Julia House will be inducted into the Florida Vocal Association Hall of Fame on Friday, July 26, during the FVA Summer Conference. She has just completed her 30th year teaching at Bay High School. Other than serving as an adjunct instructor at the local 2-year state college, Bay High has been her only teaching position. In addition to the two choir classes and an ensemble class, she teaches 2 dual enrolled classes: “Understanding Music” and “Beginning Music Theory”. She also teaches “The History of American Musical Theatre” and “The History of American Popular Music” (otherwise known as the “History of Rock and Roll”). During her time at Bay High, Julia and her vocal jazz ensembles have had the privilege of singing with multiple well known performers in multiple genres including Kenny Rogers, Manhattan Transfer and twice with the rock group “Foreigner”. She considers it an honor and a privilege to teach at Bay High School since she is an alumna of Bay High and its choral program.
Julia received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She received the Master of Music in Choral Literature and Conducting from the University of South Florida where she studied with Dr. Robert Summer. Julia also has been named a National Board Certified Teacher.
Prior to her teaching career she worked for the state of Florida as a case manager in the Department of Children, Youth and Families and Developmental Services. Her 40 years of service to the state of Florida began at the local college Public Radio station WKGC – FM, where she was Director of Promotions and Development and served as an on air host for the classical music program. Julia’s other “on air” jobs include writing and producing commercials and public service announcements for a large country music radio station and for a local television station. Julia considers herself to be blessed to have spent many years singing professionally, performing everything from bluegrass to hard rock, jazz and adult contemporary.
Recognizing a lack of choral performance opportunities for adults, in September, 1998, Julia formed a community choir called “The Emerald Coast Chorale”. The mission of this choir is to exclusively perform works by American composers, always a cappella. Since its inception, ECC has toured and performed in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada and in the southeast. In 2000, ECC was the only American choir invited to perform at the conference of the International Society of Music Educators in Edmonton, Alberta.
Julia made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2015 when she was invited to conduct her own choir in concert at the New York Invitational Music Festival, where the Bay High Choir won the Gold Medal Award. Most recently in December of 2018, she was invited to bring a group of high school singers and members of ECC to perform in Austria at the 200th anniversary celebration of the famous Christmas carol “Silent Night”. They performed in many venues, most notably the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Ammergauer Haus, in Oberammergau, the Ettal Abbey and the Silent Night Chapel in Oberndorf.
During her 30-year tenure at Bay High School, Julia has been active with FVA and FMEA. Julia enjoys being an adjudicator, working throughout Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. She served as chairperson for District Two for 10 years, 9 of which were served consecutively, which according to Mark Scott, is a “record”!
She was named Bay High School Teacher of the Year for 1997-98. She was the 2011 recipient of the Henshaw Whitley Award, a Bay High School Teacher Legacy-Endowment given to the teacher “who embodies commitment to their students, and to Bay High School.” In 2014, she was named Most Influential Female Educator by the Northwest Florida Girl Scout Council. Julia is now beginning a new phase of her life as a retired teacher!
Julia has requested that “I Offer My Heart” by Aaron David Miller be sung in her honor at the FVA Awards Ceremony on Friday, July 26. The piece will be conducted by her friend and FVA Hall of Fame Member, Mike Dye.