H-E-B Performance Preludes

In conjunction with Performing Arts Houston main stage season presentations, Education & Community showcases talented local companies and ensembles, outstanding school programs and exceptional young artists through the Performance Preludes program. This pre-show performance opportunity in the lobby offers local artists exposure to Performing Arts Houston patrons and wider recognition in the Houston arts scene.

23/24 Performance Preludes

In conjunction with Performing Arts Houston’s main stage season presentations, the Education & Community Department seeks to showcase talented local companies and ensembles, outstanding school programs, and exceptional young artists through its H-E-B Performance Preludes program.

We are thrilled to announce the 23/24 HEB Performance Prelude series. Thank you to all who submitted applications, new opportunities may be added throughout the season as available.

SEPT 16 | 713 Dance Ensemble

713 Dance Ensemble mission is to provide and cultivate the audience with the positive impact of contemporary dance in a professional setting. Utilizing contemporary movement that offers a unique experiences and perspective that is engaging and promotes diversity. 713 Dance Ensemble was founded to provide a continuation of dance education, advanced training, with pre professional opportunities for young dancers in the world of contemporary dance through choreography and performances. Under the direction of Dorrell Martin, Mr. Martin has an extensive professional background and has directed his own NYC Summer Program at the Joffrey Ballet School NYC, Leon Dance Arts and continues to teach and choreograph throughout the US. Martin teaches at St. John’s School and is on staff at West University Dance Centre, the home of 713 Dance Ensemble.

SEPT 17 | Uptown Dance II

Uptown Dance Company is celebrating its 23rd Anniversary!

Uptown Dance Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit pre-professional dance company based in Houston, Texas. We present contemporary, diverse, and innovative choreography created to expand the imagination of dance audiences. Incorporating multiple genres of performance expression into a single pre-professional company, UDC strives to break boundaries and provide a unique place for dancers and choreographers to convey their passion for the art we create. Uptown Dance II trains dancers for future professional companies and college programs.

OCT 19 | Cessar Mandujano

Cessar Mandujano is a Mariachi singer known for his unique sound in his voice that captivates the public. His goal is to live through the music and share a beautiful tradition with the world in order to keep it alive. Although all must come to an end, Cessar believes that music will be forever alive in this world.

OCT 27 | Rising Stars Academy of Dance

Rising Stars Academy (RSA) of Dance & Performing Arts is a youth organization united by passion for the performing arts and our desire to see our students grow into confident leaders. Our mission is to expose our students to a myriad of paths in the performing arts world. We provide authentic educational experiences to underserved youth and opportunities to showcase their talents on various platforms. We believe that the more they perform they will grow to be a confident artist. We nurture dedicated dancers who love the art of performing and present them with opportunities to grace the stages of many theaters, competitions, showcases, half time performances, and etc. The students at RSA have performed in many spaces throughout Houston, Louisiana, Florida, and Atlanta. RSA is under the direction of Denisea Woodard who has over 15 years experience as a master teacher, choreographer and professional dancer. She loves pouring into the youth and partnering with many organizations to create the full art experience.

OCT 28 | Mezclada Dance Company

Mezclada Dance Company is a Houston based company dedicated to celebrating diversity by mixing cultures and dance styles to create harmonious, original, and widely relatable blends of dance. With the inclusion of styles such as Latin Jazz, Breakdancing, Modern Dance, and Contemporary dance, there is something for audiences of all backgrounds to enjoy. Mezclada has performed nationally, most recently with Multi Grammy Award Winning Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at the Chelsea Factory in New York, New York. In Houston, Mezclada performs locally and offers free classes every month to a variety of studios and schools.

NOV 3 | Aaron Zhu

Aaron Zhu has studied piano for 9 years — first under the guidance of Mr. Douglas Rose, and, since moving from Canada to Texas in 2022, under Mr. and Mrs. John and Nancy Weems; he is exceptionally grateful for the support and insight by all his teachers, as well as the opportunity to have been exposed to such a variety of philosophies towards music. Currently a high school senior, Aaron intends to continue music into university, aspiring ideally for a dual degree — a Bachelor of Music in Performance and a Bachelor of Sciences in Neuroscience. His musical accolades include 2nd Place in the 2023 five-state Baylor/Waco Piano Competition (Division I Concerto), scholarship recipient of the 2023 South Texas Piano Competition (Division I Concerto and Division I Solo), and 1st Place in the 2023 Texas Music Teachers Association Performance Contest (Grades 11-12 Concerto).

DEC 10 | Houston Show Choir

Houston Show Choir is made up of talented adult singers who perform an entertaining, diverse repertoire with lively choreography. Singers memorize the songs so they can connect directly with the audience while singing and dancing, thus delivering an optimal experience for everyone! The choir has performed at public and private events all over the Greater Houston area (and occasionally beyond) since 1932, delivering distinctive, entertaining shows that are filled with dynamic energy and musicality.

JAN 23 | Bayou City Youth Ballet Company

Founded in 2020, the Bayou City Ballet Youth Company provides high quality performance opportunities for ballet students pursuing a career in dance. We strongly believe in the power of ballet to change lives. In order to share this beautiful art with our entire community, we program an array of educational programs throughout the greater Houston area each season, including master classes, performances, and workshops, that are accessible to everyone. The Youth Company also raises funds annually to help defray the costs associated with performance, thereby allowing us to offer need-based financial assistance to company members.

FEB 9 | Pershing Middle School Dance Company

Pershing Middle School is a Magnet Fine Arts School in Houston ISD. Our students travel from many different areas of Houston to make up our Great student population. Pershing Middle School has many fine arts programs and the Pershing Dance Department is one of the best Houston ISD has to offer.

Pershing Dance Company is a year-round performing arts dance company. We perform at school sporting events, local stage performances, local community events, competitions, as well as international festivals. The dancers train year-round and represent Pershing at all times, not just on the dance floor!

MAR 7 | Meyerland Dance Ensemble

Meyerland Dance Ensemble is an award winning performing ensemble based at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School in Houston ISD, and is a pre-professional group of young dancers pursuing both technical and artistic excellence in all forms of dance. Under the direction of Chadwick Peters since 2013, the group has performed all over the Houston area and the state, for various events and at a multitude of venues, and has had the honor of performing seven Performance Preludes over the years.

MAR 8 | eMotion Dance

The award-winning eMotion Dance Company at Bellaire High School is a director-led and student-run dance company, one of the few within HISD. eMotion is composed of Breakdance, Hip Hop and Modern teams, each with its own student rehearsal directors who choreograph most dances. Each year, eMotion presents the fall and spring shows at Bellaire HS, performs at local events, and participates in local and regional competitions. eMotion is regularly recognized for its solo, duet, small and large group performances at competition. Additionally, eMotion hosts dance clinics and the annual Bellaire Community Concert that showcases dancers from public schools and private dance companies from around Houston for a public evening performance each spring. eMotion is currently under the direction of Artistic Director, Paris Kent.

MAR 9 | Alice Neal Junior Dance Company

The Alice Nealie Dance Junior Company (ANDance) is a pre-professional dance company, established in 2011. It is a program under the Edison Arts Foundation, and has been a self-esteem building & confidence strengthening entity since its genesis. It equips young dancers, ages 7-18 years old, with a performance-based dance company experience. ANDance Jr. Company cultivates and prepares its members for career paths in performance, choreography, and dance education. To date, the company has danced under the direction of many greats, including Alvin Ailey American Dance theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Urban Bush Women, and more. ANDance members expand their dance education by becoming disciplined, developing artistry, improving technique, and performing regularly. With full development of these components, company members are equipped to enter the world of professional dance and thrive.

MAR 9 | Houston Contemporary 2

Houston Contemporary 2 (HC2) is a concert based, non competitive, pre-professional dance company focused on training and performance. Dancers will be exposed to multiple styles of dance education in preparation for a future career in dance. The teaching staff and outside choreographers have many years of experience with pre-professional youth ensuring their well-rounded contemporary dance education and assisting students with college admissions and/or other professional dance opportunities. The youth company will have the opportunity to perform throughout Houston during their season, including under the umbrella of the professional Houston Contemporary Dance Company, a 501(c)(3) sister organization to the Institute of Contemporary Dance.

APR 2 | Clara McClain

Clara McLain is a classical guitarist who currently performs and teaches in the Houston and Galveston areas. Clara serves as Communications Director and as faculty for the Houston Classical Guitar Festival and Competition, and was a featured guest artist and teacher at the Summer Guitar Conservatory, a project of Guitar Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free guitar education opportunities for students throughout Houston. In addition, Clara interviewed Maestro Pepe Romero and composed an article for The Romeros’ 50th anniversary concert at the Grand Opera House in Galveston, which was published in the Galveston County Daily News.

APR 12 | Inertia Dance Company

Hailing from Westside High School in the Houston Independent School District, established in 2000, Inertia Dance Company is dedicated in developing young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. Through all elements of dance education, Inertia stresses excellence in the classroom and the total development of each student: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. #INERTIAPROUD

APR 13 | The Pilot Dance Project

The Pilot Dance Project is a professional Modern dance company under the direction of Adam Castaneda. The organization produces a full season of original dance works by some of the region’s most celebrated choreographers. Its diverse performing arts festival programming includes the Houston Fringe Festival, the Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival, and Queer Fringe Houston. The Pilot Dance Project frequently produces site-specific work with the aim of introducing dance to audiences outside of a traditional stage environment.

APR 30 | Cypress Winds

Cypress Winds Clarinet Quartet is a group of lifetime clarinet players dedicated to expressing their love of music. Founded in 2016, they perform in the Greater Houston area for museums, churches, community centers, and private events. The quartet puts on beautiful performances of both contemporary and standard works. With over 100 years of clarinet playing combined, they are able to display their expertise and passion through a variety of musical styles. As a senior ensemble they also focus on bringing music to the seniors of the community through both their performances and community outreach.

Current members are Mae Gremillion, Kathie McStravick, Linda Ryan, and Nancy Angerstein

Performance Preludes are made possible by support from:

Sign up for Performing Arts Houston Education & Community updates

Receive information about Performance Preludes, Teacher Workshops, the Art Contest, and more

Signup Now!

Amplify the arts—donate today

We create rare and wonderful arts experiences in Houston. Make a contribution today and join a community of arts lovers and lifelong learners.

Donate Today!