Arts / Performing Arts

Broadway, Classical Music and Jazz Stars Give HSPVA’s 50th Anniversary Tripleheader a Jolt — Entertaining Thousands at Miller Outdoor

A Showcase and Vital Fundraiser for a School That Lets Creativity Flourish

BY // 05.12.22
photography Katy Anderson

What: Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts Encore 50 “Party in the Park”

Where: Lott Hall at Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theater and Axelrad Beer Garden

PC Moment: The evening began with a cocktail reception for HSPVA patrons at Lott Hall where chairs Patricia Bonner, Bob Eury and Karen Ostrum George launched the fundraising celebration of HSPVA’s half century of serving the area’s talented high school students.

When it was founded in 1971 (thus Encore 50), HSPVA was the first public school in the country to integrate a conservatory-style performing and visual arts curriculum alongside a full academic workload.

The school’s 50th anniversary celebration then moved to Miller Outdoor Theater where HSPVA alumni joined students in presenting stirring performances. Headliners were Broadway star Samantha Williams (Caroline, or Change), acclaimed concert violinist Rebecca Fischer and famed jazz pianist and composer Helen Sung. More than 3,000 turned out to watch the vibrant retrospective and celebratory performances.

Community Honorees Phoebe and Bobby Tudor were recognized for their leadership in stewarding the 2012 HISD bond referendum for new schools that was instrumental in making Kinder HSPVA’s downtown campus – and dozens of other improved HISD campuses – a reality. Brookfield Properties was recognized as Corporate Honoree for its two decades of support including underwriting student performances and exhibitions.

Kat Clemons, Jenny Franco, Chiarra Stratton, Farell Diamond (Photo by Katy Anderson)
Kat Clemons, Jenny Franco, Chiarra Stratton, Farell Diamond at the Kinder HSPVA 50th anniversary celebration (Photo by Katy Anderson)

Following the show, the festivities moved on to Axelrad Beer Garden where after-party chairs Farell Marblestone Diamond, Matthew Jamison and Chiarra Elayda Stratton led the late night celebration.

PC Seen: Marita and JB Fairbanks, Algenita Scott Davis, Kimberly Hickson and David Spaw, Clare Jackson, Jo and Jim Furr, Bobbi Jo and Chad Miller, Rachel and Tarek El-Yafi, Barbara McKnight, Rhetta Detrich and Bill Horwath, Janice Yoo and Masud Haq, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Minette and Peter Boesel, Eman El-Shareif and Samuel Shehadeh, Chris and Neil Thomas, HISD board president Judith Cruz, HISD Trustee Sue Deigaard, HSPVA Friends executive director Alene Coggin, Kinder HSPVA principal Priscilla Rivas.

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