Kenneth Clayborne, now in his twelfth year with BCPA, was Associate Conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston from 2003 to 2013 and Assistant Conductor of the Bayou City Women’s Chorus and Bayou City Chorale from their inception in 2005.
Clayborne has over thirty years of conducting experience and has received both congressional and state honors. The City of Houston and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. recognized him for his Excellence in the Performing Arts noting that “Kenneth is an outstanding artist who has rendered valuable talents to the enrichment of humanity. The City of Houston is indeed blessed by his cognoscenti’ contributions to the arts.”
This native Houstonian is also in his 23rd year overseeing the music department of one of the oldest African-American Methodist churches in Houston. He is on the Board of Directors of the Texas Conference Choir Clinic for Music and Worship Arts and is a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association and American Guild.
Clayborne developed a passion for piano at an early age and became a regular accompanist for chorus and ensemble concerts. He attended Lon Morris College studying piano and Oklahoma City University studying piano, voice, organ and choral conducting. He was one of the founders of the Oklahoma City University Black Student Union Choral Ensemble, accompanist for the world renowned ensemble, The Surry Singers, and appeared in the premiere of the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company’s production of Ossie Davis’s musical, Purlie. His collaborations with many recognized artists have fostered diverse experience enabling him to perform, arrange and compose in multiple musical styles for elementary singers to adult voices.
Clayborne has over thirty years conducting experience including the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, GALA Festivals and national and international choir tours. He has performed for numerous dignitaries, had recorded and has appeared on local and nation television in the United State and Canada and performed in Germany, Italy and Austria.
Clayborne takes pride in being from one of the best cities in the world, saying “As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston’s diverse cultural background and superior performance ensembles and venues cultivate the perfect combination for Houstonians to be passionate about the performing arts.”
Tyler Ruberg joined Bayou City Performing Arts in January 2014 as the director of the Bayou City Women’s Chorus. Ruberg has been referred to as a ‘Jack of all trades’ and ‘a true renaissance musician’.
From Burlington, Iowa, he began his study of piano early and continued well into college. He received a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Composition and Music Theory from the University of Northern Iowa. His emphasis was voice, French horn and composition as well as piano and orchestral conducting. He obtain a Master of Music in Composition from the University of Houston. Ruberg has studied conducting at the South Carolina Conductor’s Institute and with Dr. Rebecca Burkhardt of the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He was assistant conductor of the Northern Iowa Lyric Theatre’s production of Die Zauberflote and most recently he was the music director of a local production of Stephen Sonheim’s epic musical, Into the Woods.
Ruberg is currently the music director at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church of Houston and teaches choral music at J. F rank Dobie High
School. In 2007, Ruberg won the Sarofim Composition competition for his work for voice and piano entitled Aesop’s Etudes. He has received commissions from the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Northern Iowa Horn Choir, Da Camera of Houston, and the University of Houston’s AURA: Contemporary Ensemble.
While some might think that Ruberg has a minimalistic style of writing, he ensures us that there is nothing minimalistic about him. “My style of arranging and composing is very me. While I really love the great minimalists such as Steve Reich and John Adams, I only use a small number of their techniques. I say what I want to say through my own language.”
When asked what he thought about the Bayou City Women’s Chorus, even before meeting the chorus, he said “I am very excited to be here. I know these ladies will sing like angels and perform like divas.”