HCISD Performing Arts Conservatory
Saturday, August 31
Jaime Thompson ~ 11 PM - 1 PM &
Gwendolyn McDowell ~ 2 PM - 4 PM
A native of Belize, Central America, Jamie Thompson is internationally known and respected for his vision, professionalism and commitment to excellence. He spent his formative years on philanthropic endeavors through the arts. A highlight from those experiences was serving as director and choreographer for productions presented by the Rotary Club of Belize (2005-2009). In addition to his volunteerism, he began formal dance training with the Belize National Dance Company and The Dramatic Forces School of Dance. His passion for dance, stirred by the tutelage of the two institutions, led him to a successful pursuit of earning a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. After college, his professional dance experience began with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (2010-2014). Since then, he has performed with the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, and Collin Country Ballet Theatre, Dance Place(Washington, D.C) and Tuacahn Performing Arts Center (St. George, Utah). Most recently, Jamie served as Lecturer at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.
Gwendolyn McDowell affectionately known as “Gwen” was born and raised inWashington, D.C. Her foster parents noticed she was gifted in singing as a child. At the early age of nine, she joined the children’s choir at her church, played small roles in school plays, and sung in school talent shows. When Gwen turned fourteen, she auditioned and was accepted at the “Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts” majoring in Vocal Music. She also took Acting and Movement classes. During her junior and senior year, the late Co-Founder of Duke Ellington Mike Malone took Gwen under his wing, continuing to work with her. After Gwen graduated from Duke Ellington in 1984, she traveled with Mike Malone all across the United States landing principal roles in stage productions at Howard University’s “Crampton Auditorium” in Washington, DC; “The Lincoln Center” in New York; “The Kennedy Center” in Washington, DC & the “Children’s Theatre”in St. Paul, MN, to name a few. Her career of thirty-five plus years has also afforded her the opportunity to travel to various countries including Jamaica, England, Canada and Russia. Gwen had the amazing opportunity to record the duet, “I Have a Vision” with the famous Russian rock band “Stas Namin Group” in Moscow 1985. She also performed the duet via satellite connecting Russia and the U.S. with singer and songwriter John Denver as host. Gwen continues to teach, perform, and create new life for the “Arts”.