The Darien Public Schools Music teachers met with Dr. Willie Ruff on August 27 to prepare to address the Spirituals curricular focus theme with their students.
In order to better prepare for the Music Department’s Curricular Focus theme for the 2015-16 on Spirituals, the Darien Music teachers engaged in a Professional Development session with Dr. Willie Ruff from Yale University on the historical context, origins and performance practices associated with spirituals. Dr. Ruff is a musician and scholar who teaches course in ethnomusicology, musical folklore and composition and has recently produced a television documentary on the early origins of spirituals and congregational line singing.
The teachers will be developing lessons and planning musical experiences for their students throughout the year and benefitted a great deal by their discussions with Dr. Ruff.
The 2015 Elementary Honors Band
The 2015 Elementary Honors Orchestra
The Elementary Honors Musical Ensembles from the Darien Public Schools participated in the annual Music in the Parks Adjudication Festival held on Saturday, May 30 in Bristol, CT and at Lake Compounce . The students performed for judges made up of university music professors and received ratings and comments. After the morning performances at a Bristol High School, the students enjoyed an afternoon at Lake Compounce. We would like to congratulate all of the young musicians and their teachers for their outstanding performances.
Choral Directors are Ruth Lettera and Rebecca Parnoff, Orchestra Directors are Dawn Hanley and Jane Minnis and Band Directors are Krista DiPietro and John Macri.
The Elementary Honors Chorus: Superior Rating.
The Elementary Honors Band: Excellent Rating
The Elementary Honors Orchestra: Excellent rating
Several of Middlesex Middle School Music Ensembles performed at a Music in the Parks Festival on May 30 in Bristol, CT
On Saturday, May 30, 2015 183 music students from Middlesex Middle School performed for the Music in the Parks adjudication festival at Bristol Eastern High School, followed by an afternoon at the Lake Compounce park. The MMS musical ensembles performing in the festival and the awards earned are as follows:
The MMS Camerata Singers, conducted by Kimberly Sadler, scored an Excellent rating, took 1st place in their division and were awarded the overall best Middle School choir performing. The 7th and 8th Grade Orchestra under the direction of MMS Orchestra Director Malcolm Karlan earned an Excellent rating and a 1st place in their division. The MMS Honors Band, under the direction of James Carter and Gretchen Perrett, proudly scored a Superior rating for the first time ever, and were awarded a 1st place in their respective division.
Congratulations to all of the students and their teachers for their exceptional performances!!
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Internationally acclaimed, virtuoso violinist, Alexander Markov performed for students at Middlesex Middle School on Monday, May 18. Mr. Markov is a gold medal winner of the International Paganini Competition and performs as a concert violin soloist around the world. … Continue reading
MMS Jazz “rocks the house” and performs for students at Tokeneke School May 20.
The Middlesex Middle School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of James Carter recently toured several of the Elementary Schools in Darien sharing their music with 5th grade students across the district.
Pictured is the Middlesex Middle School Jazz Ensemble performing at Tokenke School on Wednesday, May 20th.
In support of the Music Department’s 2015-2016 Curricular Focus Theme “ Voices of Freedom: The American Spiritual,” we are offering an opportunity for all students to submit your design for a poster to be used to promote our theme throughout the district.
Here are the only rules:
- The poster should be designed to fit a 12 x 18 inch format.
- The poster must include the words : “Voices of Freedom: The American Spiritual ” and “The Darien Public School Music Department 2015-2016” somewhere on the poster.
- An electronic version or original art work must be delivered to the District Music Office or sent to: RSadlon@darienps.org on or before June 10, 2015.
- Winners will be announced by Friday, June 12 and the designer of the winning poster will receive a $25.00 itunes gift card!!
- If you have any questions, just ask your music teacher. Good Luck!
Voices of Freedom: The American Spiritual
The Darien Public School Beginning Band Information and Registration Night will be held on May 27 at Tokeneke School.
The Music Department of the Darien Public Schools is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for all current third and fourth grade students to be a part of our award winning Darien Band program. All current third and fourth grade students in the Darien Public Schools who wish to begin learning a band instrument in the fall of this year are invited and encouraged to attend the beginning band informational evening meeting to be held in the Tokeneke School Common Room at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27th. This presentation will be for interested students and their parents in all five Darien Elementary Schools. An explanation of our exciting and rewarding band program, instrument demonstrations, rental program information, and class registrations for this fall will take place at this time. All interested students entering 4th or 5th grade in the fall are eligible to begin band instrument instructions. All students attending these sessions must be accompanied by an adult. Information regarding this exceptional opportunity for students will also be distributed to students in their respective schools.
If you have any questions regarding the elementary band program in the Darien Public Schools, please see the Band teacher at your elementary school or call the District Music Office at: 655-3981 ext: 2250.
Grade 2 students will have the opportunity to sign up for the Third Grade String Program on Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Middlesex Middle School!!
All second graders and their parents are invited to attend the Darien String Program’s INTRODUCTION TO STRINGS NIGHT on TUESDAY, MAY 26 at 7:00 P.M. at Middlesex Middle School Auditorium. This evening program will introduce interested incoming third graders to the violin, viola and cello. Parents will receive information on the in-school lesson program and string rental procedures. The Third Grade String Program involves weekly half-hour lessons during the school day. There are usually two concerts a year. If your child is interested in playing a string instrument in the Third Grade String Program, we encourage you to attend. If you are unable to attend, please contact your school’s string teacher or 203-655-3981, ext. 2287 to have an informational packet sent home.
If you have any questions about any aspect of the elementary the string program, please contact the elementary school string teachers, Dawn Hanley (DHanley@darienps.org), Dylan Spielvogel (DSpielvogel@darienps.org) or Jane Minnis (JMinnis@darienps.org).
The Darien High School Band and Jazz Ensemble performed in Disney World and Universal Studios on April 14-18.
The Darien High School Band recently returned from a successful trip to Orlando, FL where, in addition to performing and participating in clinics at the Heritage Music Festival with school bands from throughout the country, performed in a “Your Instrumental” Disney workshop on film sound track performance and were a featured group at Universal Studio’s City Walk. The DHS students also participated in a “behind the scenes” tour of Disney Studios.
The Darien High School Band and Jazz Ensemble are under the direction of Mr. Jonthan Grauer and were in Orlando on April 14 -18. Congratulations to all of our Band and Jazz members!
On Friday May 1st, the 6th Annual Connecticut Music Educators Association Elementary Honors Choir gathered children together from across the state to perform in Hartford, CT. The children worked all day with the guest conductor, Sandra Doneski of Gordon College, and were accompanied on the piano by Royle School’s own Kathleen Theisen. Both Royle and Tokeneke School auditioned children to bring to this special musical event this year. The children worked with their music teacher to prepare six pieces of music, and when they gathered in Hartford, they combined with 196 children to form two and three part harmonies. The students performed beautifully, worked very hard, and represented Darien with pride and respect.
Back row left to right: Royle School Music Teacher, Kathleen Theisen, Noah Mobarik, Evelyn Hidy, Grace Benedict, Olivia Durbin, John Raskopf, Tokeneke Music Teacher, Rebecca Parnoff, front row left to right: Ellie Best, Ellie Gaaserud, Claire Galper