The Darien All-Town Band Festival 2015!!

The Music Department of the Darien Public Schools will be presenting an All-Town Band Festival on Thursday, February 26 with seatings at 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Darien High School gymnasium.  This event will feature the talents of approximately 500 Band students representing each of the five Elementary Schools, MiddlesexMiddle School and DarienHigh School. Each band will perform separately and will then   join together to perform a finale of music from the movie “The Incredibles” arranged by DHS senior band member Mitch Losito. There is no charge for admission, but a ticket will be required.  Tickets are limited and are available for this event from all school band directors or by calling the District Music Office at: 655-3981 extension 2250. (The snow date for this event will be Friday, February 27.)

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Rock Violinist Mark Wood is Coming to Darien High School!!!

Rock Violinist Mark Wood will be performing at Darien HS on Saturday, Feb. 28.

Rock Violinist Mark Wood will be performing at Darien HS on Saturday, Feb. 28

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Darien High School Auditorium

 Internationally-renowned electric violinist MARK WOOD, formally of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and LAURA KAYE will be performing at Darien High School on Saturday, February 28!  The DHS Orchestras and Choirs and the MMS 8th Grade Strings will be joining Mark and Laura on stage for this unique performance of classic rock favorites—Stairway to Heaven, Eleanor Rigby, Carry On My Wayward Son and more!  A promo video is available on YouTube: click here.

Tickets are just $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12.  At the door, the price goes up to $20 so it’s important to get your tickets in advance.  Tickets are available from orchestra members or at Barrett Book Store or at Giuliano’s Music Center, 351 Post Road  in Darien.

Please contact Jane Minnis (655-3981, ext. 2287) or Chris Andrade (655-3981, ext. 2201) at Darien High School if you have any questions.

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Helpful Suggestions for Encouraging Students to Become Young Composers

Past groups of Darien Young Composers get the opportunity to meet with a professional composer.

Past groups of Darien Young Composers get the opportunity to meet with a professional composer.

As we notify students about our upcoming Darien Young Composers Concert opportunity, here are a couple suggestions that might be helpful in encouraging our music students to become involved in the creative process of making and presenting their own original music.

  1.  Speak positively about the opportunity and experience and how great t would be to actually create and perform some original musical ideas.
  2. Have students collaborate with their friends. This keeps them on track and adds a social element to the process.
  3. Inform a student’s private music lesson teacher about the opportunity and have them work it into their weekly music lesson.
  4. Have students start with a small, short musical idea and then develop it over time. This can begin with a catchy phrase, an idea, a life event, or a saying or rhythm that will eventually be the basis for their original music.
  5. Students can get ideas by listening to songs and musical compositions by professionals and then imitating their style, form and overall presentation. Many great composers and musicians have “borrowed” ideas from other great composers. It is almost an expectation to build on the work of others.
  6. Give students space and time to think creatively and complete the task. We all have different “triggers” that may inspire us to be more creative. Some of us need a more structured methodical approach and some of us are more motivated to create when the “muse” strikes. In any event, being aware of a deadline for completion and submission always seems to be somewhat of a motivator.
  7. If students have an idea for a song, but are not sure what to do with it, they can always ask one of their music teachers for guidance, advice and direction.

Our Darien Young Composers Concerts have always been positive, successful and somewhat amazing events where we can hear the musical ideas of our young people. Our 2015 program will be held on Tuesday, April 7th at Darien High School. Submissions to the music teachers are due by Friday, March 6. Information and forms are available from Music Teachers or the Music Department website at:


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Darien Jazz Ensembles Present An Evening of Sweet Jazz!!

The Darien High School and Middlesex Middle School Jazz Ensembles will be presenting their annual “Sweet Night of Jazz” fundraising performance event at St. John’s Blanchard Hall located at 1986  Post Road, on Thursday, February 5 at 7:00 p.m.  Also featured on this program and starting out the evening will be our new grade 5-6 Jazz Lab.  All proceeds will go toward funding band and jazz ensemble student activities.  Come out and enjoy an assortment of delicious desserts, coffee, beverages, and some exciting jazz performances.

Admission for adults is $15 and $10 for students and seniors. Reservations are due by Friday, January 23rd. Please make checks out to DHS Band and return to Ginny Losito (61 Hollow Tree Ridge Rd). You will receive confirmation by email. No tickets will be issued, but a reservation list will be maintained at the door.

Thank you for your support of our Jazz students!!

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Record Number of Darien High School Musicians Chosen to Perform in Western Region Honors Ensembles

Thirty-seven Darien High School students have been accepted to perform in the 2015 CT Western Region Music Festival

Thirty-seven Darien High School students have been accepted to perform in the 2015 CT Western Region Music Festival

 The Darien Public Schools Music Department is proud to announce that 37 outstanding musicians from Darien High School have been chosen through a highly competitive audition process to perform at the Connecticut Music Educators Association Western Region Music Festival. The honors music festival will take place at Trumbull High School on January 16-17 where the students will have the privilege of working in Band, Orchestra, Chorus, and Jazz ensembles with some of Connecticut’s most accomplished high school musicians conducted by nationally renowned conductors and educators. Richard Sadlon, the Director of Music in Darien states that, “These students have consistently worked and studied over several years to been chosen as among the finest high school musicians in Western Connecticut. This is the largest number of students that we have ever sent to this honors festival in the entire history of Darien High School and we are all extremely proud of their musical accomplishments and involvement in this festival. Darien will be represented quite well.”

The students representing Darien High at the 2015 Connecticut Western Region Honors Music Festival are: From Band:  Eve Phelps, Theresa Du, Lane Blummer, Clare Phelps, Rebecca DeMaio, Zac Pear, Anna Moorhead, Drake Corrigan, Ben Hayes and Sonia Gandhi.  From the Orchestra: Alison Lui, Monet Takeda, Wen Yan Toh, Taylor Lindsey, Amanda Lee, Sara Baldwin.  From the Chorus: Avery Brook, Cristina Noujaim, Daniel Traver, Melanie Turner, Carson Stewart, Sofie Sheldon, Caroline Lui, Caroline Lacy, Sofia Imbimbo, Matthew Hayes, Florian Eenkeme van Dijk, and Elizabeth Domittner. Jazz Ensemble: Julia Evans, Mitch Losito, Amanda Sload, Dominick Wood, Drake Corrigan, Andrew Trautmann and Grant Morro.

All of the students who participated in the Connecticut Western Region Festival will eligible to audition for the Connecticut All-State Festival.  Congratulations to all of the students and their teachers, Mr. Christopher Andrade, chorus, Mr. Jonathan Grauer, band and Ms. Jane Minnis, Orchestra. The regional honors ensemble concerts will take place at the Trumbull High School auditorium on Saturday, January 17 and are scheduled as follows: Jazz Ensemble and Chorus will be at 3:30 p.m. and the Band and Orchestra concerts will be presented at 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are $10.00 in advance from students and are $15.00 at the door. (The snow date for the festival is January 23-24.)

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DHS Orchestra Fund Raiser: Dining for Dollars at Bertucci’s Today!!

The Darien High School Orchestra is collaborating with Bertucci’s of Darien in a “Dining for Dollars” funding raising event today, Tuesday, December 16.  Bertucci’s will donate 15% of whatever you spend at the restaurant between 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. this evening. The coupon, available at the link below, must be presented at the time of purchase and the offer is good for dine in, carry out or delivery orders. Members of the DHS Orchestra will also be performing at Bertucci’s from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.  this evening.

Bertucci’s is located at: 54 Post Road in Darien. The phone number is: 203-655-4299.

Present the flyer available at the following link and 15% of what you spend will be
donated to the Darien High School Orchestra:

Thank you for your support of the Darien High School Orchestra!


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Darien High School’s 2014 Holiday Spectrum Concert

The Music Department of the Darien Public Schools is proud to present Darien High School’s annual Holiday Spectrum Concert featuring all of the high school instrumental and choral ensembles performing a complete program of festive holiday music. This one hour concert of continuous holiday music on Wednesday, December 17 is our musical gift to the entire community of Darien. There is no admission fee, but because of the popularity of this event, we recommend that you arrive early to get the best seating. This event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the doors will open at 7:00 p.m. Make this a new holiday tradition, bring your family, and join us for a memorable, musical holiday season celebration.

A Holiday Silent Auction sponsored by the DHS Community Council to benefit Darien Social Services will take place in the lobby of the auditorium from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m., just prior to the concert, and will features holiday gift items and services from local businesses and the school community.  Happy Holidays!

Spectrum logo 14

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Music Department Holiday & Winter Concert Schedule

 The Music Department would like to announce the schedule of upcoming Holiday/Winter Concert performances. There is no admission charge for any of the school concerts and your support of the musical accomplishments of our music students is appreciated. Happy Holidays!!Ox Ridge Band 2013

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.


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DHS Band Sponsors Thanksgiving Turkey Drive!!

Members of the DHS Band will be collecting turkeys to benefit the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Members of the DHS Band will be collecting turkeys to benefit the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanksgiving Turkey Drive   Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:00am-7:45am

Curbside drop-off in front of Darien High School

Fresh or frozen turkeys accepted

All proceeds to benefit the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County

Sponsored by the Darien High School Band

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Melanie Turner Selected for National Honors Choir!!

DHS senior Melanie Turner recently performed in the 2014 National Honors Choir in Nashville.

DHS senior Melanie Turner recently performed in the 2014 National Honors Choir in Nashville.


Darien High School Music student, Melanie Turner was chosen through a rigorous audition and application process, to participate in the National Association for Music Education’s 2014 National Honors Choir. This prestigious event took place at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 26-29.

Melanie Turner is currently a senior at DHS and is a member of the Darien HS Tudor Singers. She has also been a regular participant in the Connecticut Western Region and All-State Choruses for several years. The National Honors Choir is made up of outstanding musicians from throughout the United Stated and was conducted by Edith Copley, Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University.

The National Association for Music Education All-National Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble featured the talents of 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States at this outstanding lifetime experience.

Christopher Andrade, Melanie’s choral director at Darien High School states, “Melanie has been an outstanding student leader and contributor to our high school choral program since she was a freshman. Our entire community is extremely proud of her musical accomplishments.”

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