Artistic Director

tom-jaber

Tom Jaber

Artistic & Music Director

Tom Jaber is Professor of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and Music Director of the Rice University Chorale. For the past thirty years, he has coached singers, collaborated as pianist, organist and harpsichordist in countless recitals with both faculty and students, conducted chorus and orchestra concerts, and several operatic productions at Rice University and around the country. In 2007, Mr. Jaber was guest conductor in a large festival of choral music in the Sydney Opera House. He also appeared in recitals and operatic programs on the Amalfi coast in Italy and in the Harbin, China International Festival as well as Beijing and Shang-Hai.

Mr. Jaber has been the Artistic and Music Director of the esteemed Houston Masterworks Chorus for the past five years. With that ensemble he has led concerts with music from the standard large choral ensemble repertoire.  He has also led the group on a highly successful concert tour of Italy in the summer of 2016. Musical highlights of the festival tour included singing in the Cathedral of Sorrento, Mass in the Vatican/St. Peter’s, Rome’s Santa Maria Degli Angeli e dei Martiri, as well as the Cathedral of Pisa.

In February 2011 Mr. Jaber served as Guest Conductor with Houston Masterworks Chorus leading them in some of the great musical masterworks of Opera and Broadway in a concert titled Music of the Stage. In May 2011 Houston Masterworks Chorus appointed Mr. Jaber as its Artistic Director and Conductor. He began his inaugural season with the Chorus with a moving presentation of Mozart’s Requiem in memory of the tragedies of September 11, 2001; in November the Chorus presented a program of music of the works of Benjamin Britten titled Great Britten! In December he led the Chorus in a thrilling performance of Handel’s Messiah presented in Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Upcoming concerts in the 2017-18 season include the music of Rutter, Poulenc, Vaughan Williams, and Mendelssohn. The concert series will conclude with a presentation of Mendelssohn’s towering masterpiece “Elijah”at Houston’s St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in late April 2018.

Mr. Jaber is an honor graduate of Arkansas State University, Indiana University and the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music where he was a member of the faculty from 1976-88. In addition, he was conductor and vocal coach at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts from 1977-86, and was Music Director of the Temple University Opera Theater from 1986-88.

 

Tom Jaber enjoyed a long association with the world-renowned entertainer Fred Waring. He worked as the head pianist at the Waring annual summer workshops with Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians at Pennsylvania State University and elsewhere. He was also a featured conductor and pianist with Virigina Waring on the PBS Broadcasts of the Fred Waring US Chorus in the years following Mr. Waring’s death.

As Director of Music and Organist at Houston’s Chapelwood United Methodist Church for twenty-five years, he led Chapelwood’s Chancel Choir in five international concert tours and played for thousands of services of worship throughout his tenure at Chapelwood and elsewhere over a very long career as a church musician. In 2006, he inaugurated the Evans Arts Series at Chapelwood UMC, where free-to-the-public presentations of a very wide and exciting variety of artistic expressions have been presented to the Houston Community.

 

Mr. Jaber was the Organist-Choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1977- 88. There he led a professional chorus of singers and was heard regularly as organ recitalist on the magnificent Alexander McCurdy Organ.

Tom Jaber has performed as piano accompanist for the Texas Music Educator’s Music Association All-State Mixed Choirs with conductors Jo-Michael Scheibe and Simon Carrington. And, he has now collaborated with Dr. Lynne Gackle for two separate Texas All-State Women’s Choruses. He joined Dr. Gackle as piano accompanist for the Honor Women’s Chorus of the American Choral Directors Association at their national convention in Chicago in March 2011. He has regularly served as the accompanist and/or adjuicator for District and Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  In addition, for many years he has served as audition pianist for the San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Audition tour.

 

Married for the past forty-one years, Tom and Andrea Jaber are the very proud parents of Benjamin, Patricia, and Joseph.