Meet Our Talented Faculty
Kerra Simmons, Artistic Director
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.
Jacob Wright, Music Production & Operations Assistant
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.