Fort Bend Boys Choir Hits Noteworthy Milestone: Their 40th Anniversary!

The Tour Choir at a wedding performance.

FOCUS COVER STORY | By Tiana Mortimer –

Step into a Fort Bend Boys Choir’s rehearsal minutes before start time, and you will wonder if you are in the right place. Boys are laughing, tossing paper airplanes, playing cards and video games . . .  in other words, being typical boys. However, once rehearsal begins, all eyes focus up front on Mr. A, as the choirboys fondly call Mr. William (Bill) R. Adams, Founder and Artistic Director. Channeling that energy and enthusiasm into high, clear voices is something that only choirboys with an unchanged voice can make, and the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas has been doing just that since 1982.

Forty Years Making Melodic Memories

Adams says that one thing is true today as it was 40 years ago – boys LOVE to sing! As one of the largest treble boy choirs in the world, the Fort Bend Boys Choir has provided an excellent music education to over 7,000 boys. These talented choristers have accomplished great things over the years, including performing for three U.S. Presidents and singing with Grammy Award-Winning artists Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Manhattan Transfer. The Tour Choir has also recorded several commercials, winning a 1992 Addy Award for their Randall’s Food Market holiday commercial. They have ten CDs to their credit and have performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Pierce Christianson and Brennan Johnson announcing the 40th Anniversary Motto.

These choirboys have experienced multiple once-in-a-lifetime opportunities singing with orchestras around the world, including the Houston, English and Mexico City Symphonies. Notable National Anthem performances include the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in addition to the Houston Texans’, Astros’ and Rockets’ games. They have also performed for the U.S. premiere of the Academy-Award nominated French film Les Choristes, a powerful movie about how music can affect children.

Perhaps one of the most significant moments in the Choir’s history occurred on their 20th anniversary tour to Italy. The Tour Choir was the first ensemble in hundreds of years to sing in the newly restored Sistine Chapel, and no one knew at first that Pope John Paul II heard the choirboys sing until he personally requested another song!  Adams selected John Holiday, the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s 1999 Outstanding Choirboy, to be the soloist on Panis Angelicus, a communion song. Adams said, “It was certainly one of the highlights of my career – and my life – to be at that place, at the right time, with a group of boys proudly representing Texas on an international stage.”

Changing Lives Through Music

William R. Adams and John Thomas Holiday.

Readers may recognize the name John Holiday from the television show The Voice. Holiday appeared on Season 19 and quickly became a fan favorite, making the Final 5. While he did not win, he has had a stellar career as an American operatic countertenor. From his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 to his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2021, Holiday has performed with many opera companies around the world to great acclaim. Not long ago, in honor of the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s 40th season, Holiday shared how the organization changed his life and shaped him into the opera star he is today.  “As a chorister, it was where I first learned how to set and observe expectations and boundaries,” Holiday said.  “Not only did I learn about music, I also learned how to give back and to pay it forward.  No matter if we (the choir) were singing to one or 1,000, we always gave it our all.  To date, I use that mentality when singing for audiences.”

Holiday continued, “What kind of world would it be if there was no music and no one to guide the young hearts and minds to it? Forever, I will be thankful for Mr. Adams’ vision for the Fort Bend Boys Choir and his fierce belief in what was possible for me.  It has carried me forward, in every way. I know that I am one of many whose life has been changed because of this organization.”

Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas Paints the Town Red

40th Ruby Anniversary

Gala Dinner Auction Event

Join the Fort Bend Boys Choir for “Let’s Paint the Town Red! Gala Auction Event” celebrating their 40th Ruby Anniversary! Generously underwritten by the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation, join the choirboys in celebrating this momentous milestone on Saturday, March 26th at 6:30 pm in the Safari Lodge at Safari Texas.

This event includes a tasty buffet meal with a Live Auction led by Congressman Troy Nehls and of course, entertainment by the award-winning Tour Choir. Silent Auction and Big Board items are part of the evening, too! Information on sponsorships, tickets and donation levels are available on the choir website at or by calling 281-240-3800.  Keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest updates.

Proceeds from this anniversary event will support music program operations and help the organization recover financially from the pandemic. Be a sponsor, donate and attend this 40th Ruby Anniversary event and play a part in “making a difference … one boy at a time.”

Tour Choir 2013 at the NRG Stadium singing the National Anthem for the Houston Texans.

Many other success stories have risen from the ranks of Fort Bend Boys Choir alumni. Jason Ritchie, a 1997 alumnus, is a part of the organization’s staff, first as a piano accompanist and now as the Town Choir director. A music educator at Griffin Elementary in Katy, Ritchie shared, “Here I am, 25 years after my choirboy career, coming full circle. I have been a chorister, an accompanist, a clinician, a director, a seed planter and a difference maker. I owe much of how my life has turned out to Bill Adams and the Fort Bend Boys Choir, and I cannot imagine where I would be without them.”

Seed planting is an apt description of what the Choir has accomplished for 40 years. The organization uses music as a tool to plant those “seeds” in young boys – seeds such as self-confidence, etiquette, teamwork, leadership and self-esteem.  Adams said, “If you don’t tell these boys that the music is difficult, they simply dive in and rise to the occasion. Mastering a piece of music, the excitement is almost palpable from the boys when they finally sing it all the way through. Their self-confidence and pride in their hard work is what makes my job so rewarding.”

If you ask a chorister what their favorite part of Choir is, it will not necessarily be the singing but rather “taking off their mask.” Boys feel societal pressure and do not want to share their feelings or even the fact that they sing in a choir. However, as one choirboy put it, “I know in Choir, I am safe – safe from bullies and able to share my feelings openly. Choir is family to me.” And that is the heart of the Fort Bend Boys Choir. The organization provides a safe, proactive environment for boys to thrive. It gives them a sense community.  One choir dad said, “For my son, and I suspect for many others, the Choir is more than just a place of learning, singing and fun – it is a sense of belonging.”

40 Years – Still Strong in Song!

Tour Choirboy Landon Bynum.

One of Adams’ sayings to the choirboys is, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” With their proven record of accomplishment, it is not surprising that inXile Entertainment contracted the Tour Choir to sing six songs for their role-playing game Wasteland 3, released internationally in August 2020. Nor is it unexpected that the Tour Choir’s recording of Ode to Joy from their Heavenly Euphoria CD was featured prominently in the March 2020 Polish film Hejter.

The Tour Choir performing for a video game sound track at a professional recording studio.

Even with all the “cool” things the choirboys have done, recruitment is always the biggest challenge for the Fort Bend Boys Choir, due to other extracurricular activities available.  “What parents and boys should realize is that the unchanged voice of a boy doesn’t last forever,” said Adams. “It is important to join now, while boys are still young.”

For information about the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s upcoming 40th Ruby Anniversary Gala Auction, as well as other performances, visit Of course, audition information is available as well!  Be a part of “40 Years … Still Strong in Song!”

Tour Choir Summer 2008 in Minnesota.