THE HONORABLE GEORGE H. W. BUSH
The Forty-first President of the United States
George H. W. Bush was elected President of the United States on November 8, 1988, sworn in on January 20, 1989, and served until January 20, 1993. During his term in office, the Cold War ended, the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced and President Bush put together an unprecedented coalition of 32 nations to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. He also signed into law, among other things, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act.
Since leaving office, President Bush has helped raise millions of dollars for a variety of charitable organizations. He served on the Board of Visitors of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, including a two-year term as Chairman and is honorary chairman of the Points of Light Foundation.
Born on June 12, 1924 George H. W. Bush became a decorated naval pilot who flew during World War II. He graduated from Yale University in 1948 and moved to Texas where he went into the oil business. President Bush's career in politics and public service began in 1963 and in 1966 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1980 he accepted a spot on the national ticket with Ronald Reagan and served as Vice President from 1981 to 1989.
President and Mrs. Bush have five children and 14 grandchildren. They have been married 59 years and reside in Houston, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine.
MICHAEL KRAJEWSKI, HOUSTON SYMPHONY PRINCIPAL POPS CONDUCTOR
Michael Krajewski began his role as principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony in the 2000-2001 season. Known for his delightfully wry sense of humor and imaginative programming, he also serves as principal pops conductor of the New Mexico, Long Beach and Jacksonville Symphonies.
A popular guest conductor nationwide, Krajewski has appeared with orchestras ranging from the Boston Pops Orchestra to the San Francisco and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as Doc Severinsen, Roberta Flack, Art Garfunkel, The Canadian Brass, Linda Eder and The Kingston Trio.
For 11 years, Krajewski served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. He has also held positions as assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and resident conductor of the Florida Symphony Orchestra.
He twice received awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for adventuresome programming of contemporary music.
Born in Detroit, Krajewski holds degrees from Wayne State University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He attended the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors and was a Dorati Fellowship Conductor with the Detroit Symphony. He currently lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Darcy, and their cats, Spenser and Foster.
Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America's oldest performing arts organizations, with a rich history of musical excellence. Hans Graf became the orchestra's 15th music director in September 2001.
Each year the Houston Symphony performs approximately 170 concerts for more than 350,000 people. These concerts include the classical season with series sponsored by Continental Airlines, Shell and UBS, the ExxonMobil Pops series, Time Warner Family Concerts, the InterAct! chamber orchestra series, and around the holidays, performances of Handel's Messiah and concerts featuring traditional carols and fun for the whole family. During the summer, the orchestra performs at its summer home, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, tours the city with free Sounds Like Fun! concerts and presents a series of free concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
The Houston Symphony sponsors more than 500 separate educational and community service events during the main season. The Symphony's newest outreach endeavor, the Houston Symphony Community Connections, involves musicians volunteering their time to go into the community, at no charge, as soloists, in small-ensembles or as music coaches, reaching 15,000 Houstonians with the joy of music. The orchestra also presents concerts for school children, a tradition of more than 50 years that has introduced more than one million students to live orchestral performances.
The Houston Symphony currently records for Koch International Classics. Other recordings are available on the Telarc, RCA Red Seal and Virgin Classics labels.
HOUSTON SYMPHONY CHORUS
The Houston Symphony Chorus, the official choral unit of the Houston Symphony, is led by Dr. Charles Hausmann. It is a chorus of volunteer singer/musicians committed to rehearsing and performing the choral-orchestral repertory at the highest level of choral artistry. In addition to its annual schedule of concerts in Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony, the Chorus has toured Europe twice and performs regularly in Mexico with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City.
The group, originally known as the Houston Chorale, was founded in 1946 by Alfred Urbach, then principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. The Chorale made its debut with the Houston Symphony in 1949 with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. This inaugurated what was to be a lasting relationship, one that has produced hundreds of memorable performances of the great choral masterworks led by some of the world's leading conductors. In 1986, the Chorale was renamed the Houston Symphony Chorus.
Hausmann has been director of the Houston Symphony Chorus since 1986. Since then, he has prepared the Chorus for more than 350 performances, covering 400 years of choral repertory. As director of choral studies and professor of conducting at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music since 1985, he conducts the Moores School Choral Artists and Men's Chorus, and supervises the master's and doctoral programs in choral conducting. In June of 2003, Hausmann made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Mozart Requiem.
HOUSTON CHILDREN'S CHORUS
The Houston Children's Chorus has been charming audiences worldwide for 15 years. Comprised of 275 children, ages 9 through 14, this delightful group performs more than 75 concerts a year for more than 750,000 people. They are regularly featured in civic and cultural events throughout Houston and Texas and have been featured with the Houston Symphony in the annual Christmas Pops concerts at Jones Hall. During the 2004 season, the Chorus was featured in the Lord of the Rings concerts with the Houston Symphony and with Josh Groban during the opening ceremonies of the SuperBowl.
The Chorus has performed for the U.S. President on 18 occasions, although their favorite performances include recording a "Blue Bell Ice Cream" commercial and concerts with Celine Dion, Maureen McGovern, Roberta Flack, Randy Travis and Marilyn McCoo, and the Beach Boys. The children's versatility in performing, from memory, all styles of music has established the Chorus as one of the top children's performing ensembles in the United States.
Truly Houston's "ambassadors to the world," the Children's Chorus has performed concerts in New Zealand, Russia, Hong Kong, Great Britain, The Vatican, Mexico, Japan and Carnegie Hall. Their annual service project in Mexico involves working with the poorest of Mexican children.
Stephen Roddy, founder & director of the Houston Children's Chorus, is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. He is also Director of Music at Grace Presbyterian Church of Houston.
Check out the artist's website:
1. J. BECKEL A Christmas Fanfare
2. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: I. The Journey to Bethlehem
3. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: II. The Birth of Jesus
4. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: III. The Shepherds
5. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: IV. The Wise Men
6. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: V. The Nativity
7. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: VI. One Solitary Life, Epiphany
8. R.A. BASS Glad Tidings: VII. Peace and Good Will
9. J. WILLIAMS Somewhere In My Memory from Home Alone
10. V. HERBERT March of the Toys from Babes in Toyland
11. L. JESSEL/R. NELSON It's Christmastime
12. R.A. BASS A Feast Carols