Bowling (Bobo), Director of Choral Activities
Phone: 972-429-3100 x 7917
Shorter University, Bachelor of Music Education
Shorter University, Bachelor of Music/ Piano Performance
Louisiana State University, Masters of Music, Choral & Orchestral Conducting
Karen Gonzalez, Private Voice Teacher
Karen Gonzalez has lived in Texas all but the first 3 months of her life! She graduated from Oral Roberts University with Bachelor’s of Music Education degree and has her elementary classroom certification as well. Following graduation, Karen taught in the public schools (El Paso ISD 8 years and Garland ISD 22 years) as a HS choir director, MS choir director and Elementary Music specialist. She also served 2 terms on the Texas Choir Directors Association board - both as Elementary VP and then Secretary/Treasurer. Upon retirement, she did contract work for McGraw-Hill demonstrating and doing sales presentations for the upcoming elementary music curriculum adoption. Karen has served as a judge for all-region, pre-area and area auditions in numerous TMEA regions and has judged several UIL Concert/Sight Reading contests. Her private teaching career began 7 years ago in Plano ISD and has been exclusively at Wylie HS for the past 4 years. Students studying with her have made All-Region and TMEA All-State choirs as well as pursuing degrees in Music Education, Music Performance and Musical Theater.
Karen lives in Rowlett with her husband, Tony. She has 2 sons- Her oldest, Jonathan, was a 4 year All-State choir member, received his BME from Baylor University has taught for 8 years and is currently a HS choir director. He lives in Denver with his wife, Samantha(Baylor graduate as well!). David is getting his private pilots license this summer and will graduate from Stephen F Austin University May 2023 with a degree in Marketing.
Karen enjoys traveling and playing golf. She loves her WHS students and enjoys watching them progress vocally as well as seeing their confidence and love of singing grow!
Mandie McMurdie, Private Voice Teacher
Mandie McMurdie was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and received her Bachelor’s of Music in Choral Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Following graduation she taught for four years as an elementary music teacher in Plano ISD, after which she took a break from teaching in public school to raise her three children. During that time, she taught a summer music program for six years, and taught private voice lessons in her home studio.
Mandie has taught private voice lessons in Wylie ISD for five years, and is entering her second full year of teaching at Wylie High School. Her students in Wylie consistently earn the highest levels of success in their musical endeavors including exemplary ratings at UIL Solo & Ensemble and All-Region and All-State Choirs, and are frequently awarded leading roles in school musicals and community theater productions. Having a rich understanding of vocal pedagogy, Mrs. McMurdie’s approach to teaching is to create confident singers who have thorough understanding of their instruments, and her true passion is to instill in her students a love for singing while teaching healthy vocal habits and greater musical literacy.
Mandie has sung in choirs throughout her professional career and currently sings with Plano Civic Chorus, Plano Chamber Choir, and Dallas Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, and has been featured as a soloist with both MCO and PCC. Mrs. McMurdie is active in her church’s music program, having directed youth and adult choirs throughout her career, and she currently directs a multi-congregational choir and orchestra. She is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association.
Mandie resides in Sachse with her husband and three kids who go to Wylie Schools; two of which are at Wylie HS and are active in choir and band. She is an avid thrift shopper, loves spending time with her large extended family, and doing anything and everything music related.
Kathy French, Private Voice Teacher
Kathy French has been singing, playing piano, and performing since childhood. After graduating Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas, she taught middle school choir for 15 years (five in Garland and ten in Plano), establishing a state-wide reputation as a successful choral director as defined by TMEA, TMAA, TCDA, and UIL. She is a passionate educator who has been in demand since then as voice teacher, vocal coach, piano teacher, clinician, judge, music director, performer, accompanist, and theater director. Many of her former students are now teaching music or pursuing other music related careers.
Kathy has participated, mostly as director, in over 130 shows over the years at various theaters like Stage Door Plano, Garland Summer Musicals, Plano Children’s Theater (now NTPA) and McKinney Repertory Theater. Her favorite shows include Into the Woods, Cabaret, Sound of Music, and Avenue Q. Most recently, she played Mrs. Meers in Rockwall Summer Musical’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and was in the 5-person Kander and Ebb review, The World Goes Round, with CORP. Kathy lives in Plano with her husband, Brian, and their fur babies.
Diane Camp, Accompanist
Diane Camp is a freelance accompanist serving school choirs and instrumental and vocal soloists throughout the Dallas area. For 10 years, she taught piano lab classes at Austin Academy for Excellence in Garland. Prior to joining the staff at Austin Academy, she taught private piano 16 years. She has been a church pianist for more than 45 years and also has directed church children's choirs and handbell choirs. She earned Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from East Texas State University in Commerce. Diane and her husband, Ken, have three adult sons, Daniel, Matthew and Nathan. If Diane is not in a rehearsal somewhere, she’s probably having fun somewhere with one of her four grandchildren.