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SGT Faculty

Singing Girls of Texas

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. 

Allyson Romero, Assistant Conductor

Allyson Romero grew up in Keller, Texas and is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music and a minor in Italian. 

Romero is a classically-trained mezzo-soprano who sung roles in Verdi’s Falstaff, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and several others with the TCU Opera Studio. In addition, Romero sang lead roles in recently composed operas such as 75 Miles by Matt Boehler and A Bridge for Three by Nathan Fletcher. While studying abroad in Italy for four months, she also created and starred in an opera pastiche and studied the Italian language intensively. 

With her classical training and opera experiences, Romero has also used her skills to lead her section in the TCU Concert Chorale, Cantiamo, and has conducted rehearsals for TCU University Singers and Southwest High School. Additionally, she sang in the premiere ensemble at TCU which premiered new works and performed at TMEA, Bass Hall, and with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. She was also a featured soloist in a world premiere of the piece I Cannot Dance, O Lord by Dr. Christopher Aspaas. 

Romero has been part of choral ensembles for over 15 years and has received accolades for her commitment to excellence such as the Texas Music Scholar award for three years and a spot in the TMEA All-State Treble Choir. She is devoted to creating a healthy environment of constructiveness, accountability, leadership, and teamwork. She is not only committed to making great music, but great people. Ms. Romero’s other passions include embroidery, her puppy Franklin, fitness, drinking coffee, and eating gelato.

Alexis Nguyen, Music Production & Operations Assistant

Alexis Nguyen was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. She attended schools in the Keller Independent School District (ISD) and graduated in the top five percent of her high school. During these formative years, she was highly involved with the choirs under the direction of Leigh Ann McClure and Jennifer Randall.

Alexis is a recent alumna of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX. During her time at SMU, Alexis sang in choirs under the direction of Jodie Hill-Coke, Robert Ward, and Dr. Pamela Elrod-Huffman. In conjunction with Dr. Robert Bode and the Conservatory Singers of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), she participated in a featured performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) Convention in 2016. Alexis completed her student teaching at J.J. Pearce High School and Richardson North Junior High School in Richardson ISD, and she graduated Summa Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with Teacher Certification.

After graduating, Alexis was an Assistant Choral Director at Murphy Middle School in Plano ISD, working alongside Amber Evans and Melanie Altman. In addition to directing at Murphy, she continued her collaboration with the J.J. Pearce choirs as a private voice instructor. Her students earned Superior ratings at the Region 3 UIL Solo & Ensemble competition. The following year, Alexis served as the Manager of the Lone Star Youth Orchestra and other education programs for the Garland Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Arlington. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA), and Pi Kappa Lambda, a national music honor society.

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.