ALL-DISTRICT / HONOR CHOIR
Texas Music Educators Association
2019 Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Singers
American Choral Directors Association
2019 Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Treble Singers
Southwestern American Choral Directors Association
2020 Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Singers
“I sing for every time I couldn’t put my feelings into words and music was the only way to express myself.”
WHO WE ARE
Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy (GPFAA) is a multifaceted fine arts school, serving grades 6-12, centrally located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The school was established to meet the needs of students wishing to study fine arts disciplines with an equal emphasis being placed on studying advanced academics. The school was opened in 2013 with an enrollment total of 383 students participating in 7 strands – visual arts, vocal music, dance, jazz band, orchestra, mariachi, and theatre.
In eight years since its inception, the energy, talent, and dedication of the students has exploded. The program has nurtured the lives of the students and is consistently ranked among the top choirs in Texas. GPFAA’s vocal music strand consists of 73 high school students participating in six performing ensembles and 80 middle school students participating in four performing ensembles. These students go beyond the traditional classroom by gaining professional performing experiences in radio, stagework inclusive of musical theater and opera, and participation in other professional choral groups.
The Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy ensembles consist of advanced 6th-12th grade vocalists committed to excellence within a diverse choral curriculum. These ensembles have been consistent UIL sweepstakes award winners since the schools inception. The premier high school ensemble, GPFAA Singers, has been named best-in-class, grand champions at choral festivals across the United States. They were selected as an invitational group to perform at the 2019 National American Choral Directors Association Conference, 2019 Texas Music Educators Association Conference and the 2020 Southwestern American Choral Association Conference.
Our students excel in part as a result of the outstanding music instruction given in GPISD elementary, middle, and high schools taught by highly motivated choral faculty and music specialists. Joel Duarte, Director of Choral Activities, and Candice Maughan, Associate Director, are proud to lead the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy and guide the performers of tomorrow.
Mr. Duarte is in his 8th year as a choral director in the Grand Prairie Independent School District. He graduated from Wayland Baptist University with his Bachelors in Music Education. He is currently working on his Masters in Music Education at Southern Methodist University. He brings a wealth of experience to stage through producing his own choral productions, participating in and placing in National Association of Teachers of Sing Competitions, as well as traveling the globe performing with the Dallas Symphony Chorus. He has served as a guest clinician for honor choirs performances and preparatory clinics for Contest and Festivals. Choirs under his directions consistently earn sweepstakes at UIL contest and annually earn places in TMEA District, Region, and All-State Choirs. He was particularly proud of his 11 Texas All-State Choir students this year. In the Spring of 2017, Mr. Duarte took his choir beyond the state and national lines touring Italy and competing at the Verona Choral Competition. The choirs at GPFAA have also been awarded “Best in Class” at various music festivals across the country, recently winning the “Grand Champion” award at the Di Voce Festival-Dallas and the “Adjudicator” award in Nashville Tennessee. In addition, the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Treble Singers have been invited to perform for the 2019 American Choral Director Association (ACDA) National Convention. His professional affiliations include ISME and MISTEC; ACDA; NAfME; NATS; TMEA; TCDA; and TMAA.
Mrs. Maughan earned Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She directs the Middle School Mixed, Treble and 6th grade Treble Choirs while assisting with the High School Choirs. Choirs under her direction have consistently received top ratings at festivals and Superior Ratings at the Texas UIL Concert and Sight Reading Competitions. Her students excel in the All Region competitions with 57 students earning a spot in the Middle School All-Region Choir in 2018, 10 of those students receiving 1st chair in their audition room, and 14 students making All-Region all 3 years of 6th through 8th grade.
In addition to Mrs. Maughan’s teaching success, she continues to perform as a soloist across the state, the nation and internationally. Highlights include touring in Mondavio and Fano, Italy with the Marche Opera program, her role as Mozart’s – Queen of the Night and most recently as the soloist for the Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at Bass Hall in Ft. Worth, Texas. Mrs. Maughan is passionate about the pursuit of excellence in choral and solo singing. It has been an honor assisting in the preparation of the GPFAA Singers Mixed Choir performing at the TMEA convention in San Antonio, Texas and the GPFAA Treble Singers performing at the ACDA convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Their musical journey has just begun!
Our Voice Teachers
Paula Dial has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas, where she studied with Virginia Botkin. She was a soprano soloist at Church of the Holy Cross for twenty years and sang in the Irving Chorale under Dr. Harold Lucky. Her first ingenue role was “Yum-Yum” in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado at age fifty!
Paula retired from Grand Prairie ISD where she taught middle school choir for thirty years. After retiring, she began a private voice studio which is comprised largely of students attending the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy. Her greatest career achievement was six students in the 2018 Texas All-State Choir.
Originating from New York, Jen Townsley holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and a Master’s in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University. Ms. Townsley in a soprano in the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and has performed internationally with the Royal School of Church Music America choir. In the Opera Theatre world, she has sung major roles such as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and Bonnie Jean in Brigadoon. Jen teaches a studio of almost 40 students Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy and teaches a musical theatre class at the Dallas Institute of Musical Advancement.