Shanta Childers

    Shanta Childers received her Diploma in Higher Education, majoring in piano, while attending LaSalle College for the Arts in Singapore. At the University of Houston, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Music Theory and also received her Masters in Music Theory from the same university. She taught at the University of Houston and was a music theory consultant at HSPVA prior to heading the department. For the past several years Mrs. Childers has taught at the Houston Piano Camp hosted by the University of St. Thomas and has also spent a summer teaching at the summer music camp at the Episcopal High School. She was recently invited to join the AP Leadership Team representing the AP Music Theory department for the Houston Independent School District. She has also been nominated twice by students for the 8th and 9th editions of Who's Who among American's Teachers.
    Courses: Music Theory 1, Music Theory 2, AP Music Theory
    Connor Fetting, Director of Bands 
    Connor Fetting (Director of Bands) comes to Texas from Grand Rapids, MI. He has been a resident of Houston since 2019, when he began working as a band director at Jackson Intermediate School in Pasadena ISD. During Mr. Fetting’s tenure, the band program at Jackson saw a dramatic increase in enrollment and improved success at all levels of evaluation and competition. He has also been a regular guest adjudicator for contests and competitions in PISD and other East-side districts. The 2022-2023 school year marks his first season as Director of Bands at HSPVA, where he will oversee the wind and percussion program within the instrumental music department. Prior to moving to Texas, Mr. Fetting was a student at Michigan State University, where he earned undergraduate degrees with high honor in music performance (tuba), music education, and chemistry, as well as a Masters degree in Wind Conducting. Among his principal mentors and teachers are Dr. Kevin Sedatole, Dr. Dustin Barr, and Prof. Philip Sinder. As a performer, Mr. Fetting has played extensively in solo, chamber, and large ensemble settings. In 2014, he performed in Carnegie Hall with the MSU Wind Symphony as part of a concert commemorating the work of New York composer John Corigliano. He has advanced in several major international competitions, including a nomination as a semi-finalist for the Leonard Falcone Tuba-Euphonium Festival. Mr. Fetting’s studies as a conductor have included guest conducting appearances with the MSU Wind Symphony, frequent chamber recitals, and extensive travel to symposiums and workshops at the nation’s leading schools of music. Outside of work, Mr. Fetting can often be found running in one of the many great parks in our area, exploring the Houston food and music scene with friends, or taking walks with his dog.
    Rodolfo Morales, Instrumental Department Chair
    Rodolfo Morales is currently the Director of Piano Studies at HSPVA, a position he has held since 2004. Mr. Morales is also Piano Department Head at the American Festival for the Arts Summer Conservatory. Mr. Morales received his Bachelor of Music (1996 - 2000) and Master of Music (2000 - 2002) degrees from The Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
    In addition to his busy schedule as teacher and coach, Mr. Morales remains an active performer both as a soloist and as a chamber music player, having an especially close affinity for modern music. He was the Artistic Director for the Foundation for Modern Music for the 2004-05 concert series. He has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Woodlands Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and played at such prestigious venues as the Wortham Center, Stude Hall and Zilkha Hall in Houston, the Latin Center for the Arts in Dallas, the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, the Hall of the Army in Sarajevo Bosnia, and the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard Theater in New York City.
    He has been heard as soloist on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” performing the music of Spanish composer Enrique Granados as well as being a frequent guest on Houston’s KUHF’s “The Front Row”. Some of the awards he has been given include the first ever Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Festival for the Arts, a Robert McNair Foundation grant for performance studies, and the Isabel Scionti Award at the Isabel Scionti International Piano Competition.
    In 2010, Mr. Morales was awarded the Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year Award by the Texas Music Teacher’s Association. Currently Mr. Morales is President of the Houston Music Teachers Association. His other teachers include the late pianist/composer Robert Avalon, Natalie Matovinovic, and Viktoria Mushkatkol. He attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the Interlochen Arts Academy from where he graduated with academic and music honors.
     Brad Smith

    Brad Smith is the Director of Orchestral Studies at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. At HSPVA, Dr. Smith oversees the String program, conducts the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, leads the String and Piano Chamber Music Program, and teaches Conducting. He has collaborated with the Dance, Theatre, and Visual Arts departments on various projects and has also started a series of bi-annual concerts titled “The Bach Project,” which involve solo and ensemble performances of the works of J.S. Bach. Dr. Smith’s students consistently achieve recognition in both concerto and chamber music competitions, and each year numerous HSPVA string graduates gain admission to top conservatories and music schools across the country. 

    Before joining the Kinder HSPVA faculty in 2014, Smith taught at the University of Pennsylvania for eleven years, where he was Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra, Audio Nexus contemporary ensemble, and Penn Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra. In the Music Department and College of Liberal Arts he taught Music Theory, Ear Training, and Conducting, as well as seminars on topics such as “The Meaning of Music” and “The History of the Symphony.” From 2005-2014, Dr. Smith also conducted the Delaware County Youth Orchestra located in the Greater Philadelphia Area. He currently serves on the Artistic Staff of the Houston Youth Symphony as Conductor of the Sinfonia Orchestra. 

    Brad Smith holds degrees in Music Education and Conducting from Stephen F. Austin State University and The University of Texas at Austin.


    Email: bsmith36@houstonisd.org

    Warren Sneed

    Mr. Sneed holds the title of Director of Jazz Studies at Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Mr. Sneed has a Master's degree in Applied Music from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Education from the University of North Texas, where he played saxophone in the One O'Clock Lab Band. He is also an HSPVA graduate. Prior to teaching at HSPVA, Mr. Sneed directed various jazz bands and taught improvisation and music history at the University of Houston and at Houston Community College's Westchester Campus. Mr. Sneed is a working jazz musician, and has performed in a wide range of venues in the Texas Gulf Coast area since 1983. He also released his first CD, Brothers, in 1998. Come visit his web site at http://www.warrensneed.com.
    Courses: Jazz Combo 1 and 2, Jazz Ensemble 1 and 2, Rhythm, Jazz Fundamentals/Improvisation, Jazz Band,