About the Instructors/Admin

About Ms. Davidson-Stanfill

Ms. Davidson-Stanfill is a veteran teacher with an expertise in beginning instrumental instruction.  She has been teaching for over 25 years in various combinations of subjects, always including beginning instrumental instruction.  Ms. Davidson-Stanfill started this program, first in the Rock Canyon area eleven years ago, in response to District budget cuts and in response to many people requesting that a band and orchestra program continue.  Her program grew to include the Castle View and Chaparral feeder areas ten years ago, won the Macaroni Kids Best Music Lessons Award in 2014, expanded to include the Ponderosa, Mountain Vista and ThunderRidge areas six years ago, and won the Macaroni Kids Best Music Lesson Award again in 2016.  She is excited to continue her collaboration with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra and to bring a quality program into the ThunderRidge feeder area again this year.  Keeping the opportunity to play an instrument available to our kids is her top priority.

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About Ms. Gilchrist
Ms. Gilchrist is happy to join the Elementary Band and Orchestra Program after retiring as Band & Choir Director at Ranch View Middle School.  Prior to teaching at RVMS, she spent the bulk of her career at Flood Middle School in Englewood, teaching band classes with Mr. Don Shupe.  She also taught Choir, Theater, Guitar, and General Music. Ms. Gilchrist is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, where she was a member of the Cowboy Marching Band, the OSU Concert Band, OSU Wind Ensemble, OSU Symphony, and the President's Woodwind Quintet. Ms. Gilchrist was nominated for Teacher of the Year while at Flood MS, and represented the faculty in Washington D.C. when they won the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award.  She was also the RVMS Apple Award nominee, and was selected for a National Endowment of the Humanities summer program with "Shakespeare at the Mount." Over her teaching career, Ms. Gilchrist has helped bring the SCFD Arts Alliance Grant to her middle school classes three times.  While Band is definitely her passion, she is a strong advocate for what The Arts can do for students.

About Ms. Grachek
Ms. Grachek is the Music Teacher at Trailblazer Elementary, and recently graduated with her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Florida State University.  Ms. Grachek understands the impact an engaging music program has on the development of a well-rounded individual. She wishes to share the supportive environment she was fortunate enough to have through music with a new generation of students!

About Ms. Greenberg
Ms. McKenna Greenberg has over 30 years of experience teaching and performing.  She has a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Rice University Shepherd School of Music.  She performs in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra.  Other performing includes the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, the Houston Ballet Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, the Houston String Quartet, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (Durango), the Tetons Festival Orchestra, and the Elizabeth Trio.  Ms. Greenberg has performed with a wide range of performers, including The Moody Blues, Yanni, The Three Tenors, Linda Ronstadt, Bernadette Peters, Smoky Robinson, Ray Charles, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.  She has two children, three cats, three fish and one hamster!  Kayaking, hiking and yoga are her hobbies.  Her mission is "to nurture a love of music and to help her students develop their skills."

About Mr. Pordesimo
Mr. Pordesimo was born in Hastings, Nebraska, and began playing violin at the age of three through the Suzuki Method.  Over the course of his 23 years of playing and 4 years of teaching, Mr. Pordesimo has studied with various teachers including Celina Boldrey, Kathy Hart, and Robin Walden.  He has played professionally with orchestras such as the Danville Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Symphony Orchestra, and the Denver Pops Orchestra.  Throughout high school, Mr. Pordesimo taught at the summer music program for children in Quincy, Illinois,.  During his time teaching there, he led sectionals to students as well as played in the student orchestra. Mr. Pordesimo was also an All-State Musician for both Mississippi and Illinois all throughout high school.  He studied violin performance at Eastern Illinois University.  Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel and was forced to take a hiatus from Music.  After a couple years of physical therapy, he is now again performing.  Mr. Pordesimo maintains a studio within the Denver area and is the orchestra director for Coyote Creek Elementary, Saddle Ranch Elementary, and North Star Academy.

About Mr. Smith
Mr. Smith is a Colorado musician, composer, teacher, and producer.  He learned to love music from a young age through his father's guitar playing and his mother's singing.  After singing in a children's choir and taking piano lessons, Mr. Smith enrolled in his fifth grade school band program, playing percussion.

Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Music degree with a Concentration in Composition from Metropolitan State University of Denver in May of 2013, and graduated with honors.

Mr. Smith plays in local music groups and enjoys writing a variety of music ranging  from contemporary classical to popular styles.  He currently plays in a variety of rock bands, playing drums, bass, guitar, and singing.  Mr. Smith is also a locally commissioned composer, having written pieces for local high school and community groups.  He has also released two solo albums ranging in style from singer/songwriter to electronic.

Mr. Smith began teaching privately and with local high school groups in 2009 when he began his undergraudate degree. He believes that music is for everyone and that being involved with music can only improve a person's quality of life.
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About Mr. Snell

Mike Snell recently retired from Douglas County Schools after teaching middle school and high school band for 27 years.  During his time in Douglas County, his bands received numerous awards and traveled through the U.S. and Europe.  Mr. Snell has received The Who's Who Among American Teachers distinction five times.  Mr. Snell received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and his Master of Education Degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. 

Currently, Mr. Snell is on staff with the Colorado Honor Band Association, teaching Intermediate Band.  Mr. Snell is also on faculty at Colorado State University, where he teaches Brass Methods in the Music Education Department.  Mr. Snell is also the principal conductor of the Golden Eagle Concert Band, an adult community band.  Mr. Snell is a lifetime member of the Colorado Bandmasters Association.

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About Ms. Wessel

Ms. Wessel began her music career as a tot, and from there...she took music lessons in piano and voice and got involved in theater.  She graduated from CSU in 2003 with a Music Education degree.  Ms. Wessel was the general music teacher at Trailblazer from 2004 - 2016, and currently still teaches band before school and private piano and voice lessons after school out of her home.  She also directs camps and classes through Inspire Creative at the PACE Center.  She still proudly participates in community theater all over Denver, and is a proud wife to Matt and happy Momma to Lydia, Wyatt, and Daphne.

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