A native of Plano, Texas, Ms. Melanie Stapleton has been an active member of Texas choirs throughout her life. She holds a Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Louisiana State University, where she minored in English. During her time at LSU, she served as President, Classroom Panel Coordinator, and Social Coordinator of Spectrum, the on-campus organization for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. As President of Spectrum, she helped be part of the initiative to add "gender expression" and "gender identity" into the campus EEO policy, was a guest speaker in many classrooms and public events, and even gave a speech on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol. Additionally, she assisted in the founding of Louisiana Trans Advocates (LTA), the first statewide non-profit organization in Louisiana dedicated to the improvement of transgender rights in the state. In addition to her LGBTQ advocacy, Stapleton served as President of the LSU student chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association.
Stapleton completed her Master of Music Education from UNT in August 2020, where her primary research focus was on social justice, advocacy, and working with transgender students in the music ensemble. A highly sought after clinician, she offers clinics for choirs as well as professional development sessions for music educators and school districts. She will appear at the 2021 National ACDA Conference, presenting a session designed to assist choral directors with teaching trans singers in their ensembles . She co-authored the chapter "Can't I Sing With the Girls?" with Sarah Bartolome in the book "Marginalized Voices in Music Education", edited by Brent Talbot. Additionally, she helps moderate the "I'm a Choir Director" PLC on Facebook consisting of over 27,000 choir directors from around the world.
Ms. Stapleton began her career in Lamar CISD, teaching elementary music, before moving to La Porte ISD, where she was the Head Choral Director at Lomax Junior High and Baker Sixth Grade Campus. She now serves as the Director of Choral Studies at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School in Houston ISD. Choirs under her direction consistently receive Sweepstakes, Superior, and Excellent scores at UIL.
Stapleton holds active membership in Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA), and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Her choral career has allowed her to sing under the batons of conductors such as Dr. Ken Fulton, Derrick Brookins, Dr. Allen Hightower, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, and Dr. Anton Armstrong. She is a strong believer in the power of the choral ensemble to create a musical family where all are respected and offered unconditional love. When not jamming to the latest choral hits, she can be found spending time with friends, cooking in her Instant Pot, playing video games, or binge-watching her latest TV show obsession.
2021 Texas Music Educators Association Convention (Virtual)
2021 National American Choral Directors Association (Virtual)
2021 Texas Choral Directors Association (Virtual)
2021 Arizona Music Educator's Conference (Virtual)
Music Education Genderally Speaking (Podcast) 11/12/20
2020 Houston ISD Professional Development in Houston, TX
2020 Millikin University Panel for Alliance for Active Music Making (AfAMM) in Decatur, IL
2020 Houston ISD Professional Development Sessions in Houston, TX
2020 BHCC Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth Virtual Summit in Boston, MA
2019 International Music Education Summit
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