Roger Keele holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. He is a piano teacher, voice teacher, vocal coach and composition teacher as well as a classically trained pianist and flutist. While at the University of Houston, Keele studied music composition privately with opera composer Carlisle Floyd. As well, he holds Masters degrees from the University of North Texas in Piano Performance and from the University of Illinois in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying with world-renowned coach-accompanist John Wustman. An artist of unusual versatility, Keele has enjoyed success in fields as diverse as vocal coaching and accompanying, stage directing, and musical composition. He has served on the faculties of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Texas Wesleyan University, where he became the founding director of the Fort Worth Men’s Chorus. He served as the Assistant Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus in their 2002-2003 Season. He was the Director of Choral Activities at Lee College from 2003 to 2005. He formerly directed the Opera Workshop at Lamar Univerity in Beaumont, Texas. Keele is the vocal coach at Sam Houston State University and adjunct faculty at Lamar Uniiversity, while also maintaining a private studio of singers and pianists. Keele is an active member of the Cypress Creek Music Teachers' Association and performs regularly with Symphony North under the baton of Ron Ochoa. He is now the Director of Music at St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Garden Oaks north of the Heights in Houston, Texas, and also served as the AD for VOX: The Rob Seibel Singers in the 2010-2011 Season.
Keele was for eight years the Director of Music at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Houston and the first Artistic Director of St. Cecilia Chamber Music Society. He is still a frequent performer with the SCCMS and serves on its advisory board. Keele has served in the capacity of stage director for opera and oratorio for such organizations as Opera in the Heights, Ars Lyrica Houston, Houston Chamber Choir, St. Cecilia Chamber Music Society, Lamar University and Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. He is a founding member of the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival and continues to serve on the advisory board. His new one-act opera, The Masque: A Grim Little Entertainment, premiered to critical acclaim in LSLTF’s second season in June of 2008. Most recently he became the founding Artistic Director of Musique chez moi: Northwest Houston House Concerts. Since 2008, this concert series has presented an array of classical artists in concert within the elegant and warm atmosphere of homes in the Northgate Forest Country Club area, as well as partnering with the relatively new and beautiful Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts on Cypresswood, where singers and instrumentalists perform to a packed house. He has four volumes of art songs and several songs published separately by Classical Vocal Reprints. Keele's Doctoral Dissertation, "Realizing the Potential of the Oratorio Chorus in Jeanne d'Arc au bucher by Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger" is now housed in the Honegger Archives in Paris, France.
Keele has released a CD of light classical chamber music, On the Strings of the Rain: Roger Keele and Friends, available here.
Herbert Howells: Gloucester Magnificat and Nunc dimittis
Choir of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Houston Texas; Joe Causby, organist; Nancy Curtis, soloist; 2005 Audio (excerpt)
Herbert Howells: Collegium Regale Magnificat and Nunc dimittis
Choir of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas; Stephen Malone, organist; 2004 Audio (excerpt)
music director & pianist
"... The Masque: A Grim Little Entertainment [is] a setting of a strange Edgar Allan Poe story by composer/pianist ... Roger Keele. ... Keele set his tale in a ... Broadway style, using the expanded forms and harmonies composers have at their disposal today. ... The audience's favorite clearly was the reverie I Dream of Sex sung by the character, Sloth. The scene where several characters play blackjack grew into almost hysterically frenzied fun."
Review by Charles Ward, The Houston Chronicle, June 27, 2008
" ... one beauty after another ... The production assembled by conductor Matthew Dirst and director Roger Keele entertainingly served up the static story of the allegory. Simple movement, handsome costuming and astute lighting ... "
Review of Handel's Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verità, The Houston Chronicle, 04/17/2002