Julia C. Hall is the Director of Vocal Studies at Kinder HSPVA. A native Houstonian and HSPVA graduate, Ms. Hall earned her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of St. Thomas, where she studied voice with Diane Tobola, and her Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Houston. She has had the privilege of conducting two performing choirs at the Texas Music Educators Convention: the Memorial Middle School Advanced Girls Choir in 2011, and the HSPVA Girls Chorus in 2017. Girls Chorus is the only non-varsity high school women’s choir ever selected to perform at TMEA.
Ms. Hall is an active clinician, guest conductor, and soprano soloist. She is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, Phi Kappa Phi academic and Pi Kappa Lambda music honor societies, and the Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Singers.
Shannon Carter is the Director of Choral Studies, conducts Chorale, Madrigal Singers, Tenor-Bass Choir, and Concert Singers. He also teaches Music History, Senior Essentials, and assists with Senior Lab. Kinder HSPVA ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at the 2009 Texas Music Educators Association Convention, have won the prestigious American Classic San Antonio Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival in 2016 and 2020, have won the American Classic Celebration of Excellence in 2018, were named the Mark of Excellence National Choral Honors National Winner in 2016 and 2019, were invited to perform at the 2018 Southwestern Division American Choral Directors Association Conference in Oklahoma City, and have been invited to perform at the 2021 American Choral Directors Association Virtual National Conference.
Mr. Carter earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas State University and has twenty-five years’ experience as a choral music educator. Prior to joining the faculty at Kinder HSPVA, Mr. Carter was the Choir Director and Fine Arts Department Chair at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas from 2005-2014. During his tenure, the Seven Lakes Chorale Women performed at the 2009 Texas Music Educators Convention. Mr. Carter also held positions at Cinco Ranch High School, Klein Forest High School, and Harlingen South High School. In 2001 he received the Klein Forest High School Outstanding Teacher Award, and in 2011 he was named Seven Lakes High School Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Carter served a three-year term as a member of the UIL Prescribed Music List Committee and was then chosen to serve an additional year as Committee Chair. He was an officer in Region 23 of the Texas Music Educators Association, serving four years as Region President and twelve years as the Vocal Division Tabulations Chair. He is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Spanish pianist Dr. Yanira Soria has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, China, Spain, Mexico, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Honduras. Dr. Soria is an HSPVA graduate and holds degrees from Sam Houston State University and University of Houston, where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music, studying under Mr. Timothy Hester. Her awards include, among others, first place winner and People’s Choice Award of the Crescendo Music Awards in 2006, first place winner of the TMTA Young Artist Division in 2008, and 2nd place winner of the TMTA Young Artist Division in 2009.
Dr. Soria has appeared as guest soloist with the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Sam Houston State University’s Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in many festivals including the Prague International Piano Masterclasses, and the University of Houston’s International Piano Festival. In 2012, she was invited to represent Spain at the IV Encuentro Internacional de Música in Medellín, Colombia and she travelled to Honduras to participate as faculty in the Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas, a summer festival for students and players from the most respected musical institutes and orchestras in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Dr. Soria was the accompanist/vocal coach at Sterling High School in Baytown, TX and at Klein United Methodist Church from 2011-2015. During this time, she coached individual solos, assisted with choir sectionals, and was the performance pianist for all concerts and services. Additionally, from 2010-2013, she was Music Director for Lone Star College’s Young Artist Summer Program and she was Music Director for Lone Star Lyric’s performance of Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna in 2015.
Dr. Soria is a proud founding member of the Houston-based Terra Nostra Ensemble, an innovative ensemble dedicated to the performance, promotion, and preservation of music by Latin-American and Iberian composers. Currently, Dr. Soria is on the staff of the American Festival for the Arts, a music summer program for students’ ages 9-18.
Prior to joining Kinder HSPVA as the Assistant Director of Vocal and Choral Studies, Dr. Soria was the Co-Director of Piano Studies at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School. Her professional affiliations include the Music Teachers National Association, the Texas Music Teachers Association, and the Texas Music Educators Association.