HPISD Names New Leaders For Highlander Band, HPHS Theatre Program

Highland Park ISD named new leaders for the Highlander band program and the Highland Park High School theater program.

Daren Jordan was named the new director of the Highlander Band. Jordan has been the director of bands at George Ranch High School in Lamar Consolidated ISD since 2010.

Jordan has also served as percussion administrator for the Texas Color Guard Circuit, as a host and coordinator for annual drum line competitions and as Winter Guard International Ensemble director, with 11 state championship titles. His previous experience includes high school, junior high, and intermediate school director and assistant director positions in Katy, Pasadena, and Gonzales ISDs. 

“I am thrilled to be joining Highland Park ISD’s band program,” Jordan said. “My first goal is to establish a family environment so that all band members feel safe and understand that they are a vital part of the organization. I firmly believe that you cannot have a great band program without a great team of student leaders, and I look forward to working with the Highlander Band’s leadership team and the Band Booster Club to continue to build on its record of success.”

“I am delighted to welcome Daren Jordan to lead our Highlander Band,” Highland Park High School principal Jeremy Gilbert said. “He has a proven track record of success, and he combines high expectations with an equally high level of support for his students. I know that this combination will create an environment conducive to student success.”

Brittany Murphy was named the new theatre director at Highland Park High School. For the last nine years, she has directed Forney High School’s yearly fall show, musical, and its UIL one-act play. 

In her current role, Murphy mentored student directors in the annual Student Directed Play Festival and facilitated all events, meetings, and inductions for Troupe 4123 of the International Thespian Society. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in theatre from Abilene Christian University.

As a director, she won Best Costumes for Seussical at the 2020 Broadway Dallass (formerly Dallas Summer Musicals) High School Musical Theatre Awards.

“I am looking forward to my next adventure and all of the amazing things we will do at HPHS,” said Murphy.”Brittany Murphy will be an excellent addition to the Highland Park High School Fine Arts faculty,” principal Jeremy Gilbert said. “She is a student-centered educator whose priority is to let her students know they are cared for and valued. She brings high-quality experience with her, and I know she will receive an enthusiastic welcome from the entire Scots family – students, teachers, and parent supporters.”

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 rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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