The Board

Phil Houseal, President

Phil Houseal is a supporter of music of all types. Although originally from the Iowa, Phil has known the Texas Hill Country as his home for more than 20 years. Phil has a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from the University of Iowa and has done graduate work in Gifted and Talented Education. Phil is the Director of Communications and Community Education at the Kerrville Independent School District in Kerrville, Texas. He is also head of his own part time production company, Full House Productions, specializing in writing, advertising, and consulting for businesses. Phil has served on boards for the Gillespie County Child Protective Services Board, Leadership Gillespie County, Fredericksburg Chorale, America 2000, and the Kerr County Chamber Education Committee. He has also served on several statewide and national boards promoting community education. He is currently President of the Fredericksburg Community Orchestras. Phil is originally a percussionist and keyboardist, but enjoys orchestral music as well. Because of his love of lifetime learning, he began playing violin at the age of 50 and participates in a number of amateur string ensembles including FCO.

Julie Alvarez, Secretary

Julie Alvarez, originally from Colorado, is an active member of the Fredericksburg educational community. Julie graduated in 1991 from Cornell University. She serves on the board for the Ambleside School of Fredericksburg. She plays in an active role in the Ambleside Artspring, a showcase of art made by students of the Ambleside School of Fredericksburg. She is a supporter of the arts and music and has a special interest in promoting strings as a parent of string students. Her children Henry and Olivia play violin. Julie also has a passion for tennis. When not in board meetings promoting educational activities in the Hill Country, you can see her involved in tennis events throughout the state.

Kent Rylander, Treasurer

Kent Rylander, a native Texan and music supporter, was born December 25, 1935 in Hillsboro, Texas.  He grew up on a farm near Denton, Texas, and attended the University of North Texas.  After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to graduate school and received his M.A. degree from UNT and his Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans. Kent has taught animal behavior, ornithology and other biology courses at Texas Tech University since 1965.  Although he retired in 2004, he is still active in research and each year teaches a summer course in ornithology at Texas Tech’s Junction campus.

He is on the board of directors of the Fredericksburg Music Club, Fredericksburg Chorale, and Fredericksburg Community Orchestra.  One of his hobbies is playing trumpet in local musical groups.

Leslie Harper, Board Member

Leslie Harper is a Licensed Professional Counselor respected for her work with young people in Fredericksburg, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin. Leslie and her husband Dan have been active members of the educational community in Fredericksburg since their move to Fredericksburg more than fifteen years ago. As parents of three, they have an interest in bringing the access to arts and excellent education of larger communities to our small town of Fredericksburg. Leslie’s children play string instruments. Joel is a violist, and Meredith is a cellist. You can find the Harper family at music, theater and sports events around town. They also enjoy aspects of small town life including gardening and raising chickens.