Karen George

Karen George is the orchestra director at Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas. Mrs. George studied violin at the University of Southern Mississippi with Stephen Redfield where she earned a bachelor's degrees in both Violin Performance and Music Education. She then attended University of Texas at Austin where she studied violin under Vincent Frittelli and received a Master of Music Education with a minor in conducting.

Mrs. George has also toured with several orchestras in Europe including the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.  In addition to her teaching job, she conducts one of the seven orchestra ensembles for the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio and performs in the Corpus Christi Symphony.

Mrs. George opened Johnson High School in 2008. In its very first year, the Johnson Forza orchestra won the Music in the Schools competition earning a $5,000 grant. Since then it has continued to excel, earning “Sweepstakes” at UIL competitions every year in both string and full orchestras. The Johnson full orchestra has been a finalist three times at the TMEA Full Orchestra competition and in 2013, the string orchestra was a finalist in the String Orchestra competition.  The Johnson Orchestra was invited and performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December 2016 and the full orchestra was invited to perform in December 2022. 

Gordon Handte

Gordon Handte is the assistant orchestra director at Johnson High School. Mr. Handte grew up in Midland, TX where attended Legacy High School. During his time at Legacy, he played viola in the Symphony Orchestra and Trombone in the honor band where he developed his passion for music.

After graduating high school, Mr. Handte attended UT Permian Basin where he served as principal trombonist for the University Philharmonic and the Falcon Wind Ensemble. He graduated from UTPB Summa Cum Laude with a Major in Music and a Minor in Mathematics.

This is Mr. Handte's first year at Johnson High School. For the past two years, he has served as the Orchestra Director at Harris Middle School and assisted the mariachi program. During Mr. Handte’s tenure, the Harris Orchestra admitted its first students to the TMEA All-Region Orchestra and received its first UIL Sweepstakes award in the program’s history.