Welcome to the MPVA Choral Music Department.
The MPVA Choral Music Department is made up of classes with varying degree of skill and ability. We are dedicated to developing musical knowledge and experience using a wide variety of styles of music.
Music performance teaches students to overcome anxiety and to take risks. Students learn poise, composure, and the value of continued effort to achieve excellence. As a direct result of making music as a team, students have the opportunity to build and cultivate lasting friendships. Above all, music performance students know the satisfaction of the successful result of hard work, and this carries over into every other aspect of their lives.
We strive to provide a safe and inclusive singing atmosphere, where students develop the fundamentals of healthy singing and choral technique while navigating the voice changes that occur in adolescence. Specific emphasis is placed on posture, tone, breath support, vocal quality, and independence of parts. By the time students exit the program, they should be ready to transition into any high school choral/vocal program.
Our classes meet every other day during the school day and perform regularly for both the school and community throughout the school year.
- To present students at Meyerland Middle School with the opportunity to learn, sing, and perform music in our graded and leveled choir program.
- To develop students’ sight-reading ability, tonal memory, and a strong, mature vocal quality.
- To offer a quality musical experience through performance and competition of diverse choral literature.
- To promote the cultivation of student relationships through teamwork and camaraderie.
- To offer motivated students opportunities for leadership.
- To promote and develop good character in each student including, but not limited to, self-discipline, creativity, self-esteem, and enthusiasm for learning.
- To develop an aesthetic appreciation for choral music in students and in the surrounding community.
Melodia is an introductory choir open to all sixth-grade students. Regardless of previous choral experience, all sixth-grade choir students will be enrolled in Melodia by default. This choir teaches the very fundamentals of the bel canto singing technique and the choral rehearsal. Emphasis is placed on TEKS-based elements of singing, including proper choral posture, tone, breath support, and vocal quality. Students are instructed in these elements through myriad warm-ups, the UIL sight-reading process (including an introduction to solfege and Kodaly hand signs), and a wide range of diverse literature. This class is geared to provide a seamless transition into the 7th and 8th grade ensembles.
Cantus is the default choir for all treble voices after finishing our 6th grade Melodia ensemble and for incoming treble voices who did not participate in Melodia at MPVA. Cantus is a fast-paced beginning class with repertoire geared toward the maturing adolescent voice and mentality of the young musician.
Lux Fortis is the default choir for all tenor/bass voices after finishing our 6th grade Melodia ensemble and for incoming tenor/bass voices who did not participate in Melodia at MPVA. Lux Fortis is a fast-paced beginning class with repertoire geared toward the maturing adolescent voice and mentality of the young musician.
This is an auditioned ensemble for treble singers. The Lyra ensemble will extend and enhance a student’s 6th-grade year’s learning or continue the advanced training they received in Cantus. The masterful application of the first year’s knowledge base takes a lot of time for development; therefore, it is not unusual or unfair for a student to develop that mastery from 7th to 8th grade. Every year presents us with a new set of music and learning opportunities with an expectation of some outside performances.
Kantorei (Treble and Tenor/Bass) & Voce Futuro (Mixed)
These are elite audition-based advanced classes. These choirs are available to those students who display a clear knowledge of music theory, sight-reading skills, well developed choral vocal timbre, self-discipline, organization skills, and a desire to sing. Students in these ensembles are held to the highest of behavioral standards and expectations in their conduct, both inside and outside the choir room. These singers are required to participate in TMEA Region choir auditions, HISD Solo and Ensemble competition, and many other extra community performances. With the extraordinary amount of music these choirs are expected to learn, these students must be able to practice and memorize music outside of the classroom.
Meyerland PVA Choral Directors
Melanie Stapleton, Director of Choral Studies
A native of Plano, Texas, Ms. Melanie Stapleton has been an active member of Texas choirs all of her life. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Louisiana State University, where she minored in English, and a Master of Music Education from University of North Texas, where her primary research focus was on social justice, advocacy, and inclusion in the choral ensemble. Ms. Stapleton began her career in Lamar CISD, teaching elementary music, before moving to La Porte ISD, where she was the Head Choral Director at Lomax Junior High and Baker Sixth Grade Campus. Ms. Stapleton holds active membership in Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA), and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Her choral career has allowed her to sing under the batons of conductors such as Dr. Ken Fulton, Derrick Brookins, Dr. Allen Hightower, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, and Dr. Anton Armstrong. She is a strong believer in the power of the choral ensemble to create a musical family where all are respected and offered unconditional love. When not jamming to the latest choral hits, Ms. Stapleton can be found spending time with friends, cooking in her Instant Pot, playing video games, or binge-watching her latest TV show obsession.
Donovan Harris, Assistant Director of Choral Studies
Mr. Donovan Harris is a native of Port Arthur, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. While attending Prairie View, he began his career as a professional singer. Mr. Harris has performed with various companies such as the Houston Grand Opera Outreach Program and the Houston Ebony Opera Guild. He has toured all over the country including a tour of South America with the HBCU 105 Voices of History. Before coming to Meyerland PVA, Mr. Harris began his teaching career in Fort Bend ISD. He was the Head Choral Director of Missouri City Middle School where his ensembles received excellent ratings in UIL contest and festivals. He has 5 years of teaching experience which includes both choral and private vocal work.
Mr. Harris loves spending time with his wife and two children. When he's not hanging with the fam, he enjoys basketball, movies, and fishing (crabbing too!)
As a teacher and performer, Mr. Harris is thrilled to introduce all students to the artistry of choral music. The goal is to provide a creative learning culture while allowing students to enjoy the world of performance. He believes that the methods students will use in class will become tools that can be beneficial in the future. Here we live, we laugh, we learn, and we SING!