New Artistic Director
The SOCO Women’s Chorus Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we have hired Rob Keene as our new Artistic Director, starting June 1, 2020. In early March, the Board along with chorus members interviewed and worked a few musical numbers with Rob, and we are confident that we have a perfect person to lead us into a bright future, and our beloved Janey Hall, the founder and original Artistic Director, agrees.
Rob Keene earned a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, summa cum laude, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He studied organ with Carla Edwards; he also studied piano with Lorna Griffitt and chamber music with Claude Cymerman. At Indiana University, Rob joined Christopher Young’s organ studio, earning a Master of Music degree. He gained admittance to the doctoral program and continued his studies for one year before seeking full-time employment as a church musician.
But that is only a small part of why we have asked Rob to take this important leadership role for SOCO Women’s Chorus. In 2014, Rob successfully auditioned to sing with The Virginia Chorale; previously he sang in the professional core of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus. In 2017, he joined the professional Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia. During his academic and professional careers, Rob has sung under many notable conductors, including Robert Nance, William Jon Gray, JoAnn Falletta, Charles Woodward, and Daniel Sańez.
After multiple phone and emails and in person communication we feel he will has the ability to steer our Chorus into the new world of what Chorus may be looking like in the immediate future. As well as lead us to a new level thereafter.
Please join us in welcoming Rob and his wife Dani to the SOCO Women’s Chorus family!
The mission of SoCo Women’s Chorus is to give Austin area women the
experience of musical artistry and excellence through choral singing and
performing in a group which reflects the area’s diversity and is dedicated to community service.
One day in early 2012, SoCo Women’s Chorus Founder & Artistic Director Janey Hall mentioned to long-time friends Lynnie Henderson and Karen James that she wanted start a women’s chorus in Austin. All three had sung together in The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and were enthusiastic about the project.
Despite several roadblocks, there was a mysterious song of courage on a tape loop in her soul. Janey took a leap of faith and got to work spreading the word about SOCO Women’s Chorus.
Janey & Karen traveled to Dallas in May to meet with fellow colleagues, friends, and leaders of the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. Together these passionate choral directors set a course and lit the path for the Austin-located chorus to follow.
The chorus’ first Board of Directors included composer Joseph M. Martin, Vanessa de la Rosa, Jason Kimmell, Elaine Chaney, and Karen James. The first auditions took place in August 2012, with a staggering 55 women participating. SoCo Women’s Chorus sold out their debut concert, Come To The Music in the Austin Ventures Studio Theater of Ballet.
Coming Spring 2020 | We will enjoy one final concert, Flight, with Janey before she skips off into her well-deserved retirement. We will be singing music from Hildegard von Bingen, who is believed to be the first known woman composer to Radiohead’s Creep and everything in between. There will be some of Janey’s favorites over the years, including the very first song we ever performed, Come To The Music!
Winter 2019 | Merry & Bright was a musical potpourri of delightful, starry numbers!
Spring 2019 | Broadway, Baby! ~ The women of SoCo presented their version of a Broadway Theater Timeline, singing tunes from one of the earliest of productions, Porgy and Bess all the way to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton!
Winter 2018 | Ethereal, once again presented in our music home of Ballet Austin, was a concert of heavenly music ~ the stars, the heavens, clouds, all of the above. Pun intended!
Summer 2018 | SoCo Women’s Chorus Chamber Ensemble for a tour of Madrid, Toledo, Valencia, L’aMetlla de Mar, Barcelona including a special concert at the Sagrada Familia
Spring 2018 | Concert ¡Cantar! May 5th and 6th
Winter 2017 | Concert Feels Like Home celebrating the winter holidays at Ballet Austin
Summer 2017 | SoCo Women’s Chorus was honored to perform for the U. S. District Judge’s Naturalization Ceremony at the LBJ Library Auditorium at the University of Texas. The Chorus was also invited by Austin Monthly Magazine to perform for the Wonder Women EXPO at the Garden Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin. We celebrated our first Board of Directors and Officers Retreat and welcomed new Principal Accompanist Shawn Ellison and Asistant Musical Director Ronnie Hall to the SoCo Women’s Chorus family.
Spring 2017 | 5, an anniversary celebration program of audience favorites, performed at the Paramount’s historic Stateside Theatre in downtown Austin
Fall 2016 | SoCo Women’s Chorus celebrates our fifth season! Concert For the Children featuring the Austin Children’s Choir at Ballet Austin
Summer 2015 | SoCo Women’s Chorus performs across Ireland in cathedrals and the Mayor of Dublin’s residence
Spring 2015 | Concert Seasons of Love concert at the William B. Travis High School auditorium in Austin
Fall 2014 | Concert Believe at the Paramount’s historic Stateside Theatre in downtown Austin
Spring 2014 | Concert Americana joined by members of the Turtle Creek Chorale
Fall 2013 | Joint Performance of Faure’s Requiem with the Turtle Creek Chorale to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Spring 2013 | Concert How Can I Keep From Singing sold out
Winter 2012 | Debut Concert Come To The Music
Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming concerts, events, and travels!