High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA for short) is a secondary school located at 4001 Stanford Street in the Montrose district of Houston, Texas. The school is a part of the Houston Independent School District.

The school serves grades nine through twelve and is perhaps the third-most widely known performing arts school in the United States, after the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (AKA "LaGuardia Arts" and informally known as the "Fame School") in New York City, New York. The school is divided into five departments: instrumental music, vocal music, dance, theatre (including technical theatre) and visual arts. Students are required to audition for entry under one, and only one, art area. At the end of every semester students complete a re-audition or portfolio review which determines whether they will continue at HSPVA.

Academics are also a high priority at the school, which prizes itself its high standardized test scores and offers a variety of Advanced Placement and Pre-AP courses. Students must meet standards in art, academia, and personal conduct, or they risk their place at HSPVA, which is widely viewed as a haven for intelligent, creative and challenging thought.

HSPVA was placed as the top school in the Greater Houston Area by Children at Risk's 2007 annual ranking of high schools.

The school has also had remarkable success in the ARTS competition hosted by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Miami, Florida. Since the contest's conception, HSPVA has sent one or more students per year to the finalist stage to compete for the Presidential Scholarship and has had numerous students receive honorable mention or merit awards which represent the top 5% and 10% of the nation's young artists, respectively.

HSPVA does not automatically take in students from the surrounding neighborhood; the surrounding neighborhood is zoned to Lamar High School.


HSPVA was established in 1971 [ [http://www.hspva.org/policies/ hspva.org | policies ] ] on the site previously occupied by Congregation Beth Israel at the corner of Austin and Holman Streets. The school moved to 4001 Stanford Street, the site of the former Montrose Elementary School, in 1981.

Plans existed for a new HSPVA building to be located near the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center in Houston's Freedmen's Town Historical District in the Fourth Ward. The new building would have include a 2000+ seat state-of-the-art theater, updated facilities and possibly a recording studio. Construction was currently delayed due to the discovery of a possible American Civil War-era cemetery. In June 2007, the project page for the building stated "CANCELLED". [ [http://www.houstonisd.org/portal/site/Bond/menuitem.c46eefd63c468b3df4819bd9e041f76a/?vgnextoid=be2a0c9b494ef010VgnVCM10000028147fa6RCRD&vgnextchannel=874a57ebf04ef010VgnVCM10000028147fa6RCRD HISD | Bond vgn-ext-hidden_DeptArticleCTD ] ]

Before HSPVA

HSPVA has no actual feeder patterns since it is a magnet school and takes students from all over HISD.

HSPVA takes students from many HISD middle schools. In addition, some students who are enrolled in private schools in the 8th grade, such as St. Mark's Episcopal School, Presbyterian School, River Oaks Baptist School, [http://www.jp2.org John Paul II School] , and Annunciation Orthodox School [http://www.aoshouston.org/admissions/graduatingfromaos.shtm] , choose to go to HSPVA for high school [http://www.stmes.org/aboutus.html] [http://www.pshouston.org/fw/main/Class_of_2004-183.html] [http://www.robs.org/podium/default.aspx?t=1996] [http://www.jp2.org/OurPrograms/middleschool-overview.htm] .

Notable alumni

* Lisa Hartman Black (Actress)" [http://www.houstonisd.org/HISDConnectDS/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=c3783acb02efc010VgnVCM10000052147fa6RCRD Distinguished HISD Alumni] ." "Houston Independent School District".]
* Mireille Enos (Tony Award nominee)" [http://hspva.org/departments/vocalMusic/students.htm Outstanding Alumni] ." "High School for the Performing and Visual Arts".]
* Justin Furstenfeld (Lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and frontman of the rock band "Blue October")
* Robert Glasper (Prominent jazz musician; signed to Blue Note Records)
* John Gremillion (Voice-over actor) [http://www.hspva.org/alumni/ HSPVA.org Alumni Area] .]
* Everette Harp (Jazz musician)
* Sara Hickman (Singer and songwriter)
* Beyoncé Knowles (Multiple Grammy Award winning musician, Golden Globe Nominee actress and model for House of Deréon - Graduated from another high school)
* Jason Moran (Prominent jazz musician)
* Matt Mullenweg (Founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress) [ [http://houstonpress.com/2004-10-28/news/the-blog-age/ Houston - News - The Blog Age ] .]
* Renée O'Connor (Actress; O'Connor graduated from another school)
* Donnie Scantz (Multiple Grammy Nominated music producer and songwriter) [Cronin, Peter. " [http://www.sesac.com/pdf/focus_summer_2004.pdf Donnie Scantz to the Rescue] ." "SESAC Focus". Summer 2004, Volume VX, No. 2.]
* Kendrick Scott (Jazz musician)
* Mark Seliger (Photographer)
* Helen Sung (Professional musician)
* Jimmy Tsai (Independent filmmaker, author of "Ping Pong Playa") [Berkowitz, Lana. " [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/features/5996517.html Ping Pong Playa busts stereotypes with comedic flair] ." "Houston Chronicle". September 11, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2008.]
* Chandra Wilson (Emmy nominated Actress)


External links

* [http://www.hspva.org/ HSPVA Website]
* [http://www.houstonpress.com/2004-12-30/news/on-shaky-grounds/ On Shaky Grounds] A Houston Press article about the problems with the rebuilding
* [http://www.examinernews.com/articles/2006/05/24/bellaire/community/comm05.txt HSPVA earns Grammy honor]

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