Standing Ovations

1,400 middle school choir students gathered at the Paul Taylor Field House on Saturday, May 3 to celebrate the sounds of The Jackson Five, and more specifically, Michael Jackson.  Performing to a packed audience,  students sang and danced to  all of the favorites from this legendary group.    The guest conductor for the event was John Jacobson, world-renown choreographer and consultant for Walt Disney Productions, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and America Sings. 

Sandra Day O’Connor High School Orchestra Director Ms. Lisa McCutchan has been announced as a national quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY FOUNDATION Music Educator of the Year.  222 music teachers from 41 states have qualified from an initial application pool of 7,000 nominations.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K-gr. 16, private and public schools) who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of music education.


Congratulations to Kuentz Elementary fourth grade student Shelby Crowley and Clark freshman Isabella Perdomo for having their art work selected from 3,000 entries for development of patches that are part of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program Celebration.  Both patches will fly to the International Space Station in 2014.  Student recognition for this achievement is scheduled for Monday, June 2, 2014 at Paul Taylor Field House.


The NISD Department of Fine Arts was the featured showcase district at the annual Center for Educator Development State Summit in June, 2014.  Annually, the state’s most revered fine arts educators (over 1,000 in number) gather in Austin to design and share effective strategies for delivering the Texas Essential Knowlede and Skills for Fine Arts.   The NISD student performances represented all of the fine arts disciplines (art, music, dance, theatre) in a 16 minute non-stop sensational display of talent and skill.   The audience of over 1,000 of the state&rsqu

With summer rapidly closing, NISD heralds the huge success for student participation in camp experiences.  Visual arts and music theatre camps were held at 12 elementary campuses with 115 art and music/theatre instructors providing the lessons.   Over 700 students participated.   Fine Arts camps traditionally extend for a two week period with campus celebrations occurring on the last class day of each week.

Under the direction of Theatre Directors Amanda Pyle and Nora Franklin, the William Howard Taft Summer Theatre Camp was a smashing success.  Students worked with their peers in writing, producing, directing, and starring in their own original plays.  The camp culminated with a celebration of performance products completed by students.

The Earl Warren Vocal Ensemble, under  the direction of Ms. Anna Trawick, kicked off the 20 year anniversary of the Northside Education Foundation Banquet  held at Valero Corporation in grand style.

Congratulations to NISD jazz band students that participated in the Texas Music Educators’ Association Region 11 2014 Jazz Ensembles auditions.  Of the 40 chairs available in one of two performing jazz bands, NISD high school students captured 31 chairs.

5 NISD high school twirlers competed in University Interscholastic League  Region 11 Twirling Contest recently and received a Division I rating for outstanding skill and showmanship.  NISD is proud of the visual component and excitement that they bring to halftime shows weekly during the football season.


Our NISD student champions include:


Amelia Gomez – Stevens HS

Samantha Puckett – Taft HS

Ailynn Martinez – O’Connor HS

Valeri Holmes – O’Connor HS

Over 3,600 elementary students were able to see Seussical at Holmes High School this past weekend due to grant awarded by the NEF Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to give elementary students the opportunity for more fine arts engagement while offering teachers ideas to use a theatrical production as a springboard for character building in the classroom.