LASA provides an extensive range of dynamic and stimulating
opportunities for all students interested in the visual and
performing arts. The Band, Orchestra, Choir, Dance, Theater and
Journalism programs are in conducted in partnership with LBJ High
The Don T. Haynes Theater, LBJ and LASA's performing arts
facility that opened in fall 2008, is the performance theater for
the Band, Orchestra, Dance and Choir programs and is home base to
the Alley Cat Players.
The LASA/LBJ Band is rich in tradition and highly respected as
one of the finest band programs in Texas. This proud program has
represented Texas in places as far away as London, Paris and
Beijing and has won top festival awards in six different states.
The pursuit of musical excellence on the marching field, in the
jazz arena, and in the concert hall by the 220+ member Jaguar Band
has become legendary. Members find that making great music and
making great friends go hand in hand.
The Austin Chamber Music Center provides an enrichment program
with emphasis on chamber music and performance. The chamber music
staff are local professional musicians who present major ensemble
works to the advanced bane members in each band class. Students
then get the opportunity to work together as a chamber ensemble and
rehearse and perform a chamber music piece.
The Band program offers a private lesson program on campus. To
assist our students, Austins finest music teachers are invited to
come to LBJ and teach the interested members during band class or
The LBJ Band places great value in the music educational
experience when planning its annual spring band trip. The Band
travels enhance the development of its students from an historic
perspective, as well as rewarding them musically. In 2009, the Band
will travel to New York City to perform and take in the citys many
In addition to the Marching Band, there is a Concert Band,
Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, all under the leadership of
Director Don Haynes, dhaynes[at]austinisd.org, (512) 414-7032.
Other Band instructors include: Brian Burks, Assistant Director;
Ponder East, Director of Jazz Studies; Tyler Dempsey, Director of
Percussion; Fernando Hernandez, Colorguard Director; Katie Jordan,
Assistant Colorguard Director; and Nate Ward, Assistant Percussion
Click to visit the
LBJ Band site.
• Jazz Band
The Jazz Bands perform
on campus, at local events, and in jazz festivals around Texas. The
Jazz Bands regularly receive
top finishes at the jazz festivals of TCU, Temple, Texas State,
others. Many students from the LBJ Jazz Band have gone on to
major in music at some of the
best music schools in the country
including Berkeley College of Music in Boston, University
of North Texas, New
England Conservatory, Oberlin and the University of
During the school day, there
is the Jazz Ensemble/Combo, which alternates between rehearsing
big band music and
small combo music. This class is for Juniors and Seniors.After
Wednesdays, there is the Stage Band, which rehearses big band
music of many different styles.
This group is for Freshmen and Sophomores.
Orchestra offerings at LASA/LBJ provide learning and performing
opportunities for students of all levels. Character, personal
growth, and unforgettable relationships are just a few of the
benefits of choosing to join the orchestra.
There are three Orchestras - Symphonic, Philharmonic and
Camerata - which perform regular concerts and provide chamber
ensembles at extra-curricular events. The Camerata Orchestra often
features collaborations with professional soloists in its concerts.
Some of the more recent soloists have included: the principal
strings of the Austin Symphony; violinist Robert Rudie; Baroque
Ensemble; and organists Ken Womer, Scott McNulty, and Erich
In 2008, the Camerata Orchestra was named a "National Winner" in
the Excellence in Achievement Orchestra competition. In addition
two LASA students, a violist and a violinist, were named
outstanding soloists in the entire competition.
Several members of the Camerata have qualified for All-Region
and All-State Orchestras every year, and the orchestra has earned
superior ratings in UIL String Orchestra Competitions for the past
The LASA/LBJ Choirs give singers the opportunity to hone their
abilities and to enjoy the time spent doing so. There's a class
available for every skill level, and the performances are fun and
interactive. The department also offers Music Theory, including AP
Music Theory, which teaches the fundamentals and vocabulary of
music such as terminology of notation, ear training, sight-singing,
harmonic and melodic dictation and form analysis.
Students in Dance I will learn basic techniques for all types of
dance, with a specific focus on ballet, jazz, social dance, and
precision dance. Students also have the opportunity to choreograph
using both learned techniques and their own personal dance
Dance II-IV is a continuation of Dance I, in which more
techniques are developed and the basics are further refined, with a
greater focus on a student choreography. There may be a performance
opportunity at the end of each semester for parents and peers where
dance students are able to display the results of their hard work
The Alley Cat Players, LBJ and LASA's extracurricular theater
troupe, presents several productions a year under the guidance of
Theater Arts teacher MJ Alexander. Students may elect to study
acting in Theater I or stagecraft in Technical Theater I first,
followed by Advanced Theater classes in subsequent years. Many
Alley Cat productions hold open auditions for all LBJ and LASA
students, while others are staffed from theater classes.
Past productions include a post-apocalyptic version of
Midsummer's Night Dream, the rocking musical Footloose, Arthur
Miller's After the Fall, and Dark of the Moon, a 1940's play
written by Howard Richardson and William Berney.
The LASA Art Department prides itself on interdisciplinary
projects and the application of design to real-world projects. The
curriculum has been designed specifically for LASA students and
truly blends science with art. The Elements and Principles of
Design remain the foundation of reference; however, emphasis is
placed upon stylistic interpretation and manipulation, providing
for a truly tangible studio experience.
All Visual art students begin in Art 1 which emphasizes design
and problem solving in it's curriculum. After Art 1 students have
the opportunity to move straight into the honors weighted Drawing
3, Painting 3, Ceramics 3 and Sculpture 3 classes. After passing a
portfolio review, students may take one or more of the AP Studio
We hope to offer Printmaking and Fiber art classes in the
All art students participate in the East Austin Studio Tour by
interviewing artists and writing a reaction paper in which they
draw their own conclusions about the Austin art scene. Student work
is also featured in the Youth Art Month display downtown each March
and during select concerts and at LASA Coffeehouse. We also
maintain three display cases of artwork in the science wing that
features a rotating display of current student work.
The Liberator, LASA/LBJ's award winning newspaper, is known
across the nation for its excellence by both the scholastic and
professional press. In the last six years, The Liberator has
garnered many top national awards, including the Pacemaker (the
Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism), the Gold Crown Press
Association, and 2005 First Place Best in Show given by the
National Scholastic Press Association at the national high school
journalism convention. Top state awards include Gold Stars, the top
award given by the Interscholastic League Press Conference, as well
as top awards in individual competitions in UIL.
The paper is entirely student run; the staff makes all writing,
photography, design and content decisions.
The yearbook, STETSON, is chosen yearly to appear in the Taylor
Publishing Company's prestigious book, The Yearbook, which includes
the top five% of the 7,500 yearbooks they publish.