HOuston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Kinder HSPVA) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with three major events, including a free concert and a performance show at the Miller Outdoor Theater. The school’s Encore 50 party will transform this Saturday, April 23 into a real showcase and support for the performing arts.
Three opportunities to support current and future HSPVA students will take place, raising much-needed funds. All while spotlighting some of the city’s most talented young artists.
It all starts with Party in the Park, an evening of drinks, food and live music at Lott Hall in Hermann Park. This pre-show event runs from 6-7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, providing the perfect concert prep. Proceeds from tickets, which start at $500, will go toward art supplies, necessary technology, and teaching artists.
Party in the Park chairs are Patricia Bonner, Bob Eury and Karen Ostrum George. The community winners will be Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, with Brookfield Properties being the corporate winner.
Then, starting at 8:15 p.m., the big free show begins at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Expect performances from current Kinder HSPVA students and special appearances from alumni, including Broadway regular Samantha Williams (2016), pianist and Guggenheim scholar Helen Sung (1989), and Camille Zamora (1988) ).
Some of the biggest names in the performing arts world have taken to the big Miller stage. It’s no small honor for Kinder HSPVA students to have their own show there. The evening’s program will include selections from all of the school’s fine arts departments: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, drama, visual arts and vocal music.
Former HSPVA Rebecca Fischer knows what tonight means. And more importantly, what the school itself means to so many children who attend. Fisher, who is now a professional violinist and writer, thinks the school changed his life.
“I moved to Houston when I was 16 and desperately needed creative peers,” says Fischer PaperCity. “The environment of openness and fun was palpable, and I was able to dream and flourish. As a musician, having friends who were dancers, painters, writers and actors inspired me to pursue interdisciplinary work throughout throughout my professional life.
Fischer describes the environment as a limitless place where even the unknown can be possible. A central memory she has of her first visit to school was at lunchtime on a day when there was an “event”. She remembers seeing students suddenly group together to play and dance on the lunch tables.
“The HSPVA encourages students to be curious, open-minded, and believe that anything is possible,” says Fischer, a 1994 HSPVA graduate. “These qualities are what we look for in educators, artists, and leaders of all kinds.”
Another enthusiastic participant in Encore 50 will be Mary Martha Lappe, who co-founded the HSPVA, founded and chaired the HSPVA dance department for 25 years, and founded and led the Friends of the HSPVA for 15 years.
“In 1971, Ruth Denney convinced me to take a year off from the University of Houston dance faculty to help her start HSPVA,” Lappe recalled. “I didn’t know I would stay there for 40 wonderful years. I loved the collaboration of all the arts under one roof and all the nationally recognized guest artists in dance that we were able to attract for residencies, master classes and talk-demonstrations. HSPVA became a melting pot for talented dance teachers and students who wanted a dance program that gave them experiences in a myriad of dance forms – ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, ethnic dance, and musical theater dance. .
“I am very proud to be one of the co-founders of HSPVA and very honored to be invited to participate in Encore 50.”
It’s an outdoor concert on a big stage in the heart of Houston that means something to so many people. You can reserve a seat and get a free ticket for the show. Lawn seating will also be available for anyone wishing to enjoy an evening of music.
Pro tip: Buy a ticket for the after-party and you will have access to VIP seats under the glass roof of the Miller Outdoor Theatre.
After-Party: a toast to the next 50 years
After Encore 50, the celebration will continue until midnight at the Axelrad Beer Garden at 1517 Alabama Street. This ticketed event costs $75 with themed snacks and an open bar featuring Axelrad’s cocktails and draft beer. You can mingle with HSPVA officials and alumni while enjoying Axelrad’s beautiful outdoor garden, famous for its neon tree.
This $75 ticket gets you access to the after-party, as well as VIP seats under the canopy for the Miller Outdoor Theater show. Proceeds from this event will also benefit Kinder HSPVA and its artistic mission.
The after-party chairs are Farell Marblestone Diamond (Vocal alum, 1993), Matthew Jamison (Theater, 2010) and Chiarra Elayda Stratton (Instrumental, 1993).
Students are guided on a journey of arts and educational excellence at Kinder HSPVA like few other schools.
The scale of young minds that have blossomed with the help of the HSPVA is impressive and it is thanks to the superb community that allows the school to continue to thrive as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. During the transformative high school years, having great mentors can change the course of a life. Helen Sung, inducted into the HSPVA Jazz Hall of Fame in 2017, remembers enjoying being able to “discover” music with her peers in a safe space during her teenage years.
This weekend, everyone can hang out with some of Houston’s most talented young artists.