The beginning of the Montgomery County Choral Society dates back to September 1971 when the Reverend Don Keeling, Rector of St. James the Apostle Episcopal Church in Conroe recruited a group of 10 singers from various church choirs with the goal of performing the great choral music of the world. In 1972 Kathryn Gutekunst became the first artistic director and the group became incorporated as The Conroe Chorale. With members coming from all over the county and their numbers increasing, the group petitioned the State of Texas in 1988 to change the name to Montgomery County Chorale Society.
In 1979 Jim Needham became the second artistic director and served for the next 4 years. He was followed by Johnny Jennings in 1983. In 1985 Ann Lee took the reins of artistic director, a position she would hold for 32 years. Upon Ann's passing in 2017, Craig Stephan, the group's assistant director, and accompanist stepped in as interim director. Heather Orr served as artistic director from 2018-2020. After the hiatus of the last year, Dr. Robert Horton has been tapped to lead MCCS as they are poised to begin the next 50 years of beautiful music.
In addition to "bringing great music of the world to Montgomery County" through 49 concert seasons, the group has performed in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, New York City's Carnegie Hall, and most recently in New Orleans' Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis King of France. MCCS has also hosted many guest artists including Rob Landes, Joe and Sue Martin, Melissa Givens, Barbara Johnson Tucker, Tom Jabor, Gabriel Preisser, and winners of the Young Texas Artist Competition including Allegra DeVita and Tara Faircloth.
Supporting music education has become very important to the organization in addition to promoting the growth of music in the area. Invitations have been extended to several area school choirs of all ages to allow performance opportunities for young musicians. A scholarship program has been established to assist graduating high school students who wish to pursue their music studies. We have been proud to offer scholarships to students for more than 10 years and hope to expand the program in the coming years.