We have an AMAZING team that supports our students and each other with decades of experience between them. They are from all over and are excellent leaders for our students both in and out of the classroom. Our directors teach at all of our campuses throughout the week, sharing and caring for all of our students to create an incredibly rich musical experience for all of our entire choir family every day.
While each campus has their designated directors, it's good to get to know each member of the team. We even have an incredible team of voice teachers available for our students to work with!
Kari Gilbertson has been teaching choral music for the last 30 years. She has teaching experience at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. In 2013, Ms. Gilbertson was named the Head Choir Director at Lake Highlands High School. Prior to that, she spent 15 years at Forest Meadow Junior High and played an active role in many Lake Highlands Choir and Espree traditions throughout those years. During her tenure in Lake Highlands, she has directed many Sweepstakes and award winning choirs. She has also had the privilege of receiving such professional honors as “PTA Lifetime Member,” “PTA Teacher of Excellence,” and was “Secondary Teacher of the Year” for Richardson ISD in 2001.
Ms. Gilbertson has a Bachelor's Degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. While there, she sang for Dr. René Clausen in The Concordia Choir for four years. She also has a Master's Degree in Music Education and Conducting from Southern Methodist University.
An active soloist, adjudicator, clinician, and consultant, Ms. Gilbertson is a Lead Author and Consultant on Hal Leonard/McGraw-Hill’s latest national choral textbook project, Voices in Concert. She is a member of ACDA, TCDA, TMAA, and TMEA. Most recently, Ms. Gilbertson completed a 2-year term as President of the Texas Choral Directors Association.
Jared Wade is in his eleventh year of teaching and sixth year in the Lake Highlands Choir team as an Associate Director at Lake Highlands High School. He previously taught at high schools in Mesquite and Houston. Mr. Wade earned his Bachelor of Music from Texas State University - San Marcos where he sang with Chorale under the direction of Dr. Joey Martin.
Outside of class, Mr. Wade enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and their dogs, doing outdoorsy things, and building and fixing things.
LHHS Associate Director
LHHS Associate Director
Currently in her seventh year of teaching, Claire Worrall loves being a part of the Lake Highlands Choir vertical team. She previously taught at Liberty Junior High in Richardson ISD. A graduate of LHHS, Mrs. Worrall teaches Choir, CenterStage, AP Music Theory, and assisted with recent LHHS musicals, Cinderella and Crazy for You. Mrs. Worrall is also involved with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas as an assistant conductor of the Women’s Youth Chorus. Mrs. Worrall received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin and her master's degree in Historical Performance at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where she studied with Paul Elliott and Mary Ann Hart.
In addition to teaching, Mrs. Worrall has performed with Dallas-area choral ensembles Orpheus Chamber Singers, Incarnatus, Dallas Bach Society, and the Incarnation Choir. Outside of Dallas, Mrs. Worrall has performed with Ensemble VIII, Texas Early Music Project, Arethusa Musica, and ¡Sacabuche! Mrs. Worrall can be heard as a featured soloist on “Noel: An Early Christmas” by Texas Early Music Project, “My Soul’s Repose” by Orpheus Chamber Singers, and "Glad Tidings of Great Joy," a Christmas special aired by Public Radio International. Mrs. Worrall is a member of Texas Choral Directors Association and Texas Music Educators Association.
Kelly Moss, currently in her twelfth year to teach, is thrilled to be in her seventh year as director at Lake Highlands Junior High School. She received a Bachelor's in Music Education from Sam Houston State University in 2008. During her time at Sam Houston, she was tremendously inspired by her director Dr. Allen Hightower and attributes to him a great deal of her passion towards teaching. After Ms. Moss graduated, she taught in Wylie for five years where she led a successful program that grew in numbers and integrity while earning a few Sweepstakes awards along the way.
Ms. Moss was honored to be named the STAR teacher nominee for Lake Highlands Junior High in the 2015-2016 school year. She is an active member in TMEA and TCDA.
In her spare time, Ms. Moss loves reading and re-reading books, playing on her coed slow pitch softball team, and spending time with her wonderfully supportive friends and family.
Mrs. Velez is currently in her eighth year as the Head Director of Choirs at Forest Meadow Junior High in the Richardson ISD, serving previously as associate director for five years. In addition to directing choirs at Forest Meadow, Mrs. Velez works with colleagues and choirs at Lake Highlands High School and the area elementary schools. On her campus, Mrs. Velez is the NJHS sponsor, a mentor teacher, and was selected as Teacher of the Month in 2009 and FMJH PTA’s Teacher of Excellence for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition, Mrs. Velez was humbled and honored to be named a STAR teacher for RISD the 2015-2016 school year. Most recently, she completed a 2 year term as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Texas Choral Directors Association.
Mrs. Velez holds a BBA in Finance, Summa Cum Laude, and BA in Music, Summa Cum Laude, from Texas Tech University. While at Texas Tech, she was a member of University Choir as well as Madrigal Singers and was selected to be an Ambassador for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Beyond her collegiate studies, Mrs. Velez has completed all four levels of coursework for her Kodály Certification at the West Texas Kodály Institute and is a member of TMEA and TCDA.
FMJH Associate Director
Kelsey Reinhart is currently serving in her third year of teaching as the Assistant Director of Choirs at Forest Meadow Junior High in Richardson ISD. She graduated from Texas Tech University in December 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Music, including a double major in composition and music education. First published by TFS Music Publications in 2012 for her piece "Irish Blessing", Kelsey has since published various works with Hal Leonard Publications. Additionally, several of her pieces have been included in TCDA new music reading sessions. Kelsey is tremendously grateful to have received the following prestigious awards: the 2017 Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Competition and the 2017 Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize; where she was also commissioned to write a piece for the O.A.K.E. National Youth Choir.
As a product of Lake Highlands, Mrs. Reinhart was active in choir and band throughout her junior high and high school careers and is excited to be back home! When she is not teaching or composing, Mrs. Reinhart likes to spend time trying new restaurants and coffee shops with her husband.