Growing up in Texas and participating in the same contests and concerts as the students you see on stage, Desiree Overree is a product of the Texas music education system. She attained her Bachelor of Music Education degree with Highest Honors at Sam Houston State University. Since then, Ms. Overree has taught for Humble ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, and now teaches for Katy ISD. Under her baton, she led the Memorial Philharmonia Orchestras and placed First Runner-Up in the Texas Honor Orchestra Competition. She conducted at the MidWest Convention in Chicago with the Memorial Orchestras, and has conducted twice at Carnegie Hall, once with the Stratford HS Orchestras, and with the Memorial Orchestras. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, the GRAMMY Foundation honored her next campus, Langham Creek HS, for its exceptional public high school music programs, designating it as a GRAMMY Signature School. In 2005, Ms. Overree opened Seven Lakes High School; since then it has grown to an enormous group of 200+ string players over seven performance ensembles. By 2007, the Seven Lakes Sinfonia Orchestra was ranked as one of the top six string orchestras in the state of Texas. They have continued their commitment to excellence by being selected as one of the top ten orchestras in Texas in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Seven Lakes Symphony Orchestra ranked #9 in TMEA’s Honor Competition in 2011, #5 in 2013, and #3 for this year. In 2014, Seven Lakes HS had three orchestras in the top ten rankings, as not only the Symphony and Sinfonia ensembles made the top ten, but her non-varsity string group, Cambiata was ranked with the same honor. Additionally, in 2010-11, the GRAMMY Foundation honored Seven Lakes for their excellence in music education, designating it as a GRAMMY Signature School. In 2010, it was distinguished with Runner-Up in State Farm’s “Original Score” contest.
As a high school musician, she had an opportunity to be a member of the SMU Conservatory Orchestras, who toured extensively throughout Europe. 2004 rekindled her passion for overseas travel, for Ms. Overree was a Co-Conductor with Dr. Deborah Perkins with the Texas “Lone Star” Ambassadors, who toured throughout Western Europe. Soon after, Dr. Perkins and Ms. Overree formed the Texas Youth Orchestra, which toured throughout Italy and Austria in 2006 and Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic in 2009, and the British Isles in 2012.
She has been recognized in “Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers,” KISD Excellence in Teaching, and has been recognized as an Educator of Distinction, by the National Society of High School Scholars. In 2011, she was awarded the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award; only 50 educators are awarded this honor in the United States every two years. In 2012, she was the subject of a winning essay through Scholarship Points, winning scholarship money for Seven Lakes High School. She is frequently invited as an adjudicator and clinician, private violin teacher, and an active freelancer. She holds professional memberships and leadership positions in Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Mu Omicron.
Contact Ms.O: DesireeAOverree@KATYISD.ORG
– – – – –
Herbert Anzora currently serves as the assistant director of orchestras at Seven Lakes High School. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Sam Houston State University. During his years at Sam Houston, Mr. Anzora was under the mentorship of distinguished faculty members including his viola professors Eliseo Salazar and Dawson White, both who are current members of the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras. His conducting studies at Sam Houston were guided by Dr. Jacob Sustaita, current director of orchestras. Mr. Anzora had the opportunity to receive master classes from world renowned viola professors Helen Callus from Northwestern University, Ivo-Jan van der Werff from Rice University and Dr. Katheryn Steely from Baylor University. At Sam Houston, Mr. Anzora had the opportunity to work in the Huntsville Youth Orchestra program. He served as a chamber coach, private lesson instructor, and conductor. He holds a professional membership with the Texas Educators Music Association and is an active freelancer on the side.
A native Texan, Mr. Anzora has been part of remarkable music programs that this great state has to offer. His teaching is greatly influenced by the passion, dedication, and drive instilled in him by his middle school and high school orchestra directors Richard Gist, Bryan Buffaloe, and Maime Morlacci.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Anzora enjoys traveling, exploring cuisines, playing basketball, and watching the Houston Texans on TV.
Contact Mr. Anzora: HerbertUAnzora@KATYISD.ORG