I am honored to be the newly-elected president of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston. I want to state my gratitude for the leadership of our immediate past president, Steve McCary, who remains on the board and will chair the production committee.

Members of the board thought I should introduce myself, so – if you want to know who I am – read on.

My love of Gilbert & Sullivan came about through my father, Jerry, who bought a cassette of G&S “greatest hits” after watching the movie Chariots of Fire, in which the music of G&S figures quite prominently. We played that tape endlessly on family road trips and learned all the songs by heart. The next year, Beaumont Civic Opera decided to perform H.M.S. Pinafore and my entire family – my father, my mother Norma, my brother David, and myself – all sang in the chorus. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I joined the Society in 1990 when I became a chorister for Yeoman of the Guard. In the ensuing third of a century I have sung in the chorus, understudied, performed lead roles, created the Society’s first website, worked in the box office, cleaned the warehouse, served on the board, organized sing-alongs, and bicycled from Houston to Chicago to fundraise for the Society. Through the Society I have made life-long friends and met the love of my life, Anne née Curran…herself a lifetime Houston G&S member, being the daughter of former Society performer Diana Linder and step-daughter of our long-time conductor Robert Linder.

I have also performed G&S roles at the Hot Springs Music Festival and with the Young Artists program at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, and was the éminence grise of the Rice Light Opera Society, where I also was a performer, director (both stage and technical), and producer. I have appeared as a soloist and member of the ensemble with many churches, synagogues, and other groups in Houston, including the Bach Society and Cantare, and was executive director of Opera Vista, a recipient of The Houston Press’s Mastermind Award, where I staged world premiers of several operas.

When I’m not involved in a performance, you can find me working as a freelance IT consultant, driving our daughter Kate to rehearsals, or cycling on back roads around Houston.

I look forward to continuing our mission of bringing first-rate productions of these wonderful operas to Houston audiences, and I thank you all for your continued support as we build on the success of the past seventy-two years.

Joe Carl White
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston

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