The Year in Review
HP Arts distributed $50,000 in funds during the 2019-2020 School Year!
Thank You to Third-Year Board Members of HP Arts
Being a volunteer for an organization like HP Arts takes a lot of work. Compensation comes from enriching our children’s education and the opportunity to work and collaborate with like-minded parents.
In 2020, we had nine Board members who completed their three-year commitment. A sincere “thank you” to Melissa Allen, Ting Cai, Aimee Cali, Jill Dalton, Megan Lembcke, Kelli Miller, Georgianna Moreland, Kristen Pratt, Mikee Smythe, and Tammy Testa for their years of service! We look forward to their continued support of the arts throughout HPISD.
Our board also had several members roll-off due to relocations and work commitments. Thanks to Gabriella Ott, Shannon Sonnier, Victoria Steindorf, Shari Handler, and Tassio Caralho for their time and effort.
Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award
Art, Highland Park High School
Ms. Smith makes all students feel like “artists.” She supports her students with their artistic endeavors and appreciates each as individuals. She provides a safe space for creating and for just being themselves. This is Ms. Smith’s fifth year teaching at HPHS, and she teaches Standard Art I, PAP Art II Ceramics, PAP Art III Ceramics, and AP 3-D Art & Design. HP Arts is delighted to honor Ms. Smith’s innovation in the classroom and drive to enrich her students’ lives with the inaugural HP Arts Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award. This award was created to recognize our wonderful fine arts faculty and highlight a teacher each year who uses creativity and innovation in the classroom, guides all students regardless of abilities to achieve excellence, and demonstrates outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching. Award winners are honored with an engraved nameplate on a seat in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium, a monetary gift of $500, and recognition at an HP Arts board meeting.
Arts in Education Teacher Award
English, Highland Park High School
In his third year at HPHS, Mr. Standridge teaches English II and English II Pre-AP TAG. His sophomore-year film project wove fine arts into his English literature curriculum. Students were pushed to not only explore the story meanings of two films but also critique the visual elements of scenes, sequence, and music. Students also had the option to write, direct, and shoot their own short films. Mr. Standridge encouraged students to look beyond literature to discover the art of cinema and to study the genre of the visual arts in a new way, making him worthy of the Arts in Education Teacher Award. The Arts in Education Teacher Award is presented to a teacher outside of fine arts who enriches the educational experience through incorporation of the arts in the daily classroom either by including specific events or by weaving the arts into their curriculum. Award winners are honored with an engraved nameplate on a seat in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium, a monetary gift of $500, and recognition at an HP Arts board meeting.
Arts Advocate Award
Volunteer, University Park Elementary
Mrs. Pittman is a HPISD grandmother and has volunteered her time and talents exclusively to the UP Art Room every day for over a year. She tirelessly helps Mrs. Torres with any and all projects, lessons, and tasks. Mrs. Pittman has been an invaluable volunteer for the UP Art Program and well deserving recipient of the Arts Advocate Award. This award is given each year to a patron of HP Arts who has had multiple years of involvement in the arts within HPISD and stands out as a true advocate of the arts. Current HP Arts board members and current presidents of an HPISD fine arts booster club are not eligible. HP Arts Advocates are honored with an engraved nameplate on a seat in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium as well as recognition at an HP Arts board meeting.
HP Arts Linda Raya Scholarships
Congratulations to this year’s Linda Raya Scholarship winner Julia Cary! Each year HP Arts awards the HP Arts Linda Raya Scholarship to students who have demonstrated a commitment to the same fine art discipline all four years of high school and plan to pursue a fine art major in college.
Julia, a HPHS art student, plans to study art and architecture in college. She will be attending Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Poland. We wish Julia all the best and look forward to following her journey!
HP Arts Appreciates Teachers and Administrators
On January 22nd 2020, the HPISD community gathered at the Meadows Museum at SMU for HP Arts’ annual Teacher Appreciation Reception. The event honored the fine arts faculty from all seven HPISD campuses, as well as non-fine arts teachers who have used funding from HP Arts to promote arts enrichment and arts education in their classrooms. Highlights of the event included HPHS and HPMS student performances and aHK-12 works of art. HP Arts would like to thank the Meadows Museum for graciously donating the venue, as well as Preston Center Dance and Brook Mays Music Company for sponsoring the event.
Moody Advanced Professional Studies Center
The Grand Opening and Dedication of the Moody Advanced Professional Studies Center at HPHS was held on Monday, October 28, 2019. HP Arts helped to fund the installation and eventual January dismantling of the OmniGlobe. The globe will be utilized across all disciplines, including the arts.
The Julius Quartet
Elementary Schools Experience Djembe Drumming
David Cox, owner of Rhythm Path Drumming, presented an interactive drumming workshop to kindergartners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders at the four elementary schools. Students were taught proper drumming techniques, learned rhythms from the West African culture, and practiced leading a drum circle. Mr. Cox also showed pictures from his travels to the African continent, including artisans creating the Djembe drums used by the children during his presentation. The students enjoyed this HP Arts-funded program.
Highlander Band is Honored for Winning State Silver Medal
Elementary School Silkscreen Printing
HP Arts funded the Screen Printing project, a collaboration between MIS and the elementary schools to expose students to the art of graphic design, screen printing, and the middle school art program. James Jenkins and students from his middle school art class taught the 4th graders at all elementary schools how to silkscreen. Each student had the opportunity to print his/her own shirt with a design created by one of his/her peers. Below are pictures of UP Elementary students participating in the project. UP 4th graders drew their ideas for a creative t-shirt design and one winning design by Pearl Wright was selected. HP Arts supported this program for all 4 elementary schools and provided the t-shirts, printing ink, and other necessary supplies for every student to print their own t-shirt.
Sixth Graders Learn Latin Dance from Ernesto Plazola
Ernesto Plazola is with United Dance Academy and has lived in both Brazil and Venezuela. He taught the kids samba, salsa and (the most fun) the walk (with samba and turns) that performers do during the parade at Carnival. Ernesto spent one day with each of the houses, working with every 6th grader over the course of a month during regular social studies class.
Phantom of the Opera
- Rehearsals began August 5, and the cast rehearsed for a total of 60 hours.
- 52 students made up the cast and crew.
- Students were required to know their lines prior to the start of rehearsals.
- The 17-member orchestra was mostly comprised of HPHS orchestra and band students
- Choir Director Natalie Walker and the orchestra sat atop the stage above the cast and crew, and produced an outstanding sound.
"Take A Seat" Funds at Work
HP Arts is excited to announce that Take-A-Seat’s funds will be used over the summer of 2020 to purchase and install a new and much needed sound system for the HPHS auditorium.
Clinicians and Cellos
HP Arts funded orchestra clinician, Brian Coatney
HP Arts funded full orchestra clinician, Jeremy Kondrat.
HP Arts funded the purchase of a cello for the HPHS orchestra.
"Take A Seat" Funds at Work
In November 2018, we announced plans to purchase a new, state-of-the-art projection system, allowing for modern and versatile backdrops on the stage in the HPHS auditorium. The new system is now in place and made its debut on March 25 in the HPHS theatre 2019 UIL One-Act Play, The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss.
HP Arts congratulates Theater Director Christine Hathcock along with the entire cast and crew on advancing through District and Bi-District! HP Arts is proud to have helped Mrs. Hathcock achieve her vision for the production. With the new projector, they were able to do what would normally take four separate projectors. According to Mrs. Hathcock, “Our uses for this projector are limitless!”.
Thank you for your support of the “Take A Seat” fund. We look forward to continuing to invest in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium with your help!
Nathan Hale Visits MIS/HPMS
Highland Park Literary Festival
Funding Spotlight: Supporting STEAM Initiatives
Google Expeditions Kit for LOTE
HP Arts Appreciates Teachers and Administrators
HP Arts hosted its annual Teacher Appreciation event at the UP Library on January 29 for our amazing Fine Arts teachers and administrators in appreciation of everything they do. Members of La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas joined HP Arts board members in the celebratory evening. Tasty bites and refreshments were served and entertainment was provided by our very own Highlander Strings Quartet and Park Version. The evening was enjoyed by all!
Take-a-Seat Funds at Work
The Take-a-Seat fund has yielded great results over the years and HP Arts has been actively looking for ways the funds can be used to improve the HPHS auditorium. Your support has allowed us to invest in many improvements, from wireless body microphones to stage equipment upgrades to current plans for a new, state of the art projection system, allowing for modern and versatile backdrops on the stage. The HPHS auditorium is moving forward, all thanks to your support through Take-a-Seat!
Funding Spotlight: Music Clinicians
Funding Spotlight: HP Debate Team
- The team of Ethan Muse and Mark Lam competed at the nationally-acclaimed St. Marks Heart of Texas Invitational and placed 9th overall. They received a bid for the Tournament of Champions to be held in Kentucky in April. Ethan was also awarded 5th overall speaker.
- The freshman team of Evan Wang and Andrew Lind captured 2nd place in the Novice CX Debate at the Hebron High School tournament November 2-3. Evan was also recognized as the 10th overall speaker.
Artist Spotlight: Jack Smith
HP Arts Supports the Highland Belles
HP Arts is proud to support the award-winning Highland Belles Drill Team through funding designated for choreography and costuming for their contemporary dance to be performed at regional and national competitions. We look forward to another successful year for the Belles!
La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas Honors Linda Raya
Our cornerstone benefactor, La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, honored Linda Raya’s 45 years of service to HPISD and our community’s fine arts programs with a lovely tribute and the Order of the Flag award at their annual spring tea on June 6, 2018.
DIGITAL SOUND PROCESSORS!
The HPHS AUDITORIUM SOUND just got better! On October 3rd, two new digital sound processors were installed to vastly improve the sound in the auditorium at Highland Park High School. The new sound equipment was funded by HP Arts Take-A-Seat Fund! Mr. Ben Stevens (photo below), New HPHS Theater Teacher and Auditorium Manager explains that a DSP or digital signal processor is used to take analog signals and process them into digital data allowing the digital data to be manipulated.
Because one of the processors was completely non-functioning and the other was out of date, several of the sound outputs (speakers) did not work at all and the rest put out sub optimal sound. The new DSPs allow all the speakers to work and give us the power to balance the sound digitally for a more pleasing sound. There was a noticeable sound difference for Hamlet which showed November 11th and 12th. Mr. Stevens used a significant amount of music and sound effects!
Take a Seat Funds raised are used for ongoing improvements in the HPHS auditorium areas. Each $500 donation goes into the fund and purchases an elegantly engraved brass plaque displayed on the arm of an auditorium chair. Plaques typically honor a child, family member, a favorite teacher or HPISD organization in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium!
HP Arts recently funded an original composition, entitled Boom Bap, written by Nick Werth for the HP percussion ensemble to play at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) on November 11. Werth is an American percussionist and composer from Portland Oregon. Werth surprised the percussion students by showing up to play with them at their concert on October 30. His deeply-rooted connection to nature serves as his primary inspiration for composing.
The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) is the largest and most prestigious percussion contest in the U.S., and the Highlander Band percussion section is one of only three high school ensembles selected to perform. They were chosen by a panel of collegiate professors and professional percussionists based on recordings submitted last spring of their most advanced musical selections. Class of 2017 percussionists, Cameron Coffey, Carson Dugger, and Lauren Ghighi, who were the core leaders in earning this prestigious honor are not pictured below but the Highland Band acknowledges their talent and determination and is grateful for their leadership!
PASIC presents a once-in-a-lifetime showcase concert opportunity for these percussion students. The honor reflects the Highlander Band’s growing national reputation and the demanding work of the band’s directors and students.
Orchestra Hauncert 2017
The spectacular HPISD orchestras grades 6th-12th played at the annual Hauntcert at Northpark Mall on Tuesday October 24th! Daisy Murphy pictured below is playing a Lyon and Healy Troubadour Harp jointly funded by HP Arts and HPHS PTA at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. We now have the harp and a harpist!
“The harp has a very distinctive sound that is not found in any other instrument in the orchestra”, said MIS/HPMS Head Orchestra Director, Louise Rossi Sklar (zebra costume). The middle school students played Ode to Joy, Au Claire de la Lune, Boil ‘Em Cabbage Down, and It’s the Blues, Man! at the Hauntcert.
When asked about longevity, Ms. Rossi Sklar said about the harp, “They can last forever!”
The harp was purchased to be a shared instrument by both MIS/HPMS and HPHS. The Troubadour harp is the perfect instrument for both beginning and experienced harpists with five complete octaves. HPISD is one of three school districts known to have harp programs in the surrounding Dallas area.
Facts about the Harp:
- It is one of the oldest instruments in the world dating back to around 3500 B.C.
- Every harp has three different string colors: red are C strings, black (sometimes blue) are F strings and the remaining strings are white or transparent.
- A modern harpist plays using only the first four fingers on each hand. They pluck the strings near the middle of the harp using the pads of their fingers. Irish harpists use their fingernails to pluck the wire strings.
- The rapid succession of musical notes played on a harp is called arpeggio and the sweeping motion of the hands across the strings is termed glissando.
HP Arts is excited to announce that Kid Art presented HP Arts with a $5,819 donation to help fund visual arts programs in HPISD. HP Arts is grateful for Kid Art’s generous sponsorship, designed last spring as a percentage of summer class and camp tuitions.
Stay tuned for announcements of specific programs supported by the gift from Kid Art in the coming months. Find out more about Kid Art classes and workshops at www.kidartdallas.com. Thank you to Kid Art!
Pictured below are 2017-18 HP Arts board member Molly Pieroni, Kid Art owner Tori Webb Pendergrass, and HP Arts board members Dana Manley and Steve Gruber.
“But guys, don’t really stab your partner!” exclaimed instructor Jeff Colangelo during his stage combat workshop in the HPHS Advanced Theater Class this October.
The beginning theater class had unarmed stage combat lessons where they were taught to punch, hair pull, sell a punch, dodge, block and choke! They reviewed these techniques along with choreography to get a tactile learning experience.
The intermediate theater classes worked on the same techniques as the beginner level class but had additional emphasis on building choreography.
The advanced theater class reviewed the techniques from the intermediate class and were instructed on sword fighting using dowel rods all three days. Sword fighting instruction included foot work, blocks, attacks and how to blend it all together to make a believable piece of choreography.
Mr. Ben Stevens, first year HPHS Theater Teacher and HPHS Auditorium Manager will have several of these stage combat techniques incorporated in the upcoming production of Hamlet. Hamlet is showing at HPHS on Saturday, November 11 @ 7pm and Sunday, November 12 @ 2 pm!
The HPHS band theme this year is ‘I Do’! This fabulous and creative group plays and dances to numerous wedding songs related to this theme. The two Color guard girls in their bright yellow flowing bridesmaids dresses are forming a heart with their arms. Their songs include the very popular Wedding March, Marriage of Figaro, Gabriel's Oboe, and The Bartered Bride. Last Year, HP Arts funded a new PA system for marching practice and provided funds for a percussion marching instructor as well as sectional coaches. Photos by Stephen Luk
La Fiesta presents donation check to HP Arts
La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas presented HP Arts with a $60,000 donation to fund HPISD arts programs, technology and new lighting in the MIS/HPMS auditorium. HP Arts is grateful for La Fiesta’s continued partnership and support as it begins its 31st year of service in HPISD.