KIPP SHARP and The Awty International School
This group is in their third year of collaboration. KIPP has about 60 elementary school students who will be paired with Awty’s middle school students, creating a “musical mentorship”. The choirs are led by Ms. Laura Taylor (KIPP) and Mr. Robert Dee (Awty). In 2019, the children performed at Christ The King Presbyterian Church on Silber Road and the same was planned for 2020, however interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have virtual plans and hope for better times in the school year of 2020/21.
Ms. Taylor is the KIPP SHARP College Prep Lower School music teacher and director of the KIPP SHARP Singers. With over 20 years of experience directing childrens’ choirs and working with young children in early music development Ms. Taylor has directed pre-K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade choirs at Chapelwood United Methodist Church, in Houston, Texas.
Ms. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millsaps College and a Master of Arts degree from New York University. Ms. Taylor also pursued doctoral studies at Rice University and has obtained certification in Kodaly and Orff elementary music workshops. Ms. Taylor is an active member in Gulf Coast Orff Association, Texas Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association.
Prior to teaching, Ms. Taylor sang first soprano with the New York Choral Society where she sang numerous concerts in Carnegie Hall including the always-popular holiday concerts with Peter, Paul and Mary. Additionally, Ms. Taylor sang with the Houston Symphony Chorus and performed with the chorus on a tour of Austria and Germany, most notably attending the Graz Summer Musical Festival.
After receiving a degree in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music, Robert Dee has been a choir director and music educator in Florida, New York and Texas. He joined the faculty of The Awty International School in 2005. During his tenure, Awty choirs have performed at various concerts and events on and off campus, including the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest Arts Festival, international festivals and the National Youth Choir which performed at Carnegie Hall. He has successfully coached individual singers who have earned membership in TMEA All State Choirs. Concurrent with his time at Awty he has been a regular member of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus.