About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the RTMS Choir program is to serve as an important musical link between the elementary and high school years, instilling within students a life-long appreciation of music, a compassionate world-view, and build a collaborative community of servant-leaders. 


Our Choirs...

1st Period - 6th Grade Boys

2nd Period - 6th grade girls

3rd Period - 7th/8th Varsity Boys

4th Period - 8th Grade girls

5th period - 7th/8th Non-Varsity Boys

6th Period - 7th Grade girls

7th Period - 6th Grade Girls

Meet the Directors...

Mr. Jared Dees

This is Mr. Dees' 4th year as Choir Director at THE Ronald Thornton Middle School!

A San Antonio native, he was blessed to grow up with inspiring and dedicated music educators that cultivated a love of music in him.  He graduated from the University of Houston in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Go Coogs!  While at UH, Mr. Dees performed in many ensembles, including the prestigious, award-winning Moores School Concert Chorale, where he was Tenor Section Leader.  With this group, Mr. Dees was blessed with the opportunity to travel nationally and internationally competing and winning competitions.  Along with music education, performing is a passion of his.  He has performed in over 10 productions with the Moores Opera Center, where he premiered a role in Nelson's The School for Scandal.

In his personal time, he enjoys to grill, Woodwork,  and spend time with Mrs. Dees, who is also a choir director.

 Mr. Phillip Velarde

Mr. Velarde is excited to start his first year at RTMS! An army child, he has lived in many different places throughout his life. After being inspired by his High School Choir Directors, Mr. Cody Parrott and Mr. Anthony Benz, Mr. Velarde traveled to Houston to get degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Houston. While at school, Mr. Velarde performed with the award-winning Moores School Concert Chorale for 5 years, travelling for international competitions and performing around the Houston area. He was also the director of the student-led A Capella group, MoM, taking the group to Acapolooza while in charge. Mr. Velarde likes to stay involved in both teaching and performing, working with various professional ensembles, stage managing opera productions through the Moores School and giving piano and voice lesson to beginner students. Currently, Mr. Velarde still performs with professional groups while teaching.

WHen he is not teaching or singing, Mr. Velarde enjoys running marathons, writing short stories and spending time with his dog and fmaily.