The Houston Lutheran Chorale is composed of members from many congregations of the Lutheran Church in the Houston and surrounding area. Rehearsals are held on scheduled Sunday afternoons at Trinity Lutheran Church, 800 Houston Avenue in downtown Houston, under the direction of Mr. Jason Mangels.
The Chorale was founded in 1985 under the direction of Metford Mountford after he was approached about providing music for the opening worship service for that year's LCMS Texas District Convention. Deciding that singing was an excellent way to witness to the love of Jesus and also a great deal of fun, the group asked Met if he would continue to direct them. The Houston Lutheran Chorale was born.
In the years from its formation under Director Mountford, the group carried the Gospel "in song" throughout Texas as well as California, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri. The Chorale toured Germany, France, and Scotland and participated in festivals in Coventry, England and Salzburg, Austria. The singers were also included in NBC Christmas Specials in 1986 and 1988. In 1991 the Chorale performed Puccini's Messa di Gloria in Carnegie Hall, New York City. 1995 saw the group participating in the Salzburg Church Music Festival in Salzburg, Austria. In June of 2000, the singers took part in the International Church Music Festival in Coventry, England as one of the featured Chorales. Under the direction of world renowned master conductor Sir David Willcocks, they joined in a concert by over 500 singers from around the world. The concert was broadcast across Britain on BBC.
In January, 2004, Metford Mountford joined the heavenly chorale after a valiant battle with cancer.
A search committee was formed in March 2004, culminating in the selection of Jason Mangels as Director. After a short hiatus in early 2004, the Chorale resumed rehearsals in September in preparation for the 2004 Christmas concerts. After an initial drop in membership after Met's passing, the group has been making steady progress in increasing the size of the Chorale.
In June of 2006, the group was asked to sing at the Opening Worship service of the LCMS Texas District Convention.
The Chorale has sung at the Sunday services of several churches in the area. The group has sung in Pearland, Katy, Beaumont, and Spring, as well as other cities in the region. The Chorale has been featured at many special services and programs under Jason Mangels; direction. In December 2009, the Christmas concerts celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Chorale with an Alumni Choir performing to the delight of all in attendance. March 2010 found the Chorale assisting in the commemoration service celebrating 30 years of Lutheran High North. In November of that year the group was honored to be part of the Trinity Lutheran-Klein Concert Series.
In June of 2011, 37 singers took its first singing tour under the leadership of Jason Mangels.
A weekend trip was planned and the members chartered a bus for the trip which found them singing in San Antonio on Friday evening and Georgetown on Saturday. On the return trip to Houston, the group sang at the Sunday morning service at St. Michael Lutheran in Winchester. The following year found the Chorale returning to St. Michael in Winchester to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the church.
Each year, beginning in 2006, the Chorale has hosted patrons at its annual Oktoberfest. This event is a major fundraiser for the group and guests are treated to an evening of homemade German food, beer, and music. A wonderful night of fellowship is had by all who attend.
The Houston Lutheran Chorale plans to continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song and music in concerts, church services, and special events.