Michael Kessler graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music in 2011. While there he performed in the choruses of the Moores Opera Center productions of The Saint of Bleecker Street, Orpheus in the Underworld, La Vie Parisienne, Florencia en el Amazonas, the Grapes of Wrath, and Il Viaggio a Reims. He also performed in the chorus of Mercury Baroque's production of Dido and Aeneas. His opera performances culminated in his role as Il Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Later, he sang the role of Pilatus during Ars Lyrica's performance of Bach's St. John Passion under the direction of Matthew Dirst. Concurrent to his opera performances, he was an active member of the Moores School of Music Concert Chorale under the direction of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber. While there, he served first Bass Section Leader and later became Student Director. Michael performed on their concert at the TMEA convention in 2008. He was also a travelling member of the Concert Chorale when they competed in Wales, UK at the Llangollen Eisteddfodd in 2009 and Tours, France at the Florilège Vocal de Tours in 2011. After graduating from the University of Houston, Michael accepted the position of Assistant Choir Director at Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, TX. While there, the choirs at Clear Brook have received consistent Superior ratings at the UIL Concert & Sight-Reading contest. In 2012, Clear Brook's Company B won the American Classic Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival. The next year they performed as the Honor Choir. In 2015, they returned to the festival and won 3rd Runner-Up and in 2016, they earned a Performance of Distinction award. Outside of his teaching career, Michael remains active as a singer in the Houston community. He sang for two seasons in the Houston Bay Area Chorus under the direction of Keith Dixon. He joined the Houston Symphony Chorus for the 2014-15 season where he sang Handel's Messiah, Verdi's Requiem, and Orff's Carmina Burana. He also sang in the chorus for Andrea Bocelli in Concert which took place at the Toyota Center. For the 2015-16 season with the Houston Symphony Chorus, Michael sang Zelda in Concert, Handel's Messiah, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Faure's Requiem, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. For the Houston Symphony’s performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Paslms, Michael appeared as the bass soloist. Michael also works as a freelance singer for various organizations throughout the Houston area often performing as a soloist or section leader. When Michael isn't singing or teaching, he enjoys reading, playing with his cats and dogs, and playing competitive billiards.
Jackie Vondette - Assistant Director
Jackie Vondette is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and is excited to be part of the Pearland Choir family. She has taught elementary school music in north and central Florida and has worked with several high school and middle school choirs in Florida and Texas. In 2018 she moved to the Houston area to open West Lake Middle School in Humble ISD. In her time at West Lake, her choirs consistently received high scores at UIL concert and sight reading, and had the most students make all region choir from a single campus. Miss Vondette has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and participated in the Festival Coral de Medellín José María Bravo Márquez in Medellín, Colombia twice. She studied voice at the University of Florida and Salzburg College in Austria. She has served as the guest conductor of the Gainesville Chamber Singers and was graduate assistant for the University of Florida Department of Choral Activities. Miss Vondette holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Florida. In her spare time, she loves baking and spending time with her two dogs Tino and Sophie.
Michael Kessler - Director