DHS & MMS Orchestras Present “On a Dark Stormy Night”



The Darien High School Orchestras will present a program titled “On a Dark and Stormy Night” on October 23 at 7:30 p.m.  in the Darien HS auditorium.  The concert will feature the 8th grade Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Pop Strings Ensemble.  Over 120 string players will join together for the finale.  Jane Minnis is the Darien High School Orchestra Director and Malcolm Karlan is the Middlesex Middle School Orchestra Director.

The concert is free and no tickets are required.  For more information, contact the music office 203-655-3981, ext. 2250.


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Introducing the New Darien 5-6 Jazz Lab!!

 This exciting new musical opportunity is open to all students in grades 5 & 6 currently enrolled in their school Band ensemble with exceptions made for a limited number of piano, bass and guitar students. This opportunity is open to students who play all band instruments, piano, bass, guitar and drum set.

Students will be performing music in the jazz, pop and rock styles and will develop skills in improvising and creating and performing their own original music. This ensemble will be co-taught by Darien Public Schools’ Director of Music, Mr. Richard Sadlon and Darien High School Director of Bands, Mr. Jonathan Grauer and assisted by members of the award winning Darien High School Jazz Ensemble.

This ensemble will meet every Thursday from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at Darien High School, 80 High School Lane in the Band Room, F013.  Depending on the response for this new opportunity, enrollment may be limited so please respond by promptly retuning the form below to Richard Sadlon, Director of Music, 80 High School Lane, Darien, CT 06820 or email to RSadlon@darienps.org by Friday, September 26 in order to assure participation. The first rehearsal is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Music, Rick Sadlon at: RSadlon@darienps.org  or 203-655-3981 ext: 2329

Name  :                                                                       Grade:

Instrument:                                                                 School:

Parent’s email:                                                            Parent’s Phone #:

Address:                                                                      Student’s Band Director:

I understand that attendance at all 5-6 Jazz Lab Band scheduled rehearsals is expected and that I will provide transportations to and from rehearsals. (more detailed information will be forthcoming)

Parent signature _____________                              Date__________________

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How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins

Ox Ridge Band 2013

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

There has been a great deal of research on the benefits of music performance on brain development, but this presentation (see the links below) by Anita Collins sums it up nicely in 4-5 minute video. (You may need to paste the link into your browser) Enjoy!



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Music Department Announces 2014 Focus Theme Poster Contest Winner!


Lily Childs is the Music Department's 2014-15 Poster Contest Winner

Lily Childs is the Music Department’s 2014-15 Poster Contest Winner


The Music Department of the Darien Public School is pleased to announce that Lily Childs, a 10 year old student at Tokeneke Elementary School, is the winner of their district-wide 2014 poster contest. The poster will be used to kick off the Music Department’s annual curricular focus theme for 2014-15 which will be, “Music of the Silver Screen: The History of Movie Music.”  Lily’s Music teacher at Tokeneke School Rebecca Parnoff presented the challenge to her students and art teacher Linda Yoffe engaged her students in the project and guided them through the process of creating a poster.  Students in K-12 will be engaged in studying and performing historically significant movie music when they return in the fall and the poster, which will be professionally printed, will be displayed at all of the schools in the district for students to see when they return in August.  Lily was also the recipient of a $25 iTunes gift card for winning the competition. Congratulations to Lily!!

Pictured L-R:

Tokeneke Music Teacher Rebecca Parnoff, Lily Childs, Assistant Principal Kathy Schultz, Principal Mary Michelson.

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Music Department Announces Concert Calendar for 2014-15

 Music Department Concert Calendar for the 2014-2015 school year.

October 23

DHS Orchestra Night Concert   (MMS Grade 8 Orchestra)

7:30 P.M.

October 30

DHS Band Night Concert  (MMS Grade 8 Band)

7:00 P.M.

November 5

DHS Chorus Night Concert (MMS Camerata & Gr. 8 Chorus)

7:30 P.M.

November 20-22

Theater 308 Production DHS Auditorium

7:00 P.M

December 2

Middlesex Winter Choral Concert at DHS  Grade 6&7 6:30pm, Grade 8 & Camerata 8:00pm

6:30 P.M

8:00 P.M.

December 3

Middlesex Bands Winter Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

December  4

Middlesex Orchestras Winter   Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

December 8

Tokeneke Holiday Concert

9:30 A.M.

December 9

Holmes Holiday Concert

9:30 A.M.

December 10

Royle Holiday Concert

9:30 A.M.

December 11

Ox Ridge Holiday Concert

9:45 A.M.

December 12

Hindley Holiday Concert

9:30 A.M.

December 17

DHS Holiday Spectrum Concert (Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ens., Pops Strings, Concert Choir, Tudor Singers) Snow Date: 12/22

7:30 P.M.

January 16-17

CMEA Western Region HS Festival at Trumbull High



Middlesex Theater Production at MMS Auditorium

7:00 P.M.

February 5

Sweet Night of Jazz (DHS&MMS   Jazz Ens.) DCA House

6:00 P.M.

February 26

All-Town Band Festival: two seatings: 6:30 & 8:00 P.M. at DHS Main Gym. (Snow date: Feb. 27)

6:30 P.M.

8:00 P.M.

February 28

DHS Orchestra & Chorus featuring guest artist Mark Woods (tickests required)

7:30 P.M.

March 4

Chanticleer Youth Choral Festival Concert at DHS

 7:30 P.M.

March 6

DHS Invitational Jazz Jamboree Festival


March 19-21

DHS Theater 308 Spring Musical

 7:00 P.M.

April 7

Darien Young Composers Concert Elementary 6:30pm,   MMS & DHS 7:30pm

6:30 P.M.

7:30 P.M.

April 30-May 2

CMEA All-State Festival/Conf. Hartford


May 4

DHS Spring Orchestra Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

May 5

MMS Spring Choral Concerts at DHS Grade 6&7   6:30p.m. Grade 8&Camerata 8:00 p.m.

6:30 P.M.

8:00 P.M.

May 6

MMS Bands Spring Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

May 7 MMS Orchestras Spring Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

May 13

DHS Spring Choral Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

May 14

DHS Spring Band & Jazz Ensemble Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

May 18*

Tokeneke Spring Concert at DHS

7:00 P.M.

May 19**

Holmes Spring Concert at DHS

7:00 P.M.

May 20***

Royle Spring Concert at DHS

7:00 P.M.

May 25

DHS Band Memorial Day Parade


June 1

DHS Small Ensemble Concert at DHS

7:30 P.M.

June 3****

Hindley Spring   Concert

7:00 P.M.

June 4*****

Ox Ridge Spring   Concert

7:00 P.M.

May 18*                  Tokeneke Rehearsal at DHS                                   1:00 – 3:00 P.M.

May 19**                  Holmes Rehearsal at DHS                                     1:30 – 3:30  P.M.

May 20***                 Royle Rehearsal at DHS                                       1:00 – 3:00 P.M.

June 3****                Hindley Rehearsal at DHS                                     1:00 – 3:00 P.M.

June 4*****              Ox Ridge Rehearsal at DHS                                   1:30 – 3:30 P.M.

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2014 Elementary Honors Orchestra

The 2014 Elementary Honors Chorus

The 2014 Elementary Honors Chorus

Several Middle School and Elementary Musical Ensembles from the Darien Public Schools participated in the annual Music in the Parks Adjudication Festival held on Saturday, May 31 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, 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.

The Elementary Honors Chorus: First Place in their division, Superior Rating and second highest chorus at the festival.

The Elementary Honors Band: First Place in division, Excellent Rating

The Elementary Honors Orchestra: First Place in their division, Excellent rating

MMS 7th/8th Grade Orchestra: First Place in their division, Excellent rating

MMS Honors Band: First place in their division, Excellent rating

MMS Camerata Singers: Second Place in their division, Excellent rating

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Announcing Introduction to Strings Night for Second Grade Students!!


Grade 2 students will have the opportunity to sign up for the Third  Grade String Program on June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Middlesex Middle School!!

Grade 2 students will have the opportunity to sign up for the Third Grade String Program on June 4 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 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4 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)  Jane Minnis (JMinnis@darienps.org) or the District Music Office at: 203-655-3981 ext: 2250.


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Music Department Curricular Theme Poster Contest!!


                                                  Win a $25 iTunes Gift Card!!!

In support of the Music Department’s 2014-2015 Curricular  Focus Theme “Music of the Silver Screen: The History of Movie Music,” we are offering an opportunity for all students to submit their 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 : “Music of the Silver Screen: The History of Movie Music” and “The Darien Public School Music Department  2014-2015” 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 11, 2014.
  • Winners will be announced by Thursday, June 12 and the winning poster will receive a $25.00 itunes gift card!!
  • If you have any questions, just ask your music teacher.  Good Luck!

                                                    The Music Department announces poster contest to support their 2014-15 curricular focus theme!!

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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 one of the beginning band informational evening meetings to be held at their respective schools. An explanation of our exciting and rewarding band program, instrument demonstrations, rental program information, and class registrations for fall 2014 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 these meeting 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.

2014 Beginning Band Registration Dates:       

  Wednesday, May 21 - Holmes  School                                                                               In the Holmes School Common Room – at 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 21 -  Royle School

In the Royle School Common Room – at 7:00pm

Thursday, May 22 -  Hindley School

In the Hindley School Common Room – at 7:00pm

Thursday, May 22 -  Ox Ridge School

In the Ox Ridge School Common Room – at 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 28 -        Tokeneke School

In the Tokeneke School Common Room – at 7:00pm

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Darien Music Students Perform in State and Regional Festivals

Middlesex Students Perform in Western Region Middle School Festival

The Music Department of the Darien Public Schools is proud to announce that Band, Jazz Ensemble and Chorus students from Middlesex Middle School were chosen to participate in the 2014 Connecticut Western Region Music Festival. The students were chosen to perform in the festival based on their competitive audition scores and they earned the privilege of performing in honors ensembles with some of the best middle school musicians in Western Connecticut conducted by renowned conductors and educators. The festival is sponsored by the Connecticut Music Educators Association and took place at Western Connecticut State University on March 14-15. The following students represented Darien at this year’s festival:

Concert Band: Celia Mundt, flute, Evan Tong, clarinet, Luke Uhlman – trumpet, Austin Won, percussion, Jacob Won, clarinet

Chorus: Brendan Ross, tenor  and Isabel Larino, alto

Darien High School 2014 All-State Musicians

Ten outstanding musicians from Darien High School were chosen through a highly competitive state-wide audition process to perform at the Connecticut Music Educators Association All-State Music Festival. The rehearsals for the festival will be taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell, CT and the concerts will take place at Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on April 3-5. The Connecticut All-State Concert will serve as the opening performance for the 2013 National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference. The Darien students had the privilege of working in ensembles with Connecticut’s most accomplished high school musicians conducted by nationally renowned conductors and educators and the weekend culminated with a concert performance at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford.   Richard Sadlon, the Director of Music in Darien states that, “These students have consistently worked and studied their music over the years in order to been chosen as among the finest high school musicians in Connecticut. We are all extremely proud of their accomplishments and they are to be commended and recognized for doing such a fine job of representing Darien High School and our entire town at this prestigious event.”

The Darien All-State Music students are: Sonya Gandhi, mallets, Catherine Lacy, flute, Alison Lui, viola, Monet Takeda, violin, Matt Hayes, bass, Diana Jackson, alto, Mitchell Losito, tenor, Carson Stewart, tenor,  Peter Traver, bass, and Melanie Turner, soprano.

Congratulations to all of our outstanding student musicians!!

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