The Houston Symphony Chorus is the official choral unit of the Houston Symphony and consists of highly skilled and talented volunteer singers. Over the years, members of this historic ensemble have learned and performed the world’s great choral-orchestral masterworks under the batons of Juraj Valčuha, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Robert Shaw, and Helmut Rilling, among many others.

In addition, the Chorus enjoys participating in the Houston Symphony’s popular programming under the batons of conductors such as Steven Reineke and Michael Krajewski. Recently, the ensemble sang the closing subscription concerts with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

Houston Symphony Chorus 2024–25 season:

Opening Weekend: Dvořák’s New World: October 4, 5 & 6, 2024
Michael Tilson Thomas Conducts Beethoven 9: November 14, 2024
Very Merry Pops: December 12, 14 & 15, 2024
Handel’s Messiah: December 20, 21 & 22, 2024
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ In Concert: January 18 & 19, 2025
Hilary Hahn Plays Brahms: March 7, 8 & 9, 2025
Juraj Valčuha Conducts Mahler 3: May 30, 31 & June 1, 2025

Singers are selected for specific programs for which they have indicated interest. A singer might choose to perform in all 45 concerts, as was the case in a recent season, or might elect to participate in a single series. The Houston Symphony Chorus holds auditions by appointment and welcomes inquiries from interested singers.

For questions about the Houston Symphony Chorus, please send an email to Suré Eloff.

Trinity Lutheran
Special thanks to Trinity Downtown Lutheran Church for providing the Houston Symphony Chorus with rehearsal space.

The Houston Symphony Chorus is one of Houston’s oldest and most distinguished musical organizations. Founded in 1946 as the Houston Chorale, it became the Houston Symphony Chorale in 1968, and the Houston Symphony Chorus in 1986.

  • The Chorus has enjoyed the leadership of eight directors: Alfred Urbach (1946–1986), A. Clyde Roller (1967–1968), Wayne Bedford (1968–1969), Don Strong (1969–1977), Virginia Babikian (1977–1986), Charles Hausmann (1986–2014), Dr. Betsy Cook Weber (2014–2022), and Allen Hightower (2022–2023). Because of Dr. Hausmann’s extraordinarily long service, he was named Director Emeritus upon his retirement.

Over the years, the Chorus has sung with dozens of the world’s most notable conductors, including Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Steven Reineke, Michael Krajewski, Robert Shaw, André Previn, Leopold Stokowski, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir John Barbirolli, Ferenc Fricsay, Lawrence Foster, and Hans Graf, to name only a very few.

In addition to performances in Jones Hall, the Symphony’s home venue, the Chorus has also delighted audiences in various concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, and Mexico.

Recent reactions to its performances include:

“…beautifully balanced, modulated sound that seamlessly blended with the orchestra.”
—Review of A German Requiem, Houston Chronicle, May 8, 2018

“… the chorus was magnificent.”
—Review of Stabat Mater, Houston Chronicle, September 27, 2018

The Chorus consists entirely of volunteer singers who have considerable musical skill, vocal talent, and choral experience. They audition for placement each year.  The Chorus performance schedule is possibly the busiest in the country, consisting of up to fourteen different sets of repertoire for a total of 45 concerts.  Knowing that good singers are usually very busy people and that most could not possibly participate in a full season, the Chorus uses a unique method of placement.  At the time of their audition, singers indicate in which series they are interested in singing.  Some will be interested in singing only one series with us, while others will hope to sing all fourteen.  They are subsequently placed based on their audition scores and stated preferences.

If it is appealing to imagine yourself singing wonderful repertoire as part of a dedicated, skilled, talented choir, with one of the world’s great orchestras, and under the batons of some of the world’s most exciting conductors, please view the Audition Information listed on this page.

The Houston Symphony Chorus will audition the following singers for the 2024-25 season:

  • All tenors and basses, new and returning.
  • Any singer who did not sing during the 2023-24 season, new and returning.

All active sopranos and altos who wish to be considered for placement in any 2024-25 season series will vocalize. This will not affect the singer’s present audition score, but it will be used for placement in the appropriate section for each qualifying series.

Availability and Season Calendar

If you have already auditioned for the Chorus, please complete the Season and Interest Availability form by Thursday, June 20.

Click here to access the season calendar. Be sure to check your personal calendar carefully before committing to a series.

When and where are the auditions?

The auditions will be held May 15 through 18 at Trinity Downtown, 800 Houston Ave., 77007. Click on one of the following buttons to sign up.
May 15 Sign Up
May 16 Sign Up
May 17 Sign Up
May 18 Sign Up
Voicing for Returning S/A Only
You should receive an email reminder regarding your audition time, but, just in case, record the date and time so you don’t miss your audition.

Expectations and Procedures

I. All Auditionees

Singers will participate in a four-part audition consisting of the following elements:

  • Vocalization to demonstrate the range and quality of the voice.
  • A vocalise sung in Italian to demonstrate vowel and tone production.
  • A choral selection of either a Messiah chorus (sung by singers who would like to be considered for placement in Messiah) or Hymn 376 (for singers who do not wish to be considered for placement in Messiah).
  • Sight-Reading (a cappella).

II. Active Sopranos and Altos

  • Singers will vocalize to the extremes of their upper and lower ranges.
  • No prepared selection or sight-reading is required.

Audition Material Specifications

For each selection, the link to the music score is listed first, followed by the audio link.


You’ll sing Vaccai #5 in your desired key.
Vaccai V High G

Vaccai V Med F

Vaccai V Low Eflat

Messiah Chorus

Choose one from the following:
His Yoke is Easy

Let Us Break Their Bonds

All We Like Sheep
, stopping at measure 76 (before the Adagio)

Hymn (in lieu of a Messiah chorus)

You’ll sing Verse 1: melody and Verse 3: alto, tenor, or bass line (sopranos and altos will all sing the alto line).
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (Hymn 376)


This will be equivalent to Level 6 of “Sight-Reading Factory.”


How should I prepare for the sight-reading portion of the audition?

The HSC sight-reading melodies are generated from Sight-Reading Factory, level 6. Email the Chorus Manager to obtain access to Sight-Reading Factory to practice at

Will I sing with live piano or tracks?

Vocalise, Messiah chorus, and Hymn 376 will be sung to tracks. Vocalizing will be led from the piano.

If you have any questions/difficulties with the audition process, please email Suré Eloff at

Julia C. Hall

Julia C. Hall, Interim Director

Julia C. Hall is the retired chair of the vocal music department at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In addition to her duties as the primary HSPVA voice instructor, she conducted the Concert Singers, Chorale, and HSPVA Madrigal Singers. Before returning to her high school alma mater 12 years ago, Julia taught at Lamar High School, Episcopal High School, and Memorial Middle School. She conducted invited choirs twice at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention: in 2011, with the Memorial Advanced Treble Choir and in 2017, with the HSPVA Treble Chorus.

Julia earned her Bachelor of Music Education, cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas where she studied voice with Diane Tobola, and her Master of Music, choral conducting, from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. She is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to her many years as a Houston Symphony Chorus soprano, she has sung with the Houston Chamber Choir and Houston Masterworks Chorus. A life-long Episcopalian, she served on the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Music Commission for many years.


Scott Holshouser

Scott Holshouser, Pianist

Scott Holshouser, principal keyboardist with the Houston Symphony, has been a member of the orchestra since 1980. He began his musical training in Athens, GA and attended Florida State University before moving to Houston to continue his studies at the University of Houston. He is now a member of the faculty at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music.

He is a former staff pianist with the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera and presently is the accompanist for the Houston Symphony Chorus, the Ima Hogg National Young Artist Competition and the Corpus Christi Young Artist Competition.

Suré Eloff Chorus Manager
Tony Sessions Librarian

Since the Chorus Endowment was established in 1997, all proceeds have helped enrich the choral experience at the Houston Symphony. With your generous support, the Chorus Endowment has helped fund exciting new commissions, underwriting workshops and free community performances.

Please join us in giving to the Chorus Endowment. Here is how you can donate:

For current Houston Symphony Chorus members, use the Chorus Portal link to log in and access chorus resources:

Go to Chorus Portal