Secretary Candidates

Jimmy Garrett is in his 9th year as a choral educator. He is the choir director at William J. Brennan High School in Northside ISD-San Antonio. He was previously the choir director at Robert L. Vale Middle School for the last seven years, two of those years were as a split director with Dr. John M. Folks Middle School. Jimmy is a native of San Antonio, he attended Sam Houston High School and later graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Music Studies. In July 2009, Jimmy was a TCDA student conductor. Fast forward to January 2022, he was a panel clinician for the TCDA Winter Conference. In July of 2022, his varsity mixed choir was featured in a video presentation at the TCDA convention and that led to his choir’s invitation to serve as a demonstration group at TMEA 2023. Jimmy is super happy to be considered for the position of secretary and feels very blessed to have a career in choral music. He looks forward to what the future holds.

If Elected: I truly LOVE my career as a choral educator. I love building relationships with my students and seeing them become amazing humans. I love being able to learn from and support colleagues at conventions, visiting their classrooms, attending their concerts, having them clinic my students and also by following them and their choirs on social media. As TCDA secretary, I would use social media to showcase our amazing choral programs across the state. I would do all I can to support my choral colleagues in any one of the ways that I mentioned above. I think it is important to support and provide opportunities and resources to those that share in the work we do.

True Hernandez is in her sixth year of teaching and fourth year as head director at Cook Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. In 2022, her Varsity Treble choir was named a Mark of Excellence National Choral Honors National Winner. True earned a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis on All-Level Choral Education from Sam Houston State University in 2016. In 2021, she earned her Master’s of Music Education degree from Texas Tech University. True currently serves as the Region 27 MS/JH Secretary. She was nominated for the Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA) Young Director of Distinction Award in 2022. True serves as a staff singer at Memorial Drive UMC. In addition, she sings with Texas Master Chorale and Casulana Women’s Choir of Houston. True resides in Houston, TX with her roommate Jessica and Jessica’s Frenchie, Benji. She enjoys traveling Europe, reading, and a good trivia night with friends.

If Elected:  I owe my biggest professional growth opportunities to TCDA. In 2018, I attended my first TCDA summer convention. I was about to embark on my first year of teaching junior high after a year teaching elementary, and I distinctly remember how at home I felt walking into the convention center and being greeted by friends, colleagues, past teachers, and new directors I had yet to meet. TCDA offers such a safe haven to learn, grow, and connect with people in this profession, and I knew immediately that I wanted to help serve this group. If elected as Secretary-Treasurer, I plan on continuing to foster a positive learning and networking environment for new and returning choral directors. I will use my experience as a convention volunteer to help positively shape the convention for our membership and extend the networking and learning opportunities past just those found at the conventions. I want to identify additional areas for improvement in the organization. I look forward to the chance to serve the membership and directors of the state and ensure that TCDA continues to have that feeling of “home” as it has for me for these past 5 years.

Dr. Elisa Fraser Wilson is Director of Choral Activities at The University of Texas at El Paso, where she conducts the Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers.  She is also conductor of the UTEP Children’s Choir and chorusmaster for the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.  Dr. Wilson has conducted numerous collegiate, secondary, and community choirs, including children’s, jazz and show choirs, and is a regular clinician/adjudicator for local and regional festivals and World Strides/Heritage Festivals, Inc.  She has coordinated and directed choruses for UTEP performance residencies in the kingdom of Bhutan and Leeds, England, and her choirs have been invited to perform at the Big 12 Trombone Conference and the TMEA Annual Clinic/Convention.   Dr. Wilson completed degrees in Choral Music Education, Voice Performance, and Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (BS and DMA) and the Wichita State University (MM).

If Elected: When I became Director of Choral Activities at UTEP in 2013, one of the first things I did was join TCDA - and what a great decision that was!  TCDA has provided professional support and guidance, long-lasting connections with colleagues across the state, personal growth opportunities through committee work on vision and mission, and joyous mentoring experiences with student conductors at the summer convention.  Having taught 25 years at a leading HSI on the border with Mexico, I feel I have unique perspectives on teaching and conducting diverse populations, including military personnel and adult non-traditional students.  During my career, I have taught all ages/all stages in a variety of environments, including youth recreational music programs, church vocal and handbell choirs, high school and community choirs; currently, in addition to directing choirs at UTEP, I conduct a children’s choir and a community/alumni masterworks choir.  As TCDA Secretary, I look forward to putting my eclectic experience to work creating growth opportunities for our shared choral community in all corners of the state throughout the calendar year.