The mission of the Briarcrest Christian School Fine Arts Department is to provide a Christ-centered curriculum that inspires, equips and empowers students to discover, develop and demonstrate their God-given talents while establishing a life-long appreciation for the arts.
From our Elementary Saintly Singers to Middle School Choirs, Bands, and Musical Theatre to High School Vocal, Instrumental, Visual, Technical Production, and Theatre Arts programs, Briarcrest invests in, develops, and matures the artist and performer in every child.
All of our talented and dedicated faculty-artists have at least one master's degrees in their field of expertise, have taught at the collegiate level, or both.
Fine Arts Disciplines
Briarcrest Christian School offers a comprehensive fine arts program for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Dr. Willard R. Sparks Chapel and Performing Arts Center
The Dr. Willard R. Sparks Chapel and Performing Arts Center is a beautiful 35,000 square-foot facility with a 1,000 seat auditorium. Our new state-of-the-art performance venue also includes six music practice rooms, a theatre and dance studio, vocal music classroom, a full-size theatrical stage, backstage holding areas, full dressing rooms and a set workshop. An art gallery in the main lobby of the facility displays artwork by Briarcrest students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists.
Dr. J.D. Frizzell, a composer, conductor, and baritone, is the Director of Fine Arts and Director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest. He earned the double Master's in Music Theory/Composition and Conducting from The University of Southern Mississippi, where he also earned the Bachelor's degree in Music History and Literature. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from the University of Kentucky. As the Director of the Fine Arts department, Dr. Frizzell is responsible for coordinating all Fine Arts programs (K2-12th grade). He also serves as an advocate and school liaison for all of our outstanding visual, musical and dramatic arts at Briarcrest. As the Director of Vocal Music, he teaches the Concert Choir, Honors Chamber Singers, and OneVoice. In addition, he teaches private voice lessons through the Briarcrest Conservatory and is the musical director for the high school musicals.
Dr. Frizzell, winner of the 2007 Intégrales Composition Contest, writes music for choir, orchestra, symphonic band, voice, hand bells, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments. With music published by many major companies, he has had best-sellers throughout the world. In 2011, the board of the Tennessee Music Educators Association named him the Outstanding Young Music Educator of the Year. He was also awarded the Dr. Clair E. Cox Award for Teacher Excellence. In 2013, he was named one of Memphis' Finest Young Professionals by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for his philanthropic efforts. He also volunteers as the President of the A Cappella Education Association.
Elizabeth Parsons serves as the Vocal Music Assistant Director and the Assistant to the Fine Arts Director. Liz received her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Memphis. After graduating in 2002, Liz then served as the staff accompanist for the choral department at the University of Memphis until 2012. She has a strong background in collaborative piano and has accompanied many vocalists and instrumentalists in various performances on the collegiate level and also professional level, as well as accompanying numerous choirs throughout the city. Currently, Liz is the accompanist for the Memphis Symphony Chorus, playing for all rehearsals and assisting in leading rehearsals.
In addition to her responsibilities with the choirs at Briarcrest, Liz teaches private lessons through the conservatory. As a collaborative pianist and teacher, Liz’s passion is accompanying and enabling other musicians to make music to the best of his/her ability.