Crystal Rae is known to her second-grade students at Kelso Elementary as Ms. Rae, but to the theater world, she is just Crystal. Her new play, “Lamariya,” is having its world premiere at Jewel Box Theatre, part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City from July 19 to 24, 2016. She is the first Houstonian to have a play produced there.
Construction on the new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is well underway in downtown Houston, as workers have already excavated 25 feet into the Earth and hauled away roughly 55,000 cubic yards of dirt to make way for the building’s two-level, underground parking garage.
“When the weather was cooperating with us, we were running 40 trucks per day, averaging close to 400 loads per day out of the hole,” said Wesley Moncrief, senior project manager with McCarthy Building Companies, the construction manager at risk on the project. “Dirt removal will be finished in the next few weeks and then we’ll install two large tower cranes.”
Other activities happening this summer are installation of spread footings, the perimeter basement walls, and subsurface drainage. Barring any major impact to the schedule, Moncrief said he expects concrete to be poured for both levels of below-ground parking as well as the main ground floor of the building by the end of 2016.
Carnegie Vanguard High School has been ranked as the 10th best high school in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best High Schools rankings.
Three additional Houston Independent School District schools were ranked in the top 100 — DeBakey High School for Health Professions, which was ranked 29th, Eastwood Academy, which came in at the 50th spot, and Challenge Early College High School, which was ranked 78th. Continue reading
Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts was one of only two schools nationwide selected by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to participate in a national “Peer-to-Peer Education” tour. HSPVA opened in Savannah, Ga., on April 11 and continued on to Charleston, Ga., performing in public schools all week.
In this week’s I Am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, HISD alumnus and renowned pianist, composer, and bandleader Jason Moran talks about giving back to the HISD schools he attended and receiving a McArthur “genius” grant. He attended McGregor Elementary School, Gregory Lincoln Education Center, and High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During a recent visit to Houston to engage with students at all three schools, he took time out from his busy schedule to talk to HISD. For more background information see these links: African-American alumni give back and HISD alumni bringing Black History month to life.
You are in year two of a three-year homecoming residency sponsored by Da Camera with the three schools you attended at HISD. What inspired you to give back to students in those schools?
Many of the thought patterns that I continue to use as a mature artist were learned at those schools. Macgregor Elementary is the place where an instrument was first placed in my hands [a violin], and that prompted my parents to buy a piano for all of us boys to practice on. That piano is still in my living room In New York City, and it’s probably the one I play the most. Though they seem fleeting, these ideas that are planted early on in children’s minds are very important. Continue reading
Fifty-five seniors from seven Houston Independent School District high schools have qualified as finalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program and will now vie for more than $32 million in college scholarships.
The students are among about 15,000 from across the country to advance to the finalist level, allowing them the opportunity to continue in the academic competition. Continue reading
A group of singers from The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) has just become the very first from an HISD campus to win a coveted state title.
The HSPVA Madrigal Singers were recently named the winner of the 2016 Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival and the 2017 Honor Choir by the San Antonio Madrigal & Chamber Choir Festival (SAMCCF). They competed against 41 other choirs from across the state on March 5, and as the winners of this year’s competition, they will return to the festival next year and perform the Honor Choir Concert.
The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts’ new building project received a long-awaited Notice to Proceed from HISD last week, which gives the construction manager at risk (CMAR) the needed go-ahead to mobilize on the site and starts the clock ticking on the 31-month construction timeline.
This is music to the ears of HSPVA stakeholders, as the project has been delayed for about a year while the project team worked through a variety of issues to bring the project within its allotted budget.
Editor’s Note: Black History Month runs from Monday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 29, this year, and HISD is celebrating with a series of weekly stories recognizing distinguished African Americans who graduated from district high schools. This third article focuses on alumni who went on to have successful careers in the fine arts. The first and second articles spotlighted professional athletes, and lawmakers/politicians (respectively). Others will feature educators and those with careers in radio, TV, and film.
HISD has a wealth of African-American alumni with talent in the performing and visual arts — and many of these distinguished graduates have chosen to share their gifts with later generations of students.
HISD hosted its annual Top-Tier College Night on Oct. 6, and hundreds of students and their families came out to learn more about what Ivy League and other high-profile institutions have to offer, as well as what qualities they are looking for in applicants.[photoshelter-gallery g_id=”G0000k6x04Zcvp0Y” g_name=”20151006-CollegeNight” width=”600″ f_fullscreen=”t” bgtrans=”t” pho_credit=”iptc” twoup=”f” f_bbar=”t” f_bbarbig=”f” fsvis=”f” f_show_caption=”t” crop=”f” f_enable_embed_btn=”t” f_htmllinks=”t” f_l=”t” f_send_to_friend_btn=”f” f_show_slidenum=”t” f_topbar=”f” f_show_watermark=”t” img_title=”casc” linkdest=”c” trans=”xfade” target=”_self” tbs=”5000″ f_link=”t” f_smooth=”f” f_mtrx=”t” f_ap=”t” f_up=”f” height=”400″ btype=”old” bcolor=”#CCCCCC” ]
“Some of our students have amazing grades, and some don’t,” explained Justin Segal, a representative from the University of Pennsylvania. “But comparing yourself to others is not really fair, because grades don’t tell the whole story. We’re more focused on if your application is consistent with your stated interests. Because if you’re applying to business school, but all you’ve done so far is arts and theatre, there’s a bit of a disconnect there.” Continue reading