First Annual Summer Sacred Music Choral Festival

On Saturday, June 17, two hundred church choir members of all denominations from across the Greater Houston area came together to raise their voices in praise and thanksgiving at the First Annual Summer Sacred Music Choral Festival. This annual ecumenical concert, organized by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s Office of Worship, was the first of its kind and offered local choristers the opportunity to perform sacred choral masterpieces that are rarely in a smaller choir’s repertoire.

Dr. Dan Girardot, Associate Director of the Office of Worship for Formation, welcomed the audience in prayer. Before the festival choir took to the stage, the archdiocesan chamber choir warmed up the audience with a diverse repertoire of six sacred music pieces under the direction of Dr. Richard Lopez, Associate Director of the Office of Worship for Liturgical Music. One highlight in the program of many highlights was the performance of Ave Verum, which was composed by Houston native Gonzalo A. Ramos, who sang as a tenor.

The choir of two hundred voices then entered the stage to perform Requiem for the Living by American composer Dan Forrest after having attended just three rehearsals, all of which took place in the preceding 24 hours. The orchestra, the venue, and the choir all contributed to a superb performance under the direction of Dr. Kevin M. Klotz, who serves as the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Houston Christian University as well as Artistic Director for the Houston Choral Society.

After a lengthy standing ovation, Dr. Lopez thanked the audience for supporting sacred music and asked that they support the future of this annual event by inviting their friends and family to attend next year. “This event surpassed my expectations by far,” said Dr. Lopez. “The singers were so very well prepared, and it just astounded me to hear just how beautiful it is when two hundred voices come together to perform a piece like this. It is magnificent.”

Photo gallery credit: Myke Toman Imagery