Jordan High School opened in the Fall of 2020. The orchestra program has over 200 students in six orchestras.
In its short existence, the orchestra has set a high standard of artistic achievement. It is worth noting that the orchestra earned Sweepstakes at the UIL Concert & Sightreading evaluation in its first year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As individual performers, students in the orchestra have reached great heights. Members of the orchestra have performed with the TMEA All-Region and All-State Orchestras, the Virtuosi of Houston, and the Houston Youth Symphony!
About the Directors
Kyle Davis is from Midland, TX and is in his second year as the Head Orchestra Director at Jordan High School in Katy ISD. Prior to his appointment in Katy, Mr. Davis for worked for the Humble, Amarillo and Ector County ISD. Students in Mr. Davis’ orchestras have been successful at All-State and All-region auditions, solo and ensemble contests and earned multiple “Sweepstakes” at UIL Concert and Sightreading contests. In addition, his orchestras have earned numerous “Best in Class” and “Best in Festival” Awards at national music festivals. This year the Jordan High School Symphony Orchestra received an invitation to perform at the National Orchestra Festival in conjunction with the American String Teachers Association National Convention. He has also served as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas.
Mr. Davis studied music at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX receiving a Bachelor of Music (All-Level Certification) and a Master of Arts in Music. His teachers include Emmanuel Lopez, cellist of the Harrington String Quartet and Dr. Mark Bartley, Associate Director of the School of Music and Associate Conductor of the Amarillo Symphony. While in school, Mr. Davis earned many awards as a young conductor and music education researcher. As an undergraduate, he organized and conducted several chamber music recitals. This led to invitations to guest conduct the WTAMU Symphony as well as cover conduct on numerous occasions for the ensemble. In 2008, Mr. Davis was one of five conducting students selected in a national search to participate in the College Orchestra Directors Association masterclass with Thomas Cockrell of the University of Arizona and Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops. In 2009, he was given acceptance into the McNair Scholar program where he completed graduate level research on UIL programming. The resulting research has won awards and been presented at the TMEA and TODA Clinic and Convention.
Upon graduating Mr. Davis joined the faculty at Amarillo College as the Director of Orchestral Activities and the Amarillo Opera as an assistant conductor. While at AC, Mr. Davis grew the membership of the orchestra and developed it into a fully symphonic ensemble. In 2011, he made his professional opera conducting debut with the Amarillo Opera’s Production of Joshua’s Boots, an opera by Adolphus Hailstork.
Mr. Davis is married to Heather Davis, a head middle school orchestra director in Fort Bend ISD and they have a son, Grayson.
Sunny Yam is very excited to serve as the first Assistant Orchestra Director at Jordan High School in Katy ISD.
Prior to working in Katy, Mr. Yam began his first teaching engagement in 2019 as the assistant orchestra director at Deer Park High School in Deer Park ISD. During his directorship, the Deer Park HS Orchestra achieved several new records and milestones, including 30 students qualifying for Region Orchestra, six different orchestra groups each receiving sweepstakes at UIL, and an enrollment number of over 200 students.
Mr. Yam’s professional memberships include Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA), American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (ΦMA).
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Mr. Yam began his musical studies at the age of six with piano lessons, followed by playing clarinet in band in middle school. At fourteen, he began playing the viola, and subsequently performed in the orchestra at Clear Lake High School, under the directorship of John Law, Kevin Black, and Bryan Buffaloe, while studying viola privately under Pei-Ling Hwang. Mr. Yam performed with the Clear Lake HS Orchestra at TMEA twice as the Honor Orchestra in 2013 and 2014, and at Alice Tully Hall in New York City in 2013 for the National Orchestra Cup.
Mr. Yam completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where he was a scholarship student and graduated with honors. He studied viola performance with Allyson Dawkins, string pedagogy with Dr. Kristen Pellegrino & Dr. Eugene Dowdy, conducting with Dr. John Zarco, and music theory & psychology with Dr. Stacey Davis.
While at UTSA, Mr. Yam performed on clarinet in the University Band and viola in the UTSA Orchestra. He was the Orchestra's equipment manager and principal violist for important performances, including a collaboration with baroque violinist Rachel Podger, a performance at TMEA as the Invited College Orchestra, the UTSA Lyric Theatre's production of Into the Woods, and a tour through the Rio Grande Valley region. He also participated in viola master classes with Lila Brown and Rita Porfiris.
Mr. Yam was a teacher in the UTSA String Project, and also taught violin and viola privately throughout San Antonio; many of his private students went on to qualify for Region Orchestra and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA).
He completed teacher observations at various schools throughout Northeast ISD and Northside ISD, culminating in his student teaching at Rawlinson Middle School with Sophie Renker and Clark High School with Teresa Nguyen.
Outside of college, Mr. Yam performed in various local community orchestras, including Alamo City Symphony Viva and the South Texas Symphonic Orchestra.
Outside of teaching and performing music, Mr. Yam enjoys reading, singing, milk tea, and Korean BBQ, and is an avid enthusiast of video games, anime/manga, and history.