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Elementary and Primary Education
Houston Independent School District
News Release
Friday, October 14, 2011

HISD’s HSPVA Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Performance Extravaganza

Over 200 performers including some of HSPVA’s outstanding graduates


HISD’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts’ Encore 40! celebrates 40 years of arts education with a performance extravaganza by more than 200 HSPVA actors, singers, dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists and video presentations from the Visual Art Department.


Encore 40! will take place on Saturday, October 15 at 7p.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas.


“We are very proud of this school and its accomplishments in becoming the leader in arts and academics,” said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier.  “HSPVA continues to be a blue-print for providing students the art and academic skills to be successful in the twenty-first century.”


HSPVA is a National Blue Ribbon School based on its academic excellence and was also named the 2011 Exemplary Arts School in America by the Arts Schools Network.  This school has also received more Presidential Scholars in the Arts and more White House Distinguished Teachers than any school in the nation.  HSPVA has been listed as one of the top five high schools in academic excellence in Houston since its inception in 1971.


“Conceived 40 years ago as a bold experiment in education and as an adventure in trust, HSPVA has become the model across the country and abroad for integrating high quality arts training with accelerated academic rigor,” said Dr. R. Scott Allen, HSPVA principal.  “The evening’s production offers a glimpse into the exciting world of HSPVA.”


The show will entail a medley of musical numbers from previous HSPVA musicals and the performances by the HSPVA combined chorus and symphony orchestra.


The event will be led by mistress of ceremonies Chandra Wilson of television’s Grey’s Anatomy. Additional guest performers for the event include Ashley Tamar Davis from the Tyler Perry Show and one of Prince’s muses, Michelle DeJean from the Broadway show Chicago, and Andre Hayward who performed with Betty Carter, the Mingus Dynasty Big Band, Kirk Whalum, and The Duke Ellington Orchestra, among others.


About HSPVA: In 1971, Houston High School for Performing and Visual Arts first opened its doors in the “old” Temple Beth Israel Synagogue at the corner of Austin and Holman Street. With very little in the way of facilities or equipment, the school’s first Director Ruth Denney brought together respected arts education leaders to help her forge a school for the arts for the Houston Independent School District.  Very soon, HSPVA’s success made it the model and the impetus for the “magnet school movement” in our nation.  HSPA created a reputation for diversity, creativity, and excellence in both academics and in the arts that is still a source of pride to its alumni, staff, HISD administrators and the City of Houston.


The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 281 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees.


For more information, visit the HISD Web site at

Ocean Star

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