In addition to serving as Organist / Choirmaster of Calvary Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Howard Helvey maintains a national and international presence as a concert pianist, conductor, composer, arranger and speaker. As a pianist, Mr. Helvey regularly collaborates with distinguished artist Richard Steinbach in concerts and recordings of four‑hand piano literature. Performance highlights have included concerts in San Francisco, Chicago, Madison (WI), Kansas City, Houston, St. Louis, Aspen, Cincinnati, Toronto, London (England), and—by invitation—as duo artists at the 2000 national meeting of the Music Teachers National Association convention in Minneapolis. Widening their exposure through television appearances in the United States and Canada, the Steinbach / Helvey duo has offered its performances to a broad and diverse community.
2001 saw the international release of their critically‑acclaimed debut CD recording Piano Duo which included the brilliant and rarely‑performed masterwork Eight Variations on an Original Theme in A‑flat Major by Franz Schubert. The duo's orchestral debut took place in April 2003 as they performed the Mozart Concerto in E‑flat Major for Two Pianos at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2004, the Steinbach / Helvey duo began to be managed by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.
Known particularly for his published choral music, Mr. Helvey's compositions have been featured on various recordings, national network and PBS television broadcasts, in such distinguished concert venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and numerous locations throughout Europe and Asia. Drawn particularly to folk‑based melodies and ancient hymn tunes, Mr. Helvey often incorporates them into his own writing. His choral arrangements of folk‑based material have been acclaimed as "engaging" (Choral Journal), "definitive" (Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians), "magical" (The Hymn) and—in response to his occasional inclusion of jazz elements—"fun and certain to be of interest" (The Diapason). Besides receiving commissions from numerous church and university choirs, Mr. Helvey has recently completed projects for the renowned Turtle Creek Chorale of Dallas and for the Wisconsin Chamber Choir. In 2002, he received a John Ness Beck Foundation Award for his distinguished contribution to sacred choral music.
Mr. Helvey holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Missouri‑Columbia and a Master of Music degree in composition and piano performance from the University of Cincinnati's College‑Conservatory of Music. Designated an undergraduate Chautauqua Scholar, he pursued additional studies in piano at New York's Chautauqua Institution. Mr. Helvey has studied piano with Raymond Herbert, Jan Houser, Richard Morris and Dolores Gadevsky; and his composition teachers have included John Cheetham, Thomas McKenney, Darrell Handel and Frederick Bianchi. As one passionate about effective congregational hymn‑singing, Mr. Helvey received additional training in hymn‑accompanying and organ improvisation from Gerre Hancock. Professional affiliations include membership in The American Guild of Organists and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.