Chris Urquiaga,Interim Artistic Director
Chris Urquiaga is a singer-songwriter, pianist, composer, music director, and producer from Silver Spring, Maryland.
In August 2018, he released a Latin pop album called “I’m Here”. The album is available in CD form, on iTunes, and on all other music platforms. He performed the CD release concert for his “I’m Here” album at the historic Blues Alley in Washington, DC in August 2018.In 2017, he released an album entitled “Complete”, which consists of original pop songs in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The album is available in CD form and for digital download.
Chris has performed in many different venues throughout the United States and internationally. Some of those venues include The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House, The Library of Congress, The United States Capitol, Strathmore, Signature Theatre, and Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima, Perú.
In 2017, Chris received the Montgomery County Hispanic Heritage Month Award in Maryland for his achievements in the performing arts and for his help in shaping his community. In January 2019, he was the featured performer for the Hispanic Swearing-In Ceremony for the 116th U.S. Congress which was organized by the CHCI (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute).
He was an Artist in Residence at Strathmore for the 2016-2017 Season and during that season he performed sold-out concerts and conducted music education workshops there.
Chris graduated from The Eastman School of Music in 2014, where he majored in Music Composition. During his time at Eastman, he recorded, performed, and wrote music for his own band, a cappella groups, orchestras, choirs, and various chamber ensembles. He has had interviews and live performances broadcast on ABC News, CBS News, C-SPAN, Fox News, Telemundo, Univision, and WUSA 9. He has performed the U.S. national anthem for NBA and MLB games and also for the international tennis tournament, Citi Open. In August 2013, Chris was invited to perform at The White House for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Commemoration, which was hosted and organized by President Obama and the First Lady. He has also performed for U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and Attorney General for the state of Maryland Brian Frosh.
Composition is a passion for Chris. He has been commissioned by the Congressional Chorus, in Washington DC, to compose 3 original works; in 2012 for their 25th Anniversary Concert, in 2013 for a concert entitled “Shakespeare Sings”, and in 2016 for a concert entitled “Young, Hip, and Global”. In 2011, he was commissioned by world-renowned soprano, Carmen Balthrop, to compose two original compositions in Portuguese. He was also commissioned by the Prince George’s Philharmonic in 2013 to compose a piece as their featured season world premiere. In 2008, he received the Kennedy Center Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts.Kay Howell,Interim Executive Director
Kay is no stranger to the Chorus family; in fact, she's been connected to the Chorus in a variety of ways for the past twelve years. As a former board member and parent of an American Youth Chorus alumna, Kay brings a personal passion to this organization that has been part of her life for over a decade. Kay’s 25 years of professional experience in the federal and non-profit sectors bring a deep understanding of strategic planning, financial management, program development, volunteer coordination, advocacy, and board governance and engagement. As both a member of grant making teams and as a beneficiary of grants, she has witnessed firsthand the difference that individual philanthropists, foundations, and grant-makers can make in our communities.
"I am honored to take on this role," said Kay. "The Congressional Chorus has been a part of my family's life for many years. In fact, my daughter now works in music education, and we credit her experience with the Chorus for her love and passion of music. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and members to grow and evolve this special organization."
She is a graduate of George Mason University’s MBA program and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from East Carolina University. Kay is the mother of Congressional Chorus’ American Youth Chorus alum Sarah Rosenberg. She and her husband Rob Rosenberg have resided in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. for more than 25 years.