Board and Staff


David Stix - Board Chair

Vicki Merwin - Secretary

Karen Burgos - Treasurer

Sandra Dillon - Marketing & Communications

Emily Batchelor - Chorus President

Margarita Arentsen-Landgren - Director

Kay Boyd - Director

Scott Clark - Director

Rochella Cooper - Director

Terri Kimble - Director

Bruce Sealy - Director

Laura-Hill Taylor - Director

Traci Twardowski- Director

Pat Whitnel - Past Chorus President


Dr. Paulo Gomes - Artistic and Music Director

Paulo Gomes, Director

Paulo Gomes is the Director of Choral Music at Blinn College, Brenham Campus, Artistic Director and Conductor of Houston Masterworks Chorus, and Founder of Houston Camerata. Dr. Gomes led the Houston Masterworks Chorus at their performance of the 80th Anniversary Commemoration of Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii 2021, representing the City of Houston.

He has also conducted at Boston University, University of Houston, Clark University, Worcester State University and University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2019, Dr. Gomes led the way for Blinn College District Chamber Choir’s first trip abroad, in the Andalusia region in Spain. They perform at the University of Granada, Pablo Olavide University of Seville, and at the Iglesia de la Encarnacion in Montefrio, where they received great reviews and audience ovations.

During his studies in Houston, Dr. Gomes served as the Assistant Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus. As an educator Gomes was awarded Teacher of the Year by his faculty peers at Worcester Public Schools. He has also been a presenter for the America Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference in Salt Lake City, lectured for Massachusetts ACDA on Brazilian Choral Music. In 2022, Dr. Gomes will be the Choral Coordinator of the Texas Two-Years College Choral Directors Association (TTCCDA) under the leadership of Dr. Lynne Gackle, from Baylor University.

Dr. Gomes was born in Brazil and has conducted in his country as well as 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. His other mentors include Dr. Wayne Abercrombie, Dr. Eph Ehly, Dr. Katalin Kiss, Maestro Roberto Duarte, Maestro Sergio Magnani, and Maestro Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca. As an assistant conductor at the Municipal Theater in São Paulo, Dr. Gomes worked with professional singers such as Aprile Millo, Samuel Ramey, and Fernando Portari in the production of the operas Un Ballo in Maschera, L’elisir d’amoreOtelloAida, and Fidelio.

Dr. Gomes holds a Doctorate 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.

As a performer, Dr. Gomes advocates for a cappella choral music and choral/orchestral works, and his research interests focus on Brazilian Colonial music. He is a member of the American Choral Directors 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.





Julie Sacks - Accompanist

Julie Sacks enjoys a varied musical career in Houston and is thrilled to be joining Houston Masterworks this season. For the past 22 years, Julie has served as staff pianist and coach at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where she has had the opportunity to work with all instruments and voice types in recitals, competitions, and one-on-one coachings. She plays as a regular substitute/extra keyboardist with the Houston Symphony, and over the years has also been fortunate to work with the Houston Symphony Chorus, Houston Camerata, UH Choral Artists, Houston Grand Opera’s Opera To Go program, Meadowmount School for Strings (NY), Young Texas Artists Competition, Encore School for Strings (OH), TUTS, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Opera in the Heights, Gilbert and Sullivan Society, First Unitarian Church, and others.

She has performed in recital in New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Ithaca, NY, Athens, GA, Washington DC, Michigan and around Ohio and Texas.


In October 2019, Julie began a new adventure as the Early Childhood and Elementary music teacher at Beth Yeshurun Day School, following a 10-year music teacher position at the Becker Early Childhood Center. She has absolutely loved learning to become a better teacher and loves to make the children laugh and smile while being surrounded by music. Since childhood, Julie has particularly enjoyed performing at area retirement communities and bringing the joy of music to the residents. She was on the piano/chamber music of the American Festival for the Arts in Houston for 10 summers, and was the choral pianist during the inaugural summer of AFA’s Choral program in 2003.


Julie holds a Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Anne Epperson and Linda Jones, where she was awarded the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Prize in Collaborative Piano. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas, in the studio of Dr. William Race. As a student she spent her summers at Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC), Texas Music Festival and Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA).

HMC Executive Director - Danielle Charvoz
Executive Director