HGO’s Cory McGee Finds ‘Silver Lining’ in Study and Virtual Performance

BASS CORY MCGEE, 24, who's among the young artists featured in the new issue of Houston CityBook, joined Houston Grand Opera's HGO Studio this season after winning second place in the company's 32nd annual Concert of Arias competition.The Virginia native, who recently completed his master's at Rice's Shepherd School of Music, has remained busy this year, despite setbacks caused by the pandemic.


"The silver lining of it is that I have study work and a stable income right now," says McGee, who's performed virtually on the company's new digital platform. McGee, who started out playing the viola before "getting hooked on opera," will spend his summer as an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera, and will star as Billy in HGO's The Snowy Day, which will finally have its world premiere later this year.

McGee's new portrait and comments appear in the spring edition of CityBook, which is the magazine's fifth annual Music Issue. Queer hip-hop artist Nate Drop, swing fiddler Ellen Story, busy singer-guitarist Andy Mac, retro crooner Marley Moon, R&B standout Tia Gold and Tejano starlet Amanda Solis are also featured in the annual portfolio, photographed by Ashkan Roayaee, with styling by Todd Ramos and hair and makeup by Edward Sanchez.

Art + Entertainment

AN INTERVIEW WITH Jon Heine President of Houston Market, Veritex Community Bank

What were your biggest challenges of 2020? Without question the biggest challenge was pivoting from the playbook we had to begin 2020 in order to quickly address the immediate needs of our clients, colleagues and communities. Working with our customers to provide loan payment deferrals and PPP loans through the SBA Payroll Protection Program (Veritex Bank provided over $400 million to 2,100 clients in Round 1) became the immediate priority. This involved a Herculean effort from over 120 of our colleagues in various departments of the Bank who raised their hand to assist not because of an opportunity, but out of obligation to the communities we serve.

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Warren and Rachel Ellsworth and Betty and Jess Tutor

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA officially opened its first live season of shows in two years with a bold, colorful presentation of Bizet's Carmen followed by a fabulous crimson-tented dinner on Ray C. Fish Plaza just outside the theater.

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People + Places

Kellie and Chad Motsinger

THE BOYS & GIRLS Clubs of Greater Houston serves more than 30,000 children and teens through its 23 clubs across the region, and thanks to a successful fundraiser last week, the organization is able to continue its mission of offering quality after-school and summer programming to Houston youth.

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People + Places