Board and Staff

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Vicki Merwin- Board Chair

Karen Burgos - Treasurer

Liz Sturman - Secretary

Emily Schulz - Chorus President

Emily Batchelor - Director

Kathleen Mensing - Director

Bruce Sealy - Director

David Stix - Director

Danielle Charvoz - Executive Director

HOUSTON MASTERWORKS CHORUS - ARTISTIC STAFF

Dr. Paulo Gomes - Artistic and Music Director

Paulo Gomes, Director

Paulo Gomes  is the Director of Vocal Division and Choral Activities at Lone Star College CyFair, Artistic Director and Conductor of Houston Masterworks Chorus, and Founder of Houston Camerata. In 2022, Dr. Gomes was appointed the President of the Texas Two-Years College Choral Directors Association (TTCCDA).

 

Formerly, he has served as the Graduate Assistant Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus, during his studies in Houston, and the Director of Choral Music at Blinn College District. Under his direction, the Blinn Chamber Choir had its first trip abroad, in the Andalusia region in Spain, where they received great reviews and audience ovations. Dr. Gomes also led the Houston Masterworks Chorus at their performance of the 80th Anniversary Commemoration of Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii 2021, representing the City of Houston.

 

Dr. Gomes was born in Brazil and has conducted in his country as well as Spain, Hawaii and in Italy. In 1992, he received a second prize on the “Premio Vicenzo Valenti” conducting the orchestra and choir Josquino Salépico in Molffetta City, Italy. Paulo has conducted at Boston University, University of Houston, and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 

Earlier posts include Interim Director of Choral Activities at Clark University and Worcester State University, in Massachusetts. Dr. Gomes has taught at the high school level in Worcester, MA and Crosby, TX. He has been a presenter for the America Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference in Salt Lake City, lectured for Massachusetts ACDA on Brazilian Choral Music, and serves as a clinician for colleges, high schools, and churches.

 

Dr. Gomes holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Houston, and Master of Music degree from Boston University, where he received the Departmental Honor Award for outstanding achievement. His mentors include Dr. Ann Howard Jones, Dr. Charles Hausmann, Dr. Eph Ehly, Dr. Katalin Kiss, Maestro Roberto Duarte, Maestro Sergio Magnani, and Maestro Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca.

 

Paulo is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Director Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Chorus America, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the College Music Society, America Guild of Organists, and the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda.

 

 

 

 

Grant Smith - Accompanist


Grant Smith is an organ master’s degree student at Rice University in the studio of Ken Cowan.

 

He frequently performs as an organ soloist in California, Houston, and across Texas. He is a sought-after collaborative performer and has performed alongside Bach Society Houston, the Rice Chorale, the West University Baptist Church Choir, and many other ensembles and solo instrumentalists.

 

Grant has been successful in organ competitions, winning First Prize in the 2022 Feith International Organ Competition in Blieskastel, Germany, and First Prize in the 2023 Hall Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas. Grant was also a semi-finalist in international organ competitions in Seoul and Tokyo in 2023. During a study trip to Leipzig, Germany, he studied historical Baroque performance on instruments dating back to J. S. Bach.

 

Grant maintains an active performing career in organ, piano, and harpsichord. He performed works for two pianos and eight hands with the Houston chamber ensemble, Context in 2023. He also performed as the harpsichord soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Ligeti’s Kammerkonzert in April 2023.

 

He graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in music and civil engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. He won the school’s Concerto Competition twice in both piano and organ.

 

Grant is active in the Houston community, serving as organist and pianist at West University Baptist Church, organ scholar at First Lutheran Church, and organist and pianist for the Houston Masterworks Chorus.

FOUNDING MUSIC DIRECTOR EMERITUS - Ara Carapetyan