November 2018 Edition
HP Arts is a Non-Profit Organization Supporting HPISD Arts Education Since 1987 
Letter from the President

Dear Friends of HP Arts,

As the weather turns cooler and we head into the holiday season, I can't help but think about my family. I have always told my kids that whatever they do in life, I want them to find what they love and work hard at it. I am so thankful they have both been fortunate enough to find their passions - and both in the arts. They are involved in dance and music and those two activities have impacted every facet of their lives. Their arts give them the opportunity to express themselves individually and to collaborate with a group. They have gained immeasurable confidence and self-esteem through exploring their talents and performing. They have learned, both through successes and failures, the importance of investing time and working hard to grow and develop. They have utilized their experiences in the arts to help them think critically and creatively in their core classes. They have also learned that, when you find passion and enjoyment in something, hard work becomes less "hard". This ideology is the root of why I support the arts in education - because I have seen firsthand the enormous impact the arts have had on my kids and their development. Each of us has a reason to support the arts in education. Whatever your reason, thank you. Thank you for supporting the choir student who is really given her chance to shine when she is performing, the introverted band student who found a welcoming group of musically-inclined, like-minded friends, or the robotics student who thrives by facing and conquering design challenges. These students of the arts are the beneficiaries of your generosity. Your donations support them in their endeavors. Thank you.


Jill Dalton, HP Arts President 2018-2019

HP Arts Gives Thanks

HP Arts would like to give thanks to our generous 2018 donors and sponsors for supporting arts in education this year. Your gifts have helped us fund 32 programs across all six HPISD campuses so far this year, impacting every child in the district.

HP Arts funds enrichment experiences such as Highland Park Literary Festival, debate team, orchestra, band, choir, and visual arts. Since it's inception, HP Arts has distributed over $1.2 Million in funds given by district families and cornerstone benefactor La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas. HP Arts was founded on the principle that arts education plays a vital role in the overall development and academic success of our students.

Thank you for helping us deliver on this goal! 

HP Arts is celebrating its 32nd year of enriching the educational experience of all HPISD students through arts programming. If you still wish to give year-end funds to HP Arts, become a member, join the Take-a-Seat campaign or just find out more about who we are and what we do, please visit

La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas Check Presentation

La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas presented HP Arts with a generous donation in the amount of $52,500 , which will be used to fund HPISD arts programs, technology and a special project for an upgrade to the sound system for the HPHS cafeteria stage . HP Arts appreciates La Fiesta's continue partnership and support as it begins its 32nd year of service in HPISD.

Pictured Above (L to R): Anne Boesser (2018 La Fiesta Chair) , Carla Moss (HP Arts Programs Chair), Jill Dalton (HP Arts President), Missy Rothwell (Past La Fiesta Chair),  Kelli Miller (HP Arts Past President), Jennifer Murray (HP Arts Treasurer), Megan Lembcke (HP Arts Vice President), Elizabeth Gambrell (2018 La Fiesta Chair), Tammy Testa (HP Arts Secretary)

Funding Spotlight:  HP Debate Team

HP Arts has funded debate consultant, Collin Quinn, for the Highland Park Debate Team for the last several years. The team, led by HPHS teacher Toby Whisenhunt, has had great success over the years and Mr. Quinn has been an integral part of that success.  

Mr. Quinn works with the team in numerous areas including conducting practice sessions, assisting in argument construction, providing judging, demonstrating techniques, and answering questions over the course of the season. According to Mr. Whisenhunt, Mr. Quinn's assistance is a direct extension of the class in a more intensive and in depth manner - working on high level critical thinking skills, developing next level research skills, honing advocacy skills, and developing speaking and presentation skills.

The debate season is 9 months long, running from September through May, and they typically compete at 12 tournaments each year.  

Recent Accomplishments:
  • 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.

Thank you to both Mr. Whisenhunt and Mr. Quinn for creating an engaging environment that continues to lead to success for their students!

Debate Team Members Pictured Above: (Front Row, L to R) Pranjal Rai, Claire Lempert, Alyssa Wang, Jade Harris, Pike Dezurny;  (Back Row, L to R) Mark Lamb, Andrew Lind, Evan Wang, Toby Whisenhunt, Ethan Muse, Enayat Kapaolia

Funding Spotlight:  Music Clinicians

Clinicians: Who they are and why they are so valuable

A clinician is a specialist who listens to performers and helps to improve their technique. They offer new insights and perspective on rehearsal practices, enhancing techniques, polishing performances, and refining repertoires. Clinicians also act as mentors to the music directors, answering questions and helping them to coax the best possible performance out of their students.

Clinicians provide a wealth of knowledge for both our students and directors. We are fortunate to have some of the most sought after clinicians and mentors working with our bands in Highland Park. They are a continual source of information and guidance throughout the year and are truly an invaluable resource to our programs.  Their vast knowledge of the craft and their experience provide us all with new perspectives and ideas that benefit us way beyond the hours they spend in our band halls.
- Lara Whitehouse, MIS/HPMS Band Director

HP Arts recognizes the value of giving our students the opportunity to work with these professional musicians and is proud to be a part of enriching our band, orchestra and choir programs by providing the funding for these clinicians at MIS/HPMS and HPHS year after year.

Eddie Green, leading pedagogue and member of the Texas Bandmasters' Hall of Fame (selected Bandmaster of the year and received the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Houston)
Melodianne Mallow, retired band director and one of the most sought after clinicians in the state for middle school bands

Brian Merrill, retired professor of music education at SMU and noted band/wind pedagogue

"Take A Seat" at HPHS

Looking for that perfect gift this holiday season?  The Take-a-Seat program might be your solution.  Your $500 donation will honor your child, family member, a favorite teacher or HPISD organization in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium! The elegantly engraved brass plaque is prominently displayed on the arm of the auditorium chair. Funds raised are used for ongoing improvements in the auditorium areas.

If you would like to support HP Arts through the Take-a-Seat program, please contact Tassio Carvalho at

Take-a-Seat Funds at Work

The wireless body microphones were put to good use in the HPHS production of  Footloose.
Photo courtesy of Paula Buzenius.

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!

Play It Again, Sam!

The HP Arts Program, "Play It Again, Sam!" is designed to recycle instruments from the community back into the school music programs. The instruments are considered a donation to HP Arts and are eligible for a tax-deductible contribution.

Please contact Steve Gruber at if you have an instrument you would like to donate.

Board of Directors

HP Arts Board of Directors  2018-2019

Executive Committee
President                                           Jill Dalton
Vice President                        Megan Lembcke
Secretary                                     Tammy Testa
Treasurer                                  Jennifer Murray
Programs Chair                               Carla Moss

Programs Committee
Programs Chair                              Carla Moss
Armstrong Elementary                     Aimee Cali
Bradfield Elementary                   Shari Handler
Hyer Elementary                          Melissa Allan
UP Elementary                              Kristen Pratt
MIS/HPMS                                 Sally Schedler
HPHS                             Georgianna Moreland

Publicity Committee
eNews                                        Mikee Smythe
Artisan                                            Niki Hudson
Instagram                        Georgianna Moreland
HPHS Publicity                                  Kelli Miller
HPMS Publicity         Trisha Terraciano-Spence
MIS Publicity                                 Dorota Baird

Website                                    Megan Lembcke
Arrangements                          Victoria Steindorf
Membership                                          Ting Cai 
             Shari Handler
Play It Again, Sam!                        Steve Gruber
Special Events           Trisha Terraciano-Spence
Sponsorships                                      Kelli Miller
Student Art Coord.                        Janese Deitch
Take-a-Seat                                Tassio Carvalho