Saint Anne Catholic Community is excited to announce the hiring of Tom Jaber as its new director of music. In this role, he will oversee the accomplished Saint Anne Adult Choir, hand bell choir, the St. Anne School Choir, as well as providing the music and cantors for events held at Saint Anne Church.
“We are very excited to hire Tom Jaber as our new director of music,” says Fr. Al Sinasac, pastor at Saint Anne. “Tom’s experience in liturgical music and conducting, combined with his playing skills made him standout from the other candidates. We are looking forward to fresh ideas and new beginnings for the choir and for the people at Saint Anne.”
Jaber currently serves as professor of music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and music director of the Rice University Chorale.
“I am so pleased at this time in my life and career to have the opportunity to be the director of music for Saint Anne Catholic Community,” says Jaber. “When I was here just a few weeks ago to lead a rehearsal, I knew at that time that I could be someone who could help lead this ensemble and music program to an even higher level of leadership in worship, and as a ministry to the congregation, and Houston community at large. Please pray for our music ministry and for me as we move forward together in service through worship.”
Highly regarded in his profession, Mr. Jaber arrives at Saint Anne with a mountain of experience in directing various vocal groups and he is an accomplished keyboardist.
For the past 30 years, he has coached singers, collaborated as pianist, organist and harpsichordist in countless recitals with both faculty and students, conducted chorus and orchestra concerts, and several operatic productions at Rice University and around the country. In 2007, Mr. Jaber was guest conductor in a large festival of choral music in the Sydney Opera House. He also appeared in recitals and operatic programs on the Italy and China.
Mr. Jaber has been the artistic and music director of the esteemed Houston Masterworks Chorus for the past five years. With that ensemble, he has led concerts with music from the standard large choral ensemble repertoire. He also led the group on a successful concert tour of Italy in the summer of 2016. Performance highlights of the tour included singing in the Cathedral of Sorrento, Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome’s Santa Maria Degli Angeli e dei Martiri, as well as the Cathedral of Pisa.
In February 2011, Mr. Jaber served as guest conductor with Houston Masterworks Chorus leading them in some of the great musical masterworks of opera and Broadway in a concert titled, Music of the Stage. In May 2011, Houston Masterworks Chorus appointed him as its artistic director and conductor and began his inaugural season with the Chorus with a moving presentation of Mozart’s Requiem in memory of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.
Mr. Jaber is an honor graduate of Arkansas State University (bachelor of music education), Indiana University (master of music), and the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music where he was a member of the faculty from 1976-88. In addition, he was conductor and vocal coach at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts from 1977-86, and was music director of the Temple University Opera Theater from 1986-88.
Tom Jaber enjoyed a long association with world-renowned entertainer Fred Waring. He worked as the head pianist at the Waring annual summer workshops with Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians at Pennsylvania State University and elsewhere. He was also a featured conductor and pianist with Virginia Waring on the PBS broadcasts of the Fred Waring U.S. Chorus in the years following Mr. Waring’s death.
As director of music and organist at Houston’s Chapelwood United Methodist Church for 25 years, he led Chapelwood's Chancel Choir in six international concert tours and played for thousands of services of worship throughout his tenure. In 2006, he inaugurated the Evans Arts Series at Chapelwood UMC, where free-to-the-public presentations of a wide and exciting variety of artistic expressions have been presented to the Houston community. Mr. Jaber was the organist-choirmaster of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1977-88. There he led a professional chorus of singers, and was heard regularly as organ recitalist on the magnificent Alexander McCurdy Organ.
Tom Jaber has conducted the Texas Two-Year College Association's All-State Choir, as well as the Texas Private School Music Association’s All State and Region Choruses. He has performed as piano accompanist for the Texas Music Educator’s Music Association All-State Mixed Choirs with esteemed choral conductors Jo-Michael Scheibe and Simon Carrington. He joined Dr. Gackle as piano accompanist for the Honor Women’s Chorus of the American Choral Directors Association at their national convention in Chicago in March 2011. He has regularly served as the accompanist and/or adjudicator for District and Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Furthermore, he has served as audition pianist for the San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Audition tour.
Tom and his wife, Andrea Jaber, who serves as the chairperson of performing arts for Houston Community College have been married for 41 years. They are the proud parents of Benjamin (principal horn of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra), Patricia Jaber Arnold (clinical social worker for UT Health Sciences), and Joseph (client specialist with Westaff Corporation in St. Louis).