taken to the Big Dam Bridge, which they liked saying over and over and over again. Two of the boys saw fireflies for the first time. Now there’s a reason to get out of the city!! Boys are treated to baskets of snacks in their rooms and a few were taken to Five Guys for burgers, though they already had eaten dinner! Michael said his family’s home was like a palace and I am wondering if perhaps the adults might not like to billet in homes and be indulged in the manner to which they would like to become accustomed. After endless one-up-man-ship, it was time to settle in to the purpose of our business. Warm up the body, mind, and spirit and be prepared to enhance a congregation’s worship experience through music as only they can sing it.

A congregational point of view.

The rest of the day was spent in play. Work hard play hard. A beautiful countryside estate afforded the boys swimming, canoeing, tennis and their beloved basketball!! Then began a water game where one small tennis ball entertained 17 boys for hours!

All in all, a good day where the sun shone down on boys who sing and home they went, exhausted and happy.

First adventure off the bus

So, forty-five minutes outside of Houston Ms.Nelson says,”ooh look, that’s pretty, where are we?” The Woodlands replied Mr Fowler…45 said Ms. Holt. 45…45…45… Oh no we’re supposed to be on 59.  So we got off  I45 at HiWay 150 and went to New Waverly. Then jumped to FM 222 to Livingston, over the dam to FM 3278 to FM 1988 to Pan American drive to 59!!!

OK so we only lost 45 minutes but thanks to Ms Holt we saved 3 hours. She is now the designated navigator! Every tour needs one. Boys are happy just being together, didn’t know the difference! All they care about is lunch! First stop Nacogdoches!

Jonathan, Cem and Keaton first lunch of the tour.

Back on the bus it is time for rehearsal. Boys are ready and off we go with a little Exultate  Justi. When a good dose was finished the staff at the front of the bus spent a goodly portion of time singing in close harmony at the front of the bus. Who are the choir nerds now!

Travel, travel, travel. The countryside is lush and green with rolling hills and at last we arrive in Little Rock, at six o’clock. We disembark the bus and jog around the parking lot a few times to get the kinks out and at last we are let into the church. Mr. Bey leads a rousing rehearsal for Praise His Holy Name as families enter the sanctuary in anticipation of picking up their very own choir boy for a night or two.

Ms. Nelson continues the rehearsal, willing their voices to hold for just a few days more. It has been a huge semester of growth. Yes, make that physical growth, which means disaster for a choir made up primarily of trebles. But these are smart boys and good musicians and we make it work.

Boys are home with families making new friends and the staff has earned some well deserved rest. The morning will come quickly.

Traveling for 30

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Preparing for 30 to hit the trail for a concert tour is a bit like packing up a three-ring circus. In one ring you have boys: energetic, enthusiastic, enigmatic, ever-loving, voice changing boys!! In one ring you have stuff: med forms, snacks, props and costumes, gifts and cards, first aid,  kit, water, extra music, notes, notes and notes about where to go and what to do and of course, lists!!  In the third ring you have the adventure waiting to happen: friends to meet, concerts to sing, sites to see and memories to make.

In the morning bright and early we will hit the road.

Congratulations Alan Hamilton

Former chorister Alan Hamilton received a two year contract to work with the Stuttgart Staatsoper, one of Europe’s leading Opera Houses which forms part of the Stuttgart State Theatre (Staatstheater Stuttgart) a three-branch-theatre complex (opera, playhouse and ballet) and represents the largest theatre of its kind in Europe. The opera house itself, formerly known locally as the ”Grosses Haus”, was designed by Max Littmann and opened in 1912 with the world premiere of Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”. The house, which has been a listed building since 1924, currently has 1,404 seats and a per-season audience of approximately 250,000. The opera house building is one of the few major German opera houses not to be destroyed in the World War II.. The opera house is also home to the Stuttgart Ballet.

An important centre for opera since the 17th century, Stuttgart has again become an important and influential centre since the war, particularly for contemporary works. Three operas by Carl Orff received their premieres there and the company has been associated with figures such as Wieland Wagner, Günther Rennert, Hans Werner Henze and Philip Glass. The company has won the Opera House of the Year award by the German magazine ”Opernwelt” more often than any other company: in 1994 (the inaugural award), 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and in 2006..

Alan sang in the Houston Boychoir, attended HSPVA and continued to work for HBC as a staff accompanist throughout his undergraduate work at the Moores School of Music. Since leaving Houston, Alan has earned a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Piano where he studied with Martin Katz and an Artist’s Certificate from The Juilliard School where he has also served on staff.

Board of Directors’ President, Helen Currier honored with highest nursing award

Helen Currier, BSN, RN, CNN, CNEP, director of Renal and Pheresis Services at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston was awarded the prestigious Barbara Prowant Lifetime Achievement Award in Nephrology Nursing during the 32nd Annual Dialysis Conference held on February 25-28 in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes nephrology nurses who have made significant contributions to the advancement of nephrology nursing through clinical care, education, and research.

Currier, who was mentored by former award winners including Barbara Prowant, is a national and international consultant, author and lecturer in pediatric nephrology nursing. Her research interests include pediatric renal replacement therapies, issues facing chronically ill children, quality of life for pediatric chronic kidney disease patients, health care environmental design and the healing arts. In 2010, she was inducted as one of twenty inaugural distinguished fellows for the Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

Currier came to Texas Children’s Hospital in 1976 to serve as a charge nurse for a 20-bed pediatric cardiology unit and later as charge nurse and unit teacher in an 18-bed PICU. By 1980, she had moved into the Dialysis unit of Texas Children’s, where she has held many leadership jobs. During her 36-year career, she has authored or co-authored 17 abstracts, 27 publications and has represented Texas Children’s Hospital at numerous national and international conferences around the world. A highlight has been her interface with nephrology nurse colleagues in South Africa where in 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of the Renal Care Society of South Africa in recognition of devotion and contribution of exceptional merit to the Society.

Currier holds varied interests in the medical arts. She is active in 8 organizations and serves on the Boards of the National Renal Administrators’ Association, the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and the Houston Boychoir.

Leonard Sax to speak at the First Annual Status of Boys Scholarship Luncheon benefittin Houston Boychoir

Dr Oz says, “Boys Adrift is a must read” for any parent, educator, or mentor of boys.

Join us at the Junior League where Dr. Sax will talk about the problems facing many of today’s unmotivated, underachieving boys and he will offer practical solutions to nurture and help build strong futures for boys and their families.

Come for lunch and prepare to be entertained, engaged and enlightened all the while having an opportunity to meet with colleagues and friends.

You will be supporting one of Houston’s treasures in education and music making. Help us grow our boys!

There are a few tables availabe to be purchased as well as individual tickets.

Sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital and Pierpont Communications this will one lunch not to miss.