Seth houston
Positions: Director of Choral Activities and Associate Chair for Performance, University of California, Irvine.
Past positions: Director of Choral Activities, Carroll University. Director, DeKalb Festival Chorus. ChiArts Partner Conductor, Chicago Children’s Choir. Director of Music, Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica. Conductor, USC Thornton University Chorus. Founding Artistic Director, Canticum Novum LA.
Education: DMA in Choral Music, USC. MM in Choral Conducting, Colorado. B.Mus. in Composition, Oberlin
Mentors: Morten Lauridsen, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Nick Strimple, Cristian Grases, Donald Brinegar, Simon Carrington, Joan Conlon, Larry Kaptein


Resume and CV
Seth Houston curriculum vitae.pdf

DMA in Choral Music, University of Southern California, 2014 
MM in Choral Conducting, University of Colorado, 2009
MA in Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, 2000
B.Mus. in Composition, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, 1997
BA with High Honors in Religion, Oberlin College, 1997

Associate Chair for Performance, University of California, Irvine. 2017-present
Director of Choral Activities, University of California, Irvine. 2015-present
Director of Choral Activities and Lecturer in Music, Carroll University. 2013-15
Director, DeKalb Festival Chorus, 2012-14
ChiArts Partner Conductor, Chicago Children’s Choir, 2012-13
Director of Music, Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, 2011-12
Co-conductor, USC Thornton University Chorus, 2011-2012
Co-conductor, Canticum Novum LA, 2011-12
Assistant Conductor, USC Thornton Concert Choir, 2010-11
Conductor, Front Range Chorale, 2009
High School and Middle School Choir Director, Shining Mountain Waldorf School, 2006-2009
High School and Middle School Choir and Band Director, East Bay Waldorf School, 2005-2006
Middle School Choir, Orchestra, and General Music Teacher, Monadnock Waldorf School, 2001-2005
Conductor, Big Sky Teen Chorus, 2001-2004

Outstanding Student Paper, College Music Society Pacific Southwest chapter
Teaching Assistantship, Music Merit Scholarship, University of Southern California
Teaching Assistantship, Anderson Scholarship, University of Colorado
Regents Fellowship, World Performance Studies Fellowship, University of Michigan
High Honors in Religion, Holbrook Prize, Brown Prize, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, Oberlin College

Dr. Seth Farwell Houston joined the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts as Director of Choral Activities in fall 2015. He was appointed Associate Chair for Performance in summer 2017. In addition to directing Chamber Singers and teaching conducting and composition, Houston also oversees the musicianship program.

Under Houston’s leadership, UCI Chamber Singers is establishing itself as a nexus for excellence and innovation in the Southern California choral community. The ensemble presented the world premiere of a tech-forward sound installation by Ellen Reid commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, gave a workshop performance of a major new work by Ellen Reid that was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, hosted composers Morten Lauridsen and Moira Smiley for residencies and concerts of their works, performed choral-orchestral masterworks including the Brahms Requiem and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and collaborates extensively with leading peer universities and feeder schools in the region.

Houston holds a DMA degree in choral music from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Jo-Michael Scheibe, Morten Lauridsen, Nick Strimple, Donald Brinegar, and Cristian Grases. He also holds a master of music degree in choral conducting from the University of Colorado and a bachelor of music degree in composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Prior to his appointment at UCI, Houston served for two years as director of choral activities at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Under his leadership, Carroll’s Concert Choir performed Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall in New York, performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and represented Carroll at the Wisconsin State Music Conference. In addition to conducting Concert Choir and Chamber Singers (formerly Vocal Collective), Houston taught courses in choral literature, choral methods, choral conducting, vocal pedagogy, and music history. He also served as chair of Wisconsin Collegiate All State Choir. Other recent positions include director of the DeKalb Festival Chorus in DeKalb, Illinois; Director of Music at Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica; and founding director of Canticum Novum L.A.

Houston’s choral compositions and arrangements, published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc., Walton Music (a division of GIA Publications), and Northern Harmony Publishing Company, are widely performed throughout the United States and internationally. Works such as Stars I Shall Find, Emerald Stream, and The Reapers All with Their Sharp Sickles have proven especially popular in the contemporary choral repertoire.

Houston has presented papers at national conferences of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, American Brahms Society, and College Music Society, as well as regional conferences of the American Musicological Society and College Music Society. His research interests include the music of Brahms and Schumann; shape-note music; and choral tuning systems.

A committed educator, Houston taught middle school and high school choir for nine years. He also founded and directed the independent youth choir Big Sky, taught with Village Harmony, and served as ChiArts Partner Conductor with the Chicago Children’s Choir. He is in demand as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and composer in residence. For more information on Houston’s choral activities, please visit