Get to Know the HMC Board of Directors


Why did you join the HMC Board of Directors?


Beside HMC, what’s your favorite music group and why?


Where is your favorite place on earth? And Why?


If time and money weren’t an issue, what would be at the top of your bucket list?

Vicki Merwin Board Chair

Vicki Merwin Board Chair

  • 1. I wanted work with a small board, where I can make an impact and be involved in an aspect of art that I enjoy and can participate.
  • 2. I don’t have a favorite group but have some favorite jazz singers; Tierney Sutton, Jane Monheit, Veronica Swift; Tierney Sutton, her unusual arrangements, Jane Monheit, her tonal quality, you can wallow in it, it is velvety, she is the female Mel Torme, Veronica Swift is hip.
  • 3. Mountainview, Arkansas. It was unexpected delight. People stand on corners singing 4-part simple harmony playing string instruments. The best food is from McDonald’s and it is a dry country. It was like being back in the 50’s…
  • 4. Heal everyone from their hurt and pain.

Emily Schulz  Chorus President

  • 1.  I know I can help facilitate communication between the singers, artistic director and board. I want to serve and donate my time in order to strengthen and give back to an organization that has shone a light into my life and the lives of others.
  • 2.  I discovered a young band called Bailen out of NYC last year. It’s made up of three siblings whose parents are classical musicians. They remind me of Fleetwood Mac and the blood harmonies in their songs are really beautiful.
  • 3.  Probably pike fishing with my Dad out on one of the little lakes that dot northern Alberta. The skies and wildlife are marvelous to watch, punctured by moments of sheer thrill when the fish decide to bite.
  • 4.  I am a fish keeper and money is always an obstacle in this hobby, so I’d probably build a gigantic planted tank with exotic fish. Or take a trip to the UK: seeing Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, and exploring history around London are all dreams of mine
Emily S

Tim Sesby Secretary

  • 1. To help create opportunities for a diverse audience to see and hear the awesome ways we make classical and opera music cool.
  • 2. In the city of Houston, it would have to be the Houston Symphony; Outside of the genre it is most likely Fleetwood Mac, Acker Bilk and a lot of Afrobeats. The eclecticness of Fleetwood is so interesting to the ears, especially when I compare it to the sounds today.
  • 3. Sweden in the summer, it is so serene and peaceful, most of all the sun does not set till 11pm.
  • 4. Probably attend every cup final of most ball sports, listen to Hans Zimmerman’s unreleased music, and lastly help as many people with what I have.

Karen Burgos Treasurer

  • 1. I’ve sung in performing choirs for over 15 years, primarily under the same director, and I wanted to try something new. It also helped that I have quite a few very good friends in HMC and I thought it would be fun to sing with them.
  • 2. I can’t say I have a particularly favorite music group as I enjoy such a wide variety of music from classical to heavy metal. ABBA is one of the first to come to mind along with The Beatles but there are many more. Probably my most favorite style of music is that of musicals.
  • 3. The beach is my most favorite place on earth. I grew up in Florida and we went to the beach often. Some of my fondest memories are there; playing in the sand, floating in the ocean, boating, and spending rainy afternoons working on jigsaw puzzles. On purpose there were no TVs at the beach and I loved that. Helped us enjoy quality family time.
  • 4.  Travel all over the world. I enjoy seeing other places and learning about different cultures. I even married someone from another country. I’ve been privileged enough to travel to several countries but there are many more places I would like to see. I would love the opportunity to live in foreign places as well and really learn the language and culture.
Photography by Israel Thompson.

Emily Batchelor Director

  • 1. I feel exceedingly privileged to have been elected by the chorus to represent them on the Board of Directors. I came into the choir under Dr. Allen Hightower, my college director, who taught me about responsibility, what we owe each other, professionalism, and taking pride in one’s craft by his lived example both at SHSU and beyond. To me, HMC is not just a choir- it’s a choral community that has nurtured me as a young musician, given me an outlet as an occasionally overwhelmed new parent, introduced me to lifelong friends and new musical experiences, and allowed me to perform in places that I never dreamed of. It is my distinct pleasure to serve the chorus in this role, and I hope to live out those ideals instilled in me so many years ago.
  • 2. Green Day. Honestly, it’s quite hard to choose just one but I think I’ll always come back to Green Day. Their energy is unbridled and contagious, and they’re amazing live.
  • 3. Snuggled up with my boys, reading them a story at night. There is no feeling quite like it. I love sharing my favorite stories with them and discovering new ones together.
  • 4.  I’d love to pack up our whole family and just be nomads for a few years. Experiencing different cultures as more than a tourist and spending time soaking up nature’s wonders would be such an incredible gift!

Kathleen Mensing Director

  • 1.As a dedicated singer with HMC for many years, I want to give back and help an organization more on an organizational level.
  • 2. Besides HMC, I have many other favorite music groups. I love my Church choir; I love musicals and am a long time member of TUTS. As a teenager I loved Credence Clear Water Revival, The Beach Boys, and Simon and Garfunkel.
  • 3. My favorite place on earth is my home, its comfort, peacefulness, and family. Secondly, send me to England anytime and anywhere and I feel at home.
  • 4. I have been most fortunate to have married a lovely man, my late husband, Brannon, who helped me fulfill most of my bucket list. But, if I could narrow down one thing I have left to do where time and money was no object, I’d make sure no child went to bed hungry or cold or alone.
David Stix photo

David Stix Director

  • 1. Why did you join the HMC Board of Directors? My employer was a corporate sponsor and I grew to love the HMC family.
  • 2. Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band.
  • 3. San Sebastian, Spain: sea, mountains and the best food on the planet.
  • 4. Drive from Sweden to Sicily, stopping at every landmark along the way.

Liz Sturman Director

  • 1. For many years and in several countries it has been my passion to bring diverse people together to find purpose in music, outside their work and family life. It is a privilege to be able to continue this through the Board of HMC.
  • 2. Easy question, it has to be Queen! For the tunes, the harmonies, the creativity.  But you’ll find everything from Aerosmith through Taylor Swift to English madrigals on my playlists.  Anything with a rockin’ melody to sing along to …
  • 3. This one feels like choosing between your children!  The moors of Derbyshire in the rain, memories of my dad and dog; on the cliffs at Sheringham, I love the sea; the beach at Panaga in Brunei at sunset, amazing colours; with my husband and daughter in Singapore ….. can’t choose!
  • 4. Travel.  COVID put our US adventure on hold for too long, so Charleston, Savannah, San Francisco, Key west, Niagara Falls, Seattle all still to be discovered!

Bruce Sealy Director

  • 1. I was asked to be the Chorus President initially and even though I didn’t really have any specific experience in that regard from an organizational standpoint, I thought I would give it a try. Apparently, I did a good enough job that they asked me to hang around for a second year. I’m a very practical and matter of fact person and I try to bring those qualities to the board in a positive way. I’m now serving as the liaison to Chapelwood United Methodist Church, where we are fortunate enough to hold rehearsals and concerts.
  • 2. That’s hard to say as I have very varied musical tastes – from classic rock, classic country,  vocal music of many kinds (choral, a capella, small groups) and jazz. Groups like Led Zeppelin, artists such as Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash and classic jazz musicians like Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis are all high on the list.
  • 3. As our kids were growing up, it was always being at some sporting event that they were participating in – from volleyball to baseball – up through college where our son was lucky enough to be able to play. I always have enjoyed being anywhere that I can sing, so being a part of HMC as well as several groups at our church are places that make me happy.
  • 4. Well, traveling is always an option, particularly since I’ve the opportunity to travel to many locales in the world for business but unfortunately my wife, Sharon, hasn’t had the chance to go with me, so it would be great to take her to places like Portugal, Spain and Brazil that she’s never had a chance to visit. I would definitely love to be able to help out our children with things like home purchases and other things that they may need.

Paulo Gomes Artistic Director

  • 1. As a conductor I always cherish and enjoy working with an orchestra and chorus in the masterwork genre.
  • 2. I would say ABBA and Queen
  • 3.  Italy is my favorite place in the world. The history, food, and views are just incredible.
  • 4. Have a house in a small Tuscan village.