Herbert Karpicke, principal of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts since 1995, took part in a farewell luncheon today at the school. His last day at the school will be Monday, Feb. 2.
He will be replaced at HSPVA by R. Scott Allen. Allen is a career educator, having worked in school districts throughout Texas as a teacher and administrator. His doctoral dissertation was entitled: Fine Arts and Student Success in Texas: A Critical Examination. Allen has been “shadowing” Karpicke since Jan. 28. The school will hold a “Meet Dr. Allen” reception at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Jan. 30 at the school.
Karpicke came to the Houston Independent School District in 1979 as the first orchestra director of the new music magnet program at Welch Jr. High and conductor of the Houston All-City Youth Symphony. Later, he became magnet school coordinator, dean of instruction at Welch, principal of Garden Villas Elementary Music Magnet, and principal of A.S. Johnston Performing Arts Middle School.
Young peoples’ orchestras under his baton have been invited to play numerous demonstration concerts including appearances at the University of Oklahoma, the Greater Southwest Music Festival in Amarillo, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Convention, and the Texas Music Educators Association Convention.
Among his accomplishments as orchestra director are the production of Texas’ first full scale opera acted and sung entirely by students in a junior high school, and the development of a unique chamber music program. He has also become one of the most active guest conductors in Texas, having made appearances with all-region orchestras in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland/Odessa, Lubbock, Richardson, El Paso, Amarillo, Pasadena, and Longview, all-city orchestras in Dallas, Lubbock, San Angelo, Austin, and McAllen, and has judged orchestra contests throughout Texas.
Possessing a strong background in the fine arts and humanities, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Michigan, Master of Music degree from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Houston. Before coming to education he was assistant principal violist of the Louisville Orchestra, and concertized in Germany with the Munich Bach Orchestra, Munich Bach Collegium, and Munich State Opera. Moving to Texas in 1979 he conducted the Texas Tech University summer orchestra program, the Houston All-City Youth Symphony, and guest conducted youth orchestras throughout Texas.
Karpicke is a senior fellow and member of the board of the American Leadership Forum. He is a past president of the Houston Association of School Administrators, and is a member of several other boards including the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Urban Talent Research Institute at the University of Houston. He serves on the Houston Media Source board as an appointee of Mayor Bill White. In 1991 and again in 2003 he was recognized by HISD as District Principal of the Year. He is a respected consultant in the areas of program management, curriculum development, and facilities planning for performing and visual arts programs across the country.
Karpicke has also conducted clinics for teachers and orchestra directors at Texas Tech University, Austin Independent School District, Houston Independent School District, the state convention of New Mexico music educators, and the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Convention. He was a member of the Texas teacher certification committee which developed the competency tests for entry level Texas music educators.
Prior to coming to Texas and entering the public education field, Karpicke was assistant principal violist of the Louisville Orchestra under Jorge Mester, conductor of the Louisville Youth Chamber Orchestra, and principal violist of the Kentucky Opera Association. While in Louisville he contributed to the early development of Louisville’s fine arts magnet high school.
Other professional credits include violist with the Munich (Germany) Bach Orchestra under Karl Richter, soloist with the Munich Bach Collegium, and substitute principal violist of the Munich State Opera. He continues to be a busy free-lance violist in the Houston area. His principal conducting teachers include Rudolf Kempe, Elizabeth Green, and Richard Lert. He was a student in violin and viola of Mischa Mischakoff, Francis Bundra, George Janzer, George Schmidt, David Dawson, and Franco Gulli.