Get to Know the HMC Board of Directors

01.

Why did you join the HMC Board of Directors? Sandi Dillon, Marketing and Communications

02.

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

03.

Where is your favorite place on earth? And Why?

04.

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

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David Stix, HMC Board Chair

  • 1. Why did you join the HMC Board of Directors? My employer was a corporate sponsor.
  • 2. Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band; he’s the Boss, nuf said.
  • 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.

Vicki Merwin, Secretary

  • 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.
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Laura-Hill Taylor, Director

  • 1. I’m a firm believer in the concept “time, talent & treasure” and I wanted to volunteer my accounting skills to HMC.
  • 2. Couldn’t possibly list one. I can appreciate all music on different levels.
  • 3. Favorite place is home, but one of the most beautiful I’ve visited is Scotland.
  • 4. I think I would enjoy a cruise around the world visiting many different countries and not having to pack and unpack!

Sandi Dillon, Marketing and Communication Director

  • 1. We live in community and should support one another in growing and sharing our talents. Although I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I appreciate those who can and want to share their gift of voice with the world. I can play my part by using my gifts of strategy, marketing, and communication to connect singers with those who are moved to listen. I enjoy learning and connecting with people who live in circles where I don’t normally hang out, and truth be told, it was hard to say no to Dani, our Executive Director, when she asked.
  • 2. Of course, this changes over the years. When I was young, I was a Bay City Rollers fanatic. Today, when I’m not listening to the music conducted by our Artistic Director, Paulo Gomes, I’m dialed into Christian lyrics, especially Zach Williams who has a heart for prison ministry. Diversity is my middle name.
  • 3. When I’m on mission in Colombia, Honduras, Kenya, Bhutan, or El Salvador, it’s always there in that country and in that moment; otherwise, northern California among the Sequoias and Redwoods, where I feel dwarfed by nature while feeling deeply loved by God.
  • 4. A 90-day trip through Europe with my husband, a rolling tote, camera, a one-way ticket from Houston to London, a credit card with no limit, and no plan. As a very schedule- and itinerary-driven person, it would be an exciting and out-of-my-element adventure sure to deliver limitless stories to tell upon return.
Dillon
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Rochella Cooper, Director

  • 1. I joined as a singer in 1987 to balance a hectic work life. I found peace, joy, and demanding musical rigor. Through the years I have served as accompanist, committee member, President of the Chorus, and in 2019 I joined the board as Finance Chair.
  • 2. My favorite group is the one that I am currently playing or singing in!. Throughout my music career I have played in small and large groups; Portia Wind Ensemble in London, 1 st Flute Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Munchies on Bissonnet, singing in Houston Symphony Chorus and now HMC. I am a maker of music and I thrive on the communal energy.
  • 3. My favorite place is where I grow. Each place has contributed to who I am. University of Capetown Music School in South Africa with its glorious diversity; London and Paris where I became an accomplished musician; traveling to exotic places broadened my understanding of different cultures; and Houston that allowed my creativity to blossom.
  • 4. My bucket is full to overflowing!

Emily Batchelor, Chorus President-Elect

  • 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!
Emily
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Pat Whitnel, Chorus President

  • 1. My first exposure as a HMC Board member was when I was elected as the Chorus President in the summer of 2000.  To ensure a consistent transition to the new Chorus President, I will remain on the board for at least a year and serve on the Finance Committee.
  • 2. Aside from a few specific songs “Feliz Navidad” (mainly because the bass part is high for the entire song – for absolutely no reason) and instruments “bagpipes” (no offense to my Scottish friends), I enjoy just about every music genre. Those who try to stereotype me are often incredibly surprised by what my playlists contain.
  • 3. Anywhere with my family. They matter more to me than a physical location.
  • 4. See number 3.  Anywhere with them tops all my lists.

Dani Charvoz, Executive Director

  • 1. In 1998, I heard HMC perform the Duruflé Requiem and fell in love with their captivating sound, professionalism, and creativity. Eighteen years later I finally had time to commit to joining the chorus. After my first year, I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors as the Marketing/Communication Director. I love sharing my superpower of blending and balancing personalities and helping organizations achieve their vision, mission, and goals.
  • 2. My favorite is The Goat Rodeo Sessions with incredible musicians: Chris Thile, YoYo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer an Aoife O’Donovan. Though I really love everything from Gregorian Chant to Pitbull. No country music for me, please.
  • 3. The Rothko Chapel. On each visit I have an out of body experience and emotionally travel through memories of places I’ve been, books I’ve read, the arts I’ve experienced. Every. Time.
  • 4. Visit the official Edward Gorey Museum and hike England’s deadliest trail, the 6 mile Broomway Trail near Sussex, England. It’s best to make the hike within 24 hours or before the tide comes in. Also, you can become disoriented and drown if you’re not across before the fog rolls in. Supposedly there are also mines left over from WW II.
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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.

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.
Burgos
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Kay Boyd, Director

  • 1. I was encouraged to join by several members, and the director, who knew me and of my experience in business, in music, and in past volunteer board leadership.
  • 2. Making this choice would be like having to choose a favorite child. I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and a small group, Voctave. I crave excellence, balance, and fine tuning. I never tire of the sound of the singing voice.
  • 3. Wherever I happen to be with someone(s) I love.
  • 4. Taking care of my family and sharing meaningful time and experiences with them. Which is beginning to happen, now that we are retired, and are moving past the year of ghastly quarantine.

Dr. Paulo Gomes

  • 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.
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Terri Kimble, Director

  • 1.  I joined the HMC board after hearing about its vision and mission; and coupled with my love for music, people skills and connections, I thought it would be a great organization to support and a way to serve and give back to the community by connecting the community to classical music. In addition, I’d get to enjoy live classical music; I think it’s an excellent component for work-life balance. Thank you, Vicki Merwin, for introducing me to HMC!
  • 2. Besides HMC, I love all kinds of music; however, my favorites are smooth jazz, gospel and R&B. My favorite jazz artist is Kenny G (Silhouette and Song bird) because his music is so relaxing and it is amazing what he can do with a saxophone and clarinet. Tauren Wells is one of my favorite gospel artists; the lyrics to his songs remind me of everyday life and God’s love for us.  Lastly, the late Whitney Houston is my favorite R&B artist for her amazing voice.
  • 3.  So far, my favorite place on earth is the country-side of Barcelona, Spain. It’s beautiful, the winding roads and houses built into the hills, the cool breeze on the summer nights and the best seafood paella I’ve ever had.
  • 4.  If time or money weren’t an issue, a trip to Israel to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be at the top of my bucket list.