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Highlander Strings Quartet Highlander Strings Quartet plays HPISD New Teacher Luncheon on Aug. 14, 2012.

Four members of the Highland Park High School Highlanders Strings Orchestra took time out of their summer schedules to play for the Highland Park ISD New Teacher Luncheon. In addition to the August 14 morning performance, the students studied the parts on their own over the course of the summer.

According to HPISD director of Academics and Supports Services Joy Smartt, “The Highland Park High School Highlander String Quartet provided eloquent luncheon music for our new employee luncheon. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their performance. We are so grateful that these students gave of their time and talents to come and share their magnificent music. Thank you for showcasing some of the many talents of our Highland Park students with our new staff.”

Two of the students further advanced their skills by attending orchestra and specialty strings camps. One student traveled and performed in Europe and one relaxed by taking an art class. In addition, all four practiced, rehearsed and played new music in the HPISD Convocation Orchestra on August 20.

Elizabeth Keckeisen, orchestra President and 2012 TMEA All State Orchestra member, spent much of the summer preparing for her solo viola recital, held August 18 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Earlier, the Highland Park senior violist was one of eighty-six Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra players who was invited to perform six concerts over two weeks in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic in celebration of GDYO’s 40th birthday. 

Preston Luthy, senior violinist and orchestra Concertmaster, attended the Summer Orchestra Camp sponsored by the Music Department at Baylor University. There he studied under the artistic guidance of the Baylor violin and ensemble faculty. The week culminated in a Chamber music concert on Friday evening and full Orchestra concert Saturday morning.

Junior cellist Miller Susens chose to gain more experience with smaller ensembles by attending Jan Mark Sloman’s The Institute for Strings, hosted at the Episcopal School of Dallas, and the Texas Cello Academy, hosted by UT Arlington’s Department of Music. Jiamin Zhou, sophomore violinist, is also a visual artist.  Over the summer, she took an art class and continues her work on an oil painting started in the class.

The Highlander Strings Booster Club wants to congratulate these students on their accomplishments and thank them for contributing their summer vacation time to enrich the luncheon event for new teachers.  Help support the orchestra by purchasing tickets for their Homecoming Raffle.

The Highlander Strings' raffle will be held at the homecoming football game September 28th.  There will be three winners:  (1) a 2013 Honda Metro Scooter or (2) Coach Handbag and Park Cities Merchants Gift Cards, or (3) Dr. Dre Studio Beats and Apple iPad 3 with Smart Cover.

Tickets are $5, five for $20 or twelve for $40.  Purchase tickets from any Orchestra member or look for the Raffle Table at these events:



HPHS Cafeteria



HPHS Cafeteria


At the game

Highlander Stadium

You do not need to be present to win!  This is the Highlander Strings' major fundraiser for the year.  Your support will go towards funding transportation to District, Regional and UIL competitions, concert music and accompanists, updating the music library and other needs no longer met due to the Robin Hood legislation.  We need your support!

(Story by Highlander Strings Orchestra.)