Kerra Simmons earned her BM from the University of North Florida in Vocal Performance with a Choral Conducting cognate and her MM in Choral Conducting at Texas State University. Ms. Simmons has been involved with choral music since junior high and has sung in multiple Florida All-State Honor Choruses, the 2010 ACDA Southern Division Honor Choir, the 2014 ACDA Southern Division Collegiate Honor Choir with world-renowned conductor, Simon Halsey and most recently the 2016 ACDA Southwestern Division Collegiate Honor Choir. Ms. Simmons is currently the Artistic Director of the Singing Girls of Texas and the Associate Artistic Director of the world-renowned, GRAMMY © award winning Texas Boys Choir, both of which rehearse at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. Additionally, Ms. Simmons leads the Singing Girls of Texas satellite efforts and curriculum development for the Texas Music Conservatory.
Her experiences as a Soprano include opera roles in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and La Boheme, as well as multiple honors within the divisional competitions of North Florida’s chapter of NATS. Ms. Simmons began to pursue conducting in her undergraduate. At UNF, she was highly involved in Choral Leadership and was the Assistant Conductor to the UNF Chorale, UNF Chamber Singers, and UNF Women’s Chorus. During her time at Texas State, she was the Assistant Conductor of Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, University Singers, and the Texas State Chorale. She also assisted in creating an undergraduate lab choir and was the Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate conducting class.
After completing her Masters, Ms. Simmons used her gap year to teach Music and English in Seoul, South Korea where she rewrote an English as a second language music curriculum and taught ages 5 to 12. Ms. Simmons’ goal in her teaching is to not only inspire the singers to produce a beautiful sound but to also encourage them to tap into their individual and unique strengths as musicians and human beings. She believes in the power of music to bring together all people from different backgrounds and uses creative programming to intertwine various artistic mediums such as poetry and visual art. Her favorite pieces to conduct and teach are those of the non-Western tradition and her current research is in the advocacy and visibility of female composers. In her free time she likes to cook vegan food and hang out with her cats, Bubba and Peaches.
Dr. Amy Prickett
Director of Choral Operations
Amy Prickett is a gifted soprano who has performed as a guest artist with the Arkansas Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Lansing Symphony, Adrian Symphony, St. Clair Symphony, Calvin College Oratorio Society, North East Texas Symphony, and Oregon Bach Festival.
Amy appeared as the soprano soloist in performances of Brahms’ Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, she was a frequent soloist with the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium, singing Bach masterworks including St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, B Minor Mass, and Magnificat.
Equally at home in operatic roles, Amy has sung the roles of Anna Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Lola in Douglas Moore’s Gallantry, Diana in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and Elisetta in Cimarosa’s Secret Marriage.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Christian University, a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Michigan State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama.
Amy has been teaching voice for over twenty years to students ranging in age and ability level. She has taught elementary, middle school and high school students as well as college majors and adults with a variety of vocal backgrounds. Although her focus is mainly on classical repertoire, many of her students sing other styles of music as well. Amy’s focus as a teacher is to provide her students with a foundation for healthy singing.
Amy has previously served on the faculties at Weatherford College, Huntington University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Mississippi State University. She has also taught for schools in a variety of school districts, including Birdville and Arlington, as well as private schools, including The Oakridge School.
Amy lives in Fort Worth where she teaches Music Theory and AP Music Theory at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and serves as Production and Operations Assistant. She maintains small studios at the TCU School of Music Preparatory Division and Tarrant County College (Northeast campus). She loves being part of FWAFA’s outstanding program and teaching enthusiastic students!