Harmony in the Air, a passenger favorite, expands to IAH Terminal E

Spurred by popular demand, Houston Airports is teaming with United Airlines to provide live musical performances to even more passengers.

November 29, 2023

Harmony in the Air, a globally acclaimed and award-winning performing arts program, continues to gain momentum while also expanding its fanbase. The performing arts program, which features some of Houston’s most accomplished musicians, was first launched inside George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Terminal A in 2015. Since then, the program has expanded to employ 75 musicians who also play at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). In March 2023, Houston Airports was recognized for having the Best Art in the Airport by the 2023 World Airport Awards. 

In September, in partnership with United Airlines, Harmony in the Air expanded to IAH Terminal E. United Airlines, impressed by the program’s success, requested collaboration to provide Harmony in the Air in its terminals at Bush Airport. “This partnership aims to enhance the travel experience for a larger number of passengers and strengthen the relationship between Houston Airports and United Airlines,” said Maricela Kruseman, Founder and Director of Harmony in the Air. “Our live musical performances have been very well received by passengers and airline crew,” shared Kruseman of the trio of options now available inside Terminal E.

Harmony in the Air | IAH Terminal E 

Passengers can sit and listen to musicians across from Gate E10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

  • Tony Henry, solo guitarist and vocalist, plays every other Monday.
  • Mark Prause, solo pianist, plays every Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Dual Personality, piano and saxophone duo, play every Friday.

The performances offer a vibrant blend of pop, R&B, jazz and beloved American classics. Passengers inside Terminal E are singing praises for the unique arts experience. 

“I am listening to the Harmony in the Air piano player at the moment, and it is very peaceful in Terminal E,” wrote a passenger on an online comment card. 

“I'm really loving Mark Prause's performance. I'm delighted to see Houston Airports is supporting the arts. I thought I'd be bored with a 6.5-hour layover, but instead, I get a front-row seat to a fabulous pianist performance,” shared another passenger via comment card. 

“EXCELLENT TOUCH! Very nice soothing music before a flight. It helped me to relax,” wrote another passenger on a comment card. 

“A combination of strategies create awareness and excitement around Harmony in the Air encouraging passengers and airline crew to arrive early and enjoy the performances,” said Kruseman. “We promote in advance on www.Fly2Houston.com and on the new and free Houston Airports app to ensure Harmony in the Air is prominently featured so passengers can plan their arrival time accordingly.”

RELATED | ‘A special gift to me’ | Passengers delight in live musical performances

Kruseman worked with Houston Airports to create and display eye-catching signs that feature a QR code that links to a webpage that provides details about the performing arts program. “We collaborate and work closely with our airline partners to ensure they include information about Harmony in the Air in their pre-flight communications which encourage passengers to enjoy the performances,” said Kruseman. “And we host occasional special events, like the first-ever wedding at Hobby Airport. Our musicians help to create buzz which invites even more passengers to arrive early.”

The program is easily one of the most complimented amenities at Bush and Hobby airports. The award-winning program, which continues to expand, helps to cultivate and maintain the unique visual and performing arts experience which has quickly become a signature of Houston’s airports. 

“Excellent performance by Mark Prause! We had time to kill before our flight and it was delightful to sit to hear his piano selections. Thank you for this very nice program! Proud to be a Houstonian and work for the City of Houston,” commented a passenger on an online survey. 

“Music program! Great, live entertainment in the afternoon. A nice break from all the piped-in music from vendors and restaurants. Opportunity to connect with local artists— great job,” complimented another passenger. 

Houston Airports welcomed an estimated 54 million people to Bush Airport and William P. Hobby Airport in 2022. The crowds are massive, yet each performance feels incredibly intimate. “The continuous expansion and extraordinary success of Harmony in the Air is the result of combining several elements to make a difference in the comfort of the passengers by creating a live music program,” said Maricela Kruseman, Program Director of Harmony in the Air. A successful management model, concert-like performances, beautiful custom-made stages, and branding and promotion are the ingredients for a memorable, positive and uplifting travel experience. And not only that, but Harmony in the Air has also generated exceptional social media content, and has enhanced Houston’s status as a vibrant, friendly and cosmopolitan gateway city, and contributed to the city’s creative economy growth.”

An expanding performing arts program means more passengers will be able to make meaningful connections. In 2024, Houston Airports will unveil an ultra-modern, sustainable and gorgeous new section of its international terminal at Bush Airport. The D-West Pier inside the existing Terminal D will create space for wide-body jets capable of reaching far-off destinations; it will create opportunities for 5-Star restaurants and world-class retail experiences, and the new Terminal D-West Pier will create momentum for the music program that’s captured hearts and broken through the noise. 

“The live piano performance was lovely, please continue,” commented a passenger in November. And continue, it will. 

“Harmony in the Air stands out because of its unique presentation, content and beauty,” said Kruseman. “Carefully curated, the program offers a diverse music repertoire to entertain everyone, aiming to create a positive and memorable travel experience.”

LEARN MORE | Harmony in the Air at Bush Airport

LEARN MORE | Harmony in the Air at Hobby Airport