Betty Devine has had a long and joyful career making music. Her musical academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech, a Master’s degree from the University of Houston and a doctorate degree from the University of Texas. She has a teaching career that began at Groves Junior High in Port Neches, continued at Houston’s Kinkaid School, and finally at Houston Community College, where she became Fine Arts Department head and developed an associate degree in vocational conducting specifically designed for church choir directors. During her teaching career, Dr. Devine received an international award for excellence in 1996 and is listed in Notable Women in Texas. Her church music career has included both Methodist and Presbyterian churches and has involved organizing and conducting numerous choral ensembles, concerts, and tours. In 1985 Dr. Devine became music minister at Foundry United Methodist Church, where she was ordained in 1996. She just recently retired as Worship Pastor, having conducted services for Foundry’s 5,000 member congregation for 30 years.
Dr. Devine has pit-conducted for church and community college musicals and was assistant conductor for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s annual operas for ten years. She was recognized by the Association of Professional Vocal Ensembles (now Chorus America) in 1987 as the only woman in the United States to develop an independent professional chorus, The Houston Chamber Singers. She founded and was conductor of The Houston Choral Society for 29 years, conducting all of the major requiems (except Berlioz), and major works, such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and the 2008 world premiere of Dr. Adolphus Hailstork’s Set Me On A Rock (Songs of Sanctuary) at the Wortham Theatre Center, which The Houston Choral Society commissioned.
Dr. Devine has taken The Houston Choral Society on four international tours to Europe, where she has conducted in major cathedrals in Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and Rome. Betty has served on the Texas Choral Directors Association’s board of directors as Vice President of Church and Community and on the American Choral Directors Association’s Southwest Division Board. She serves as a clinician and adjudicator and is listed in Who’s Who in International Music.
Dr. Devine is on the Board of Advisors of Cy-Hope, a non-profit initiative formed to make life better for at-risk children in the Cy-Fair Independent School District and to help each school achieve exemplary status. Long an advocate and supporter of music in the schools and of school music teachers, she is partnering The Houston Choral Society, Foundry United Methodist Church, and Cy-Hope to create music initiatives in the Cy-Hope Centers and to get high school students involved in the mission. Her ambition is to encourage a relationship between schools and churches in Texas that would allow support of the incredible work that our music teachers accomplish under very difficult circumstances.
On May 7, 2016, Dr. Devine retired after 29 years with the organization she founded. She officially passed the baton to Dr. Kevin Klotz after directing her final concert, Mozart’s Requiem.