Elizabeth Houston has played Second Harp with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1992. She has played with the orchestra in their Masterworks, Pops, Family and Chamber Music concerts. In addition to many freelance harp performances, she also enjoys teaching both adults and children. She is a member of the Memphis Harp Chapter of the American Harp Society, The Renaissance Music Circle, and the Memphis Symphony League.
In 1995, Elizabeth accompanied Kallen Esperian in A Holiday Concert directed by Tom Machen as a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Performed at Memphis’ historic Orpheum Theatre, that benefit concert has been broadcast locally on WKNO and nationally on public television. During Christmas of 1998, she again accompanied Kallen Esperian in a holiday concert at Christ United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Houston has played for Christmas concerts and musical celebrations in numerous Memphis-area churches, including First Baptist of Memphis, Central Church, St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and both Independent and Idlewild Presbyterian. Last Christmas, she accompanied the Idlewild Concert Choir in A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten.
Having begun her study of the harp at age twelve with her mother, Ruth Moore Cobb, Elizabeth played First Harp with the Youth Symphony for six years while growing up in Memphis. As a student member, she both sang with and accompanied the Glee Club of The Hutchison School. She also enjoyed making a benefit recording of A Ceremony of Carols with the Concert Choir of St. Mary’s Episcopal School.
Leaving Memphis, Elizabeth continued her musical preparation with Jeanne Chalifoux at Mary Washington College in Virginia and with Alice Chalifoux at the Summer Harp Colony of America in Camden, Maine. While completing her B.A. in Fine Arts at Rider University and her M.A. in Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, she also did advanced study of the harp with Reinhardt Elster, the First Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City.
Elizabeth Houston is married to the Rev. Horace Houston, a Presbyterian minister, and the couple make their home in Memphis, Tennessee, where they have three children: Laura, Ruth Marie and Chip.