Sheyna Ferrero, Conservatories Director
Sheyna Ferraro is an active member of the arts community as a teacher, organization leader, and a former professional dancer. High quality, accessible arts training is Ms. Ferraro’s passion. A graduate from Leadership Fort Worth’s Leading Edge program, she serves as a board member for FurtherDance Fort Worth and Expanco. Ms. Ferraro joined the Texas Center for Arts + Academics family in 2003 as a member of the FWAFA dance faculty. During her 16 years with the department she directed the Academy Dance Company, helped initiate proper leveling, and introduced multiple new courses such as Dance Composition and Dance Theory. In 2015, Ms. Ferraro was named the Director of the Texas Dance Conservatory and has taken on the role of Director for TCAA’s additional conservatories, the Texas Art Conservatory & Texas Music Conservatory. In 2019 Ms. Ferraro fully transitioned out of the classroom to take on the role of Community Programs Director for TCAA where she continues to direct the three conservatory programs, help with recruitment and community partnerships, oversee school day performances, and sponsor the FWAFA Alumni Association.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet along with a Secondary Teaching Certification in Dance from Texas Christian University. Even before graduating from TCU, Ms. Ferraro started teaching at local dance studios and choreographing for middle and high school dance programs. She enjoyed performing with both Contemporary Ballet Dallas and Contemporary Dance Fort Worth before retiring from performing to focus on teaching and choreographing. A life-long learner, Ms. Ferraro was the recipient of the Bates Dance Festival Teacher Fellowship Scholarship in 2012 and in the summer of 2014, she had the opportunity to travel to Bali, Indonesia to study traditional Balinese style dance. Ms. Ferraro encourages young artists to be life-long learners who allow their arts training to help shape them into creative, outside of the box thinkers, who can go onto accomplish anything their heart desires.
Jonathan Ledger, Director for the Community Boys Choir
Dr. Jonathan Ledger, originally from Pennington Gap, Virginia, has just completed his fourth year as Assistant Professor of Music and Choral Director at University of the Ozarks, in Clarksville, Arkansas, where he conducted Chamber Singers, the university’s premiere auditioned touring ensemble, and taught various lecture courses for the Music Department. During his time at Ozarks, Dr. Ledger greatly increased student participation in choral ensembles and applied lessons and also resurrected a touring tradition that had disappeared from the university for a decade.
In 2017, he conducted the first performance of movements from Handel’s Messiah with orchestra on campus in approximately 25 years. Jonathan earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama in 2015.
During his final year of doctoral studies, Jonathan served as conductor of University Chorus, leading the ensemble in its first appearance at Alabama Honor Choir, in addition to other major performances. In spring 2014, he served as sabbatical replacement for the Director of Choral Activities and conducted University Singers, the premiere choral ensemble at Alabama, in addition to teaching undergraduate conducting for two years. Jonathan holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Music and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia.
Before beginning doctoral studies at Alabama, Jonathan was Director of Choral Activities at Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia, from August 2008 through June 2011. At Osbourn, he conducted five choirs, taught music theory and history, and served as the music director of the spring musical each year. While in Bowling Green, Jonathan conducted Collegiate Chorale and the University Men’s Chorus in performances on campus and on national tours.
Kerra Simmons, Director for the Community Girls Prepatory Choir & Communtiy Girls Choir
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.
Syuzanna Kaszo, Private Piano Instructor
Born in the region of Transcarpathia in the Ukraine, Syuzanna was brought up in a Hungarian environment in a family of musicians. Her musical education began at the early age of five. Over the years, Syuzanna has appeared in many leading concert stages, most notably at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, and Chapell of Bond Street in London, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Plus, Flagey in Brussels, Ehrbar Saal in Vienna, the Colony Hall of National Philharmonic in the Ukraine, Petit Palau in Barcelona, Sala Sao Paolo in Brazil amongst many others.
Syuzanna is a graduate of the National Music Academy of Ukraine where she studied under the Honoured artist of Ukraine prof.Valery Kozlov. She then continued her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, with the Head of Keyboard Department and a renowned British pianist Graham Scott. Syuzanna was one of the two winners of the prestigious ABRSM Scholarship for the year of 2011-2013 that kindly supported her Master of Music Degree Programme studies at the RNCM. In earlier years Ms.Kaszo has also benefited from support of the Barbara Silverstone Bursary, the F W Wright Scholarship.
During her studies in the UK, Syuzanna has won many awards, including the Beethoven Performance Prize, Concerto Performance Prize and Bakszt Memorial Prize for performance of Chopin at the RNCM and a 4th prize at the Sheepdrove International Piano competition (UK).
Her latest international competition successes and appearances included a victory at the XVI Stefano Marizza Piano Prize during October 2012 in Trieste, Italy, a Bridgewater Hall performance at the “Reflections on Debussy” festival, organized in collaboration with the RNCM and under the leadership of Noriko Ogawa, and a performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with RNCM SO under the baton of Gergely Madaras earlier that Year.
Other competition awards include first prize at the A. Zatin International Piano Competition and the Grand Prix at the XXIst Century Hopes International Competition in the Ukraine. Syuzanna was also awarded a Medal in the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona.
Notable Festival appearances count the Judith Weir, Steve Reich, Watford and Newbury Spring Festivals in the UK, Zemplen and Bartok Festival in Hungary, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Tbilisobo in Georgia, the Pianotexas Music Academy and Festival supported by Cliburn Foundation in Forth Worth.
Through her performing career Syuzanna has collaborated with many major orchestras in the Ukraine, such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, EstradnoSymphonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk Philharminic Orchestra, Uzhorod Camerata, Harmonia Nobile under conductors Volodimir Sirenko, Mykola Sukach, Victor Zdorenko, Anatoly Zatin and Natalia Ponomarchuk among others.
Syuzanna participated in masterclass workshops under MariaJoao Pires, Zoltan Kocsis, Andras Schiff, John O’Conor, Malcolm Bilson, Ilana Vered, Vladimir Viardo, Vladimir Krainev, Bernd Geotzke, Steven Osborne, Gary Hoffman and Michel Beroff among others.
Syuzanna is an eager chamber musician and often appears on stage with singers and various chamber ensembles.
As of August 2016 Syuzanna has joined the outstanding music department of Texas Christian University on their Artist Diploma program where she continues her artistic development under the mentorship of Dr.Tamas Ungar.
Future engagements include performances across the UK and US.
Ellie Lin, Private Piano Instructor
Ellie Lin, Director of High Point Academy High School Choirs, is also the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Great Land Choral Society.
She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music, with a concentration in piano.
With the world-renowned Texas Boys Choir, she has served as its Interim Artistic Director in 2017, and Associate Artistic Director, Conductor and Pianist for many years since 1991. Other positions held include Director of the Academy Chorale at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Conductor of the Pinnacle Choristers, Conductor of Southwest Christian School High School Choir, Music Director of the Good Earth Singers, Choir Director at Arlington Chinese Church, and Piano Instructor at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
In October 2017, Ms. Lin was nominated on the preliminary ballot for the 60th Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, along with the Texas Boys Choir’s 70th Year CD for the Album of the Year and Best Choral Performance awards.
In addition to conducting, Ms. Lin is a popular piano teacher and accompanist. She is a member of the ACDA, TCDA, TMEA, FWMTA, and is certified as a professional Chinese interpreter and translator.
Dr. Amy Prickett, Private Voice Instructor
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!
De Anna Young, Private Voice Instructor
De Anna Young Is a vocal coach with over a decade of teaching experience. From an early age, music has been an integral part of her life. She delighted to share her passion for music with others. Being well versed in performance, and education, it is her goal to spur on musicians and artist towards their fullest potential. Her repertoire of work includes vocal performer, session singer, songwriter and worship leader. Having studied under celebrity vocal coaches, De Anna has furthered her education through acclaimed music programs and colleges including Berklee College of Music, and BAST. Earning certificates as a vocal instructor, and music specialist. As an advocate for education, De Anna passionately believes in the merit to never stop learning and exploring new things.
Jacob Wright, Private Flute and Piccalo Instructor
Jacob Wright is a Texas-based flutist and pedagogue of orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire, with a particular enthusiasm for performing and premiering new works. Wright is an active and versatile artist that has performed in numerous solo and chamber recitals, as well as toured with large ensembles in order to bring his love of music to audiences all over Texas. His devotion to performance has led him to pursue many different areas of expertise and he has encompassed these traits into his unique style of playing, combining romantic gestures and phrases with more contemporary techniques and ideals.
As an educator, Wright works with hard working flutists of all ages and currently teaches students in Fort Worth. He works to help students discover their love of music and to help each student find their own reasons for becoming musicians.
In addition to solo repertoire, Wright has performed with a variety of chamber music ensembles including; The Valhalla Wind Quintet, the TWU Flute Choir, Minerva Trio, The Graduate Flute Quartet and the Abilene New Music Collective. Wright has served as principal flutist in the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra, Rockwall Philharmonic, HSU Concert Band and the Texas Woman’s University Wind Symphony.
Jacob Wright received his undergraduate degree in Music Business from Hardin-Simmons University in May of 2016, studying flute with Dr. Karla Ordoñez and received a M.A in Flute Pedagogy at Texas Woman’s University studying with Dr. Pamela Youngblood.
Texas Music Conservatory and its options will provide an excellent way for your child to expand their artistic grasp and to enjoy making music after the school day is done. – Kerra Simmons, Interim Artistic Director