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3 june - 8 june 2019


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Champion the arts and sponsor a young cellist for the opportunity of a lifetime!

This community-style, under one roof mentorship includes a robust curriculum of scale class, bow technique class, solfege, choir, music history, professional development, masterclasses with guest artists and a cello choir. We will culminate with our grand finale concert on Saturday, June 8th at Faith Lutheran Church in Sugar Land, TX.


Even as a blossoming young cellist, it was apparent to me that students trained in preparatory programs such as New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music and Juilliard were on a fast track to success. As a teacher, however, I have seen many young, devoted musicians unable to take advantage of such programs. Their talent far exceeded their financial capabilities. Roy T. Bennett penned, "Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create." Therefore, I am announcing the creation of House of Cello, a week-long summer intensive cello retreat June 3rd-8th. 

I am Courtenay Vandiver Pereira, Artistic Director at House of Cello. The time has come to lead this generation into higher levels of artistry while cultivating the unique greatness of each individual.

The inaugural class of House of Cello will feature five dynamic young artists worthy of sponsorship in this ground-breaking, Houston-based initiative. Our goal is to provide $7,500 towards their tuition and expenses. Every contribution will empower these individual lives while augmenting the city's arts scene.

Investing in these musicians will enhance their future and maintain our culture of musical excellence.

Thank you,


#houseofcello #dreamerswin #cello #arts #excellence #create #houston #talent #nextgeneration


Derrick Bready is the former head choral director at Pearland HS (2006-2016). Prior to leading Pearland, he previously taught at J. Frank Dobie HS in Pasadena ISD (2003 - 2006) where his choirs were consistent UIL Sweepstakes and Superior performing ensembles.  While at Dobie, he co-produced the 6-time Tommy Tune Award nominated musical, "The Sound of Music" which also won a Tommy Tune award for Best Musical Direction and Best Orchestra. 

During his time at Pearland, the choir program experienced steady growth and continued success.  With an enrollment of 300+ the Pearland Choir consistently earned UIL Sweepstakes, Superior awards, and several "Best in Class" trophies. The PHS Men’s choir gave invited performances to the SWACDA and TMEA conferences

in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Likewise, the Pearland HS Chamber Choir (Varsity Mixed Choir) performed as an invited performing choir at the 2013 TMEA convention and attended SWACDA with a 2014 invited performance.  In 2015, the Kantorei Choir won First Place at the prestigious American Classics Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival and the following year served as the Honor Choir.


Mr. Bready has maintained a long successful Broadway musical tradition at Pearland HS. Since entering the TUTS Tommy Tune Awards in 2010, the annual musical production garnered 50 Tommy Tune Award nominations with 8 wins including Best Musical Direction (Oklahoma!, 2011, and Urinetown, 2016), Best Choreography (South Pacific, 2013) and Best Musical (South Pacific, 2013). With his work in music theatre, Derrick was nominated for the 2015 inaugural Tony Award in Theatre Education Excellence by the students, parents, and community of Pearland HS.


Mr. Bready graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music and in 2011 with a Master of Music Education from the University of Houston. He is the Director of Traditional Worship at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Nassau Bay, currently teaches private voice at Deer Park High School and sings with the Houston Chamber Choir. In his free time, Derrick is a self-proclaimed avid Walt Disney World traveler. In addition to travel, Derrick is a frequent Texas UIL music adjudicator and clinician.

Derrick Bready

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Sarah Kuo

Sarah Kuo was born and raised in Connecticut. She received a B.M. in Piano Performance at The Juilliard School and an Ed. M. in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has performed in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. As the music coordinator at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church (NYC) for nearly a decade, she commissioned and performed new works especially for the annual Lessons and Carols service. She also founded the full-time piano program at Gill St. Bernard’s School (NJ) and served as the artistic director for the classical music series at the Watchung Arts Center (NJ). Currently, she resides in Houston with her husband and three musical children. When she isn’t teaching or performing, she enjoys writing for the travel blog on Trekaroo.


Christopher French is the associate principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. Before joining the orchestra in 1986 he held titled positions in both the Shreveport and Honolulu symphonies. Chris is the seventh of a full octave of musical siblings. He enjoys performing with the Bad Boys of Cello, the alter ego of the Houston Symphony cello section. The Bad Boys have played in venues as disparate as homeless shelters and elementary schools in an effort to eliminate the classist


misconceptions about classical music. Chris is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago where he was winner of the Performance Award. In addition to three concerto performances with the Houston Symphony he has appeared on the Chamber Players series, Da Camera of Houston and the Greenbriar Consortium. He participates in the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, Music in the Mountains in Durango, CO, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Chris teaches orchestral repertoire at Rice University.

Christopher French


Barrett Sills, prizewinning cellist in competitions in Germany, France, and Brazil, is also a recognized artist on Baroque cello and viola da gamba. As a scholarship student at Yale University, he was the first recipient of the prestigious Maxwell Belding Award given by the Yale School of Music. He performed with the Nouvel Philharmonic of Radio France in Paris and taught at the Conservatoire National de Boulogne-Billancourt. He has performed chamber music throughout France and Germany and toured Japan with the New York Symphonic Ensemble. As recitalist, he toured South America as an Artistic Ambassador. In Houston he performs regularly with Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Society, and St. Cecilia Chamber Music. He is co-founder and artistic director of Camerata Ventapane which presents concerts in Houston and Mexico. For six consecutive years he was artistic director of the Festival de Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende. He is principal cellist of Houston Ballet and has been principal cellist of Houston Grand Opera since 2001.

Barrett Sills


David Kim is a sophomore at Clear Lake High School, and is taught under Courtenay Vandiver Peirera. He has been playing cello since the age of eight and has been in the top Region 17 orchestra since sixth grade. This year David earned principal cellist. He was also awarded division one for all of the UIL solo competitions he has participated in, and has played in the All-State Philharmonic orchestra. He won the ECHO Young Artist Competition this year giving his debut as soloist with Tchaikovsky's Pezzo capriccioso. He also placed 2nd in the Virtuosi of Houston Concerto Competition. He participates in multiple charity concerts, notably in a quartet that raised money for those affected by the Santa Fe shooting. His quartet help raise over $1,000 dollars. He is a Music Doing Good Scholarship recipient and was recently accepted to American Festival for the Arts. In the summer of 2019, he will be going to Taiwan to play in the Formosa Chamber Music Festival. He is one of six cellists accepted internationally.

David Kim

Daniel Kuo was born in New Jersey and recently completed eighth grade at Sartartia Middle School. His early musical training began on the piano until he transitioned to cello at eight years old. This past year, Daniel placed first and performed as principal cellist of the All-Region Orchestra in Fort Bend ISD. He was Runner-up in the Houston Civic Competition and Honorable Mention in the Echo Orchestra Competition. He was given “Most Improved” Award this year in the Sartartia orchestra program. He also received 2nd Place Science Olympiad State for Solar System (Astronomy). His primary teachers include Ann Victor and Courtenay Vandiver Pereira. When he isn’t playing cello or preparing for Science Olympiad, he enjoys playing basketball with his friends. 

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Daniel Kuo


Elias has been playing cello for eleven years.  When he was nine, he joined the String Orchestra of Houston Youth Symphony (HYS). Playing in an orchestra full of other young musicians was an exciting new experience, and through his middle school years, he continued to enjoy HYS and advanced to the Symphony Orchestra in eighth grade. Since sixth grade, he has made the Symphony Orchestra in his Region and, as a freshman and sophomore in high school was selected into the Texas All-State Symphony. These All-State experiences were particularly magical because of the musicianship, excitement, and sheer joy felt when surrounded by a group solely interested in perfecting a great piece of musical art.  Previous summer program participation includes American Festival of the Arts summer music festival and the Baylor Orchestra Camp. He has studied with Dr. Brady Lanier, Kevin Downs, and Cornelia Watkins. His current private teacher is Hyeok Kwon. 

Elias Gettemy

John began playing the cello at eight years old after realizing that he wanted to play a stringed instrument which allowed him to always be sitting down. In 2018, John won first place at the Katy Young Artists Competition with his quartet. Additionally, he was a Taylor High School (THS) Concerto Competition finalist. John has been the principal cellist of multiple orchestras including the Interlochen Philharmonic, Texas String Orchestra, American Festival of the Arts Orchestra, and THS Chamber Orchestra. John made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 as principal of the Taylor High School Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, he has participated in ensembles including the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Eastern Symphony Orchestra at acclaimed music festivals. Currently, he is a member of the Conductors Orchestra, which is Peabody Conservatory’s premier orchestra. This summer, John will be a teaching assistant to Mrs. Vandiver Pereira at 


the first annual House Of Cello Festival. Previously, he has studied with multiple esteemed cellists including Courtenay Vandiver Pereira, Anthony Elliott, and David Carter. John is a rising sophomore studying with world renowned Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute as a Premier Talent Scholarship recipient.

John Sample


Benjamin is a fifteen year old Venezuelan cellist, trained in the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. He began his musical studies at age seven. Since then he has belonged to several local orchestras and participated in numerous concerts and recitals.  In  2016, he began his studies at the Simon Bolivar Music Conservatory in Caracas, where his mentors were Maestros Francy Vasquez and Juan J Romero. In 2017 he is part of the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Ulyses Ascanio, as second cello. In April of 2018 he emigrated to the USA and currently attends Mayde Creek High School. He performs with the Houston Youth Symphony Philharmonia. One highlight this season was performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC with Virtuosi of Houston, which he is a member of. Benjamin loves music and wants to be both composer and cellist in the future.

Benjamin Serur

Kyle Victor started playing the cello at age ten. Since then he has been featured and performed with many different ensembles in Houston, performed as a soloist with the Houston youth Symphony and the AFA Symphony Orchestra, and has played for many different recitals and events. Kyle has been featured on television several times including a most recent interview with ABC13 where he revealed he would attend the Peabody Conservatory to work with world renown cellist Amit Peled. Kyle is an aspiring soloist and chamber musician and also dreams to travel and share music in places where there is none. He would like to create programs and give many others the opportunity to play an instrument that wouldn’t receive this otherwise and he works every day to make that dream come true.


Kyle Victor



Artistic Director

Cellist and native Houstonian Courtenay Vandiver Pereira has been acclaimed by the Boston Globe as “an expert player,” and by the New Jersey Star Ledger for her “wonderful technique and creamy sound”. Her music has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Musikverein (Vienna), and the Gewandhaus (Leipzig). In addition, she has concertized in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

She is principal cellist of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she is a member of both Mercury and River Oaks Chamber Orchestras and has performed with the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Previously, she served a two year fellowship as Young Artist with Da Camera of Houston, and has been featured on Houston Public Media and Classical 91.7. She was formerly a founding member of the Grammy-nominated ensemble A Far Cry with residencies at New England Conservatory, Kneisel Hall, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Vandiver Pereira has performed with the St. Petersburg, Borromeo, and Jupiter String Quartets. She has collaborated in concert with artists such as Donald Weilerstein, Roger Tapping, Ronald Leonard, Steven Dann, and Natasha Brofsky. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Yellow Barn, Sarasota, Schleswig-Holstein, Leipzig BachFest, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar.

She served as Principal cellist of the Brockton Symphony and was a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She has played under the batons of greats Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, and Christoph Eschenbach. 


Versatile as an artist, she has rocked for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Jethro Tull, Eurythmics' frontman Dave Stewart, and Peter Gabriel. She was a member of the grunge cello quartet, Samurai String Squad which debuted at Ottawa Chamberfest. She also built a pedal board for her cello, Noah.

Televised before millions across the United States and Canada, she played for Billy Graham's final My Hope Campaign. She also plays for Lakewood Church, Jesus Image, and writes worship songs. Her album, Journey to Light can be heard regularly on iTunes, Spotify, and radio stations round the world including refugee camps in the Middle East.


A winner of State Honor Orchestra her rookie year, she served as Assistant Director at both Sartartia Middle and Austin High Schools. She has conducted at Dallas Symphony's Meyerson Hall and clinics orchestras in the Houston area. She is a former alum and coach for Houston Youth Symphony's Philharmonia and Symphony orchestras. She previously taught cello, chamber music, and solfege for the Boston Symphony’s Project STEP, an educational program promoting racial and ethnic diversity in classical music. She pioneered and received Da Camera’s first-ever grant taking her music to girls coming out of sex trafficking. In addition, she has played in many hospitals, prisons, and state facilities for migrant children.

Ms. Vandiver Pereira earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees at New England Conservatory with Academic and Artistic Distinction under the tutelage of Laurence Lesser and Paul Katz. During this time, she had masterclasses and lessons with cellists Heinrich Schiff, Frans Helmerson, Pieter Wispelwey and Christoph Henkel. Inspirational teachers in her youth include Shirley Trepel and Myung-Wha Chung. She is a recipient of The Yellow Rose of Texas. Presented by former Governor Ann Richards, the award is given only through the Office of the Governor and recognizes women for their significant and outstanding contributions to the State of Texas.


Faith Lutheran Church

800 Brooks Street

Sugar Land, TX 77478


JUNE 8, 2019

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