September 2019 Edition
HP Arts is a Non-Profit Organization Supporting HPISD Arts Education Since 1987 
Donate to HP Arts on North Texas Giving Day!

Starting Monday, September 9th, you can schedule your gift to HP Arts!  Follow the steps below:

3.  Schedule Your Gift Starting 9.9.19 or Donate on 9.19.19

Since 1987, HP Arts has been encouraging arts enrichment and arts education across all schools in the Highland Park Independent School District. This organization was founded on the principle that arts education plays a vital role in the development and academic success of our students.
HP Arts funds enrichment experiences such as orchestra, band, choir, visual arts, Highland Park Literary Festival, and debate team.  Since it's inception, HP Arts has distributed over $1.2 Million in funds given by district families and our cornerstone benefactor, La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas.  Please enjoy the following updates on programs that were funded last spring, on arts-related achievements, and on awards for HPISD students.

The Year in Review

HP Arts Distributed $70,000 in Funds during the 2018-2019 School Year!

Thank you to our generous donors and sponsors for supporting arts in education this year. Your gifts helped us fund programs across all six HPISD campuses, impacting every child in the district.

For a summary of all 2018-2019 funding, please click   HERE.

2019 Spring Funding Highlights
Clinicians and Cellos

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.

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.

HP Arts funded orchestra clinician, Brian Coatney

Clinician Brian Coatney had the orchestra students stand up and march in place while playing, a unique approach to keeping time.
Brian Coatney, Director of Orchestral Studies  at Plano Senior High School worked with the HPHS Orchestra in March.

HP Arts funded  full orchestra clinician, Jeremy Kondrat. 

Jeremy Kondrat, Wind Symphony Conductor for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra worked with the HPHS orchestra in April.

After working with the full orchestra students, it was obvious that good progress had been made.  The orchestra sounded amazing.  The clinician reorganized the musicians, grouping them differently and focused on crisp, confident entrances.   

HP Arts funded the purchase of a cello for the HPHS orchestra.

  HPHS has 3 orchestras organized by musician skill level. 
2019 Awards
HP Arts Linda Raya Scholarships

Congratulations to the 2019 Linda Raya Scholarship winners Lilly Maria Fotopoulos and Ryan Robert Douglass!  Each year HP Arts awards the scholarships to two 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.

Lilly, who was a HPHS visual arts student, is studying art and graphic design at the University of North Texas. Ryan,  who was a HPHS theater and choir student, is studying theater and vocal performance at Webster Conservatory. We wish them all the best and look forward to following their journeys!

2019 Recipient of the HP Arts Linda Raya Scholarship Ryan Douglass. Additional recipient - Lilly Fotopoulos - not pictured.

Senior Art Awards

Congratulations to these talented artists who were selected to receive awards from the annual HPHS Senior Art Show held on April 26.  The show featured the work of students in Art III and IV advanced level art courses.

(L-R):  Jack Smith, 2nd Place 2D Art; Amber Main, 1st & 2nd Place 3D Art; Zandt Lavish, 1st Place 2D Art; Grace Adams, 1st Place Photography; Hayden Blaylock, 3rd Place Photography; Hannah Anani, 2nd Place Photography; Maddie Ewers, 3rd Place 2D Art

Arts Advocate Award

Jill Dalton, Polly McKeithen, Victoria Steindorf, & Megan Lembcke

Congratulations to this year's Arts Advocate Award winner, Polly McKeithen.  In the words of HP Arts board member Victoria Steindorf, "Polly was extremely active in the organization of almost everything related to the fall muscial.  She coordinated and scheduled trips and activities, and went above and beyond accommodating the needs of both teachers and students.  She seems to be involved in every aspect of the arts at HPHS. She is a real gem!!"

The Arts Advocate 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 being recognized at an HP Arts board meeting.

Arts in Education Teacher Award

Jill Dalton, Lisa Seaman, & Aimee Cali

HP Arts proudly announced English PAP 1 teacher Lisa Seaman as the winner of this year's Arts in Education Teacher Award.  Nominated by HP Arts board member Aimee Cali, Ms. Seaman is known for incorporating the arts into her classroom.  She has a knack for engaging her students and taking them outside of their comfort zones with creative activities related to their studies. After reading The Odyssey, students wrote a script related to the book and performed it in front of the class. Following the reading of   Romeo & Juliet, they wrote songs related to the Capulets' Ball and again performed them in class.  English class reimagined courtesy of Lisa Seaman!

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, receive a monetary gift of $500, and are recognized at an HP Arts board meeting.

Upcoming Fine Arts Concerts/Performances 
September 21, 22, 28, 29

HPHS musical  Phantom of the Opera  
HPHS Palmer Auditorium
September 21 at 7 pm; September 22 at 2 pm & 7 pm 
September 28 at 7 pm; September 29 at 2 pm
To purchase reserved tickets, click HERE 
Adults $15; children/students $10
Balcony general admission $12 cash/check on sale at HPHS Fine Arts Titus Box Office one hour before each performance

October 8

HPHS Symphony Orchestra TMEA Honor Recording Concert
HPHS Palmer Auditorium
6 pm

October 16

HPHS Choir Fall Concert
HPHS Palmer Auditorium
7 pm

October 24-27

HPMS Playbill Legend of Sleepy Hollow
MIS/HPMS Auditorium
October 24 at 7 pm; October 25 at 4 pm; October 26 at 5 pm; October 27 at 2 pm
Tickets $5
"Take A Seat" at HPHS

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

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 Shari Handler at if you have an instrument you would like to donate.

Letter from the President
Kristen Pratt, HP Arts President
 Dear Friends of HP Arts,                  
I would like to thank each and every one of you that donated to our organization during Back-to-School Sign-Up.  Your generous support and the ongoing support of La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, our cornerstone benefactor, make it possible to continue funding fine arts enrichment programs, equipment and instruction for students in every grade at HPISD.
During the 2018-19 school year, our organization was able to fund more than $78,000 in programs and special projects.  A special grant funded by La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas was also designated to purchase instruments for the HPMS band. Enrollment in middle school band, like enrollment in so many of our arts disciplines, has increased in recent years.
I want to encourage each of you to get more involved with HPISD arts. This community is bursting with dedicated faculty and talented students, who in the coming weeks, can be see starring in the "Phantom of the Opera," marching in the band, dancing at half-time and in competitions, singing and playing in concerts, and creating visual art masterpieces. You don't want to miss out!
With gratitude,

Kristen Pratt
HP Arts President 2019-20
Thank You to 3rd 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 2019, we had 5 board members who completed their three year commitment.  

A sincere "Thank You" to Janese Deitch, Jennifer Murray,   Carla Moss, Kelli Miller , and Aimee Cali  for their service!  Aimee and Kelli have graciously decided to stay on the board for an additional year. 
Board of Directors

HP Arts Board of Directors  2019-20

Executive Committee
President                                        Kristen Pratt
Vice President                              Sally Schedler
Secretary                                       Tammy Testa
Treasurer                                                Jing Lin
Programs Chair                                 Jill Dalton
Programs Committee
Programs Chair                                 Jill Dalton
Armstrong Elementary                     Aimee Cali
Bradfield Elementary                 Lauren Hughes
Hyer Elementary                 Meredith Lockridge
UP Elementary                                   Amy Bean
MIS/HPMS                                     Amy Ramos
HPHS                                           Melissa Allan

Publicity Committee
eNews                                           Mikee Smythe
Artisan                                             Gabrielle Ott
Instagram                          Georgianna Moreland
HPHS Publicity                                 Kelli Miller
Publicity                                    Shannon Sonnier
Website                                       Megan Lembcke
Arrangements                           Victoria Steindorf
Membership                                           Ting Cai 
             Stacy Becker
Play It Again, Sam!                        Shari Handler
Special Events                                  Becky Gould
Sponsorships                Trisha Terraciano- Spence
Student Art Coord.                          Linda Shirley
Take-a-Seat                                  Tassio Carvalho