Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Darien High School Musicians Chosen to Perform in CT Western Region Honors Ensembles

The Darien Public Schools Music Department is proud to announce that 26 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 Staples High School in Westport on January 13-14 where the students will have the privilege of working in the Honors Band, Orchestra, and Chorus, 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, “The students chosen for participation in the CT Western Region Music Festival have consistently worked and studied over several years to develop their musical skills and been chosen as among the finest high school musicians in Western Connecticut. We are all extremely proud of their musical accomplishments.”

The students representing Darien High at the 2018 Connecticut Western Region Honors Music Festival are:  Band:  Jack Armstrong, Frank Drugge, Benjamin Henry, Cheyenne Li, John Lochtefeld, Kaitlyn Manghirmalani, Celia Mundt, Madison Pomeroy and Evan Tong, .  Orchestra:  Sara Baldwin, Elizabeth Garijo-Garde,Catherine O’Connor, Clare Phelps (clarinet) and Anika Satish.  Chorus: Samantha Berry, Christopher Conte, Henry Domenici, Ava Ganser,  Isabelle Hole, Juliette Kiernan, Caroline Lui, Amalia Madariaga, Caeleigh O’Connor, Caroline Orphanos, Liana Seale and Sophie Talwalkar.

All of the students who participated in the Connecticut Western Region Festival will be 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 Staples High School auditorium on Saturday, January 14. Tickets are $10.00 in advance from students and are $15.00 at the door. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Darien Music Ensembles Perform at Stamford Town Center!

Several of our Darien Music Ensembles will be performing at the Stamford Town Center during the week of December 11-15. They will be performing from 4:00 -5:00 p.m. at Center Court as part of the mall's Harmony and Holidays program. This is the second year that our students have performed at the venue. Pictured above, the Darien HS Strings performing at Center Court. The schedule of performances for this year is as follows:

Monday, Dec. 11: Middlesex Middle School String Ensemble, Directed by Austin Scelzo  

Tuesday, Dec. 12: Darien High School Strings, Directed by Jane Minnis  

Wednesday, Dec 13: Holmes Elementary School Chorus, Directed by Angela Lindroth  

Thursday, Dec. 14:  Darien High School Brass and Woodwind Ensembles, Directed by Jonathan Grauer  

Friday, Dec. 15:  The Darien High School Tudor Singers, Directed by Christopher Andrade  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Darien Schools Concert Calendar for December 2017!

Darien Schools Announce December Concert Schedule

The Darien Public School Music Department would like to announce their schedule of upcoming holiday winter concert programs for the month of December. The concerts will feature nearly 2,000 Band Chorus and Orchestra students performing in 10 concert programs throughout the district. There is no charge for any of the winter concerts. The schedule of concerts is as follows:

December 4       MMS Grade 6&7 Winter Chorus Concert                         6:30 p.m.             DHS 
December 4       MMS Grade 8 Chorus and Camerata Concert                   8:00 p.m.             DHS
December 5       Royle Holiday Concert                                                      9:15 a.m.              Royle 
December 6       MMS Grade 6, 7, 8 Orchestras Winter Concert                7:00 p.m.              DHS 
December 7       MMS Grade 6, 7, 8  Bands Winter Concert                      7:00 p.m.               DHS 
December 8       Hindley Holiday Concert                                                   9:30 a.m.              Hindley 
December 11     Tokeneke Holiday Concert                                                 9:30 a.m.             Tokeneke
December 12     Holmes Holiday Concert                                                    9:30 a.m.              Holmes 
December 13     Darien HS Holiday Spectrum Concert                               7:00 p.m.             DHS 
December 14     Ox Ridge Holiday Concert                                                  9:45 a.m.            Ox Ridge 

For more Music Department information go to: or sign on to the Music Department Blog at:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DHS Band Students Perform at ASBDA Honors Band Festival!

On Monday, November 13, six of our Darien High School Band students performed at the annual ASBDA (American School band Directors Association) Connecticut High School Honors Band Festival held at Maloney High School in Meriden, CT. The festival featured students from 15 high schools from throughout the state in both a Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble conducted by guest conductors Michael Breaux from NYU, and Gerald Dolan of Gordon College.  Oboist, Alex Wang performed in the Wind Ensemble and performing in the Symphonic Band from Darien HS were: Audrey Hagen, bass clarinet, Veronica Mejias and Brooke Laird, trumpet, Madison Pomeroy, trombone and Jacob Won, clarinet. Jonathan Grauer is the Darien High School Band Director and ASBDA member.  Congratulations to all of our student musicians!

Pictured L-R: Audrey Hagan, Alex Wang, Veronica Mejias, Brooke Laird, Madison Pomeroy and Jacob Won.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

DHS Tudor Singers, Concert Choir and MMS Grade 8 Chorus Present Fall Concert!

The Darien High School Choruses directed by Christopher Andrade joined forces with the MMS Grade 8 Chorus, directed by Kimberly Sadler and Thomas O'Donnell to present an evening of  choral music on Wednesday, November 1. The concert featured each ensemble performing a varied repertoire of musical selections and concluded with approximately 230 students in a performance of  "Kalinka" a Russian traditional folk song. Pictured above, DHS student, Caeleigh O'Connor accompanies the combined choruses with her accordian to provide a more authentic Russian sound.

Hear the concert finale "Kalinka" at the link below

Monday, October 30, 2017

DHS and MMS Orchestras Perform with Jazz Violinist Christian Howes!!

The Darien High School Orchestra joined forces with the MMS grade 8 Orchestra on Saturday evening in a concert featuring acclaimed jazz violinist Christian Howes. Pictured above, Jane Minnis and Austin Scelzo each conducted  various string ensembles while Christian Howes performed. Approximately 140 string students participated.

Friday, October 27, 2017

DHS Band Night Concert Includes MMS Grade 8 Band Students!

The first concert of the school year featured nearly 180 Band students from the Darien High School and the Middlesex Middle School 8th grade Band in a concert on Thursday, October 26. The concert featured the DHS Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band and our MMS 8th Grade Band. Each ensemble performed individually and then combined forces for a grand finale. The concert included several selections from Russian composers to address the district's Russian Music theme this year. Jonathan Grauer is the Director of Bands at Darien High School and James Carter is the Director of the MMS Grade 8 Band.

Upcoming concerts include the DHS Orchestra Concert, featuring acclaimed jazz violinist Christian Howes, this Saturday, October 28 and the DHS Chorus Night Concert on Wednesday, November 1. Both performances begin at 7:00 p.m. in the DHS auditorium and will also feature guest performances from our 8th grade musicians.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ox Ridge Orchestra Students Use Chromebooks to Replace Sheet Music

Students in the Ox Ridge Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Dylan Spielvogel, have been rehearsing their orchestra music without using the traditional paper sheet music and have been using their chromebooks to read and store their music instead. Mr. Spielvogel started using the chromebooks at the beginning of the school year and said that the new method of reading the music alleviates the lost or damaged paper copies and, as long as the students bring their chromebooks to class, they have all of their music. Mr. Spielvogel plans to be the first musical ensemble in our district to use the chromebooks on a concert program. The Ox Ridge Winter Concert is scheduled for Thursday, December 14th at Ox Ridge School.

Friday, September 22, 2017

District Music Teachers Prepare to Teach “The Music of Russia!”

 In order to prepare the teachers for the Darien Public Schools’ Music Department Curricular Focus Theme on the Music of Russia, the music teachers were engaged in a Professional Development workshop on August 29 with members from the Barynya Russian Music ensemble.  The music teachers learned about the origins and stories behind Russian Folk songs, unique musical instruments, language and performance practices so that they can design lessons and programs for their students.

Music for Youth Leonard Bernstein Contests!!

The Darien Music for Youth organization has announced their annual poster, writing and music composition contests for students in grades K-...