New Orchestra Director Named At HPHS

Highland Park High School is welcoming a new orchestra director for the 2020-2021 school year.

Chris Tran is joining HPHS from Plano ISD, where he’s served as the associate director of orchestra at Plano Senior High since 2017, the district shared in an Instagram post. Before he came to Texas, Tran served as a music director and conductor for the University of Colorado Boulder Campus Orchestra while earning his master of music in orchestral conducting. 

“Chris Tran brings to Highland Park High School a stellar reputation. He is known for having the unique combination of being a talented musician, a skilled conductor, and a remarkable teacher,” Highland Park High School principal Jeremy Gilbert said. “In fact, Chris was recently named the 2020 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Young Music Educator of the Year.”

Tran has a bachelor of music in music education from SMU, where he graduated summa cum laude. He also holds a master of music in orchestral conducting from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

When not in school, Tran enjoys traveling, with Scotland being his favorite travel destination to date.

He also enjoys cooking and is an aspiring jazz drum set player.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at

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