Welcome to another season of #BachtoBasics! This week we sat down with BSH Tenor Cody Arthur. Not only is he a lover of all things Bach, but a world-traveler and a big fan of Houston's fabulous museum district.
Read on to learn more about this BSH singer.
Cody, why don't you start by telling where you are from.
I am from a suburb of Memphis, TN, and I grew up surrounded by the Memphis musical culture.
Tennessee is such a great state for music, it is everywhere! So, how did singing become such a big part of your life?
I have sung for as long as I can remember, though it was always extracurricular. I took piano lessons for 10 years, but wanted to be a band director for a while. In high school, I became more invested in singing and attended the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts which introduced me to opera and classical singing. I have a Bachelors degree in Voice Performance from Ole Miss and I’ll be completing my Masters degree in Voice Performance at UH this spring!
That is so great, congrats on all of your accomplishments. How did you first come into contact with Bach Society Houston?
When I decided to attend UH for grad school, I did some research on the choral ensembles in the city because it was my first love. Conveniently, my teacher from undergrad sang with Rick (BSH conductor) for several years at Holy Trinity Lutheran in New York. My first concert was last fall in the Bach B minor Mass and the rest is history.
We are so glad you decided to formally join this year Cody. So, what piece are you most looking forward to this year and why?
I love the Bach cantatas because they feature the chorale, soloists and orchestra. I grew up with a more contemporary worship style in church, so I love experiencing church in the way Bach intended with the specific cantatas. Last season I had the opportunity to sing a few solos, and the Cantata solo was by far the most challenging, which I enjoyed.
Aren't Bach's cantatas so beautiful? Besides the obvious reasons, why else do you love Bach?
In undergrad, we took a choir tour through Europe and stopped at Bach’s church in Leipzig. It was amazing to be in the place where so much of Bach’s music was originally performed. Bach defies the stereotype of Baroque music being boring or simple. I also love the German language, so it is a win-win!
Now Cody, we know you are a great singer, but what other talents do you have up your sleeve?
Normally I tell people that my hidden talent is operatic singing haha, but in this case it isn’t that hidden. I am a decent non-professional pianist, which has helped me more than I could have imagined as a child.
...and other than music, what hobbies do you have?
I love visual art and architecture. Every chance I get when traveling I try to make it to the local museum or take a tour of the city. I also have a pretty large book and record collection that I love referencing for research (I’m somewhat of a nerd in that aspect.)
There is no shame in being a scholar! Do you have a favorite thing to do in Houston?
I have enjoyed attending the many concerts and operas that Houston has to offer. I love that there is always something to do or music to hear, especially new works being premiered.
Glad you love Houston as much as we do. Do you have anything exciting planned for the near future?
The Moores Opera Center at UH is opening its first opera of the season, The Ballad of Baby Doe. I was involved in that production, and I am the graduate assistant there as well. I also have the pleasure of singing Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in January as well as in the regional premier of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight in April!
Thanks for chatting with us Cody and best of luck in all your musical adventures with BSH and throughout Houston!