ThunderRidge Elementary Instrumental Music
About the Instructors/Admin
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, originally in the Rock Canyon in 2009, 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 in 2010, won the Macaroni Kids Best Music Lessons Award in 2014, expanded to include the Ponderosa, Mountain Vista and ThunderRidge areas in 2016, and won the Macaroni Kids Best Music lessons Award in 2016 and again in 2019. 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.
Mr. Henning holds a bachelor's degree in double bass performance, and a master's in orchestral conducting, both from Northwestern University. He led the orchestra and bands at Loyola University, Chicago, for 10 years, and conducted musical theatre pit orchestras for 18 productions over an 8-year period. A few favorite productions were Chicago, Damn Yankees, Les Miserables, The Mikado, and Cabaret. Having grown up in Denver, Mr. Henning moved back from his 30-year adventure in Chicago three years ago and joined the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra's bass section in January of 2019. Mr. Henning has two grown sons who are busy pursuing music careers of their own. He has also been running his own piano tuning business for 20 years and has been a Navy Reservist for the past 17 years as an aviation mechanic.
Ms. Kopatich is excited to teach orchestra this year at Eldorado and Summit View Elementary Schools! She is a native of Colorado and a retired Jefferson County music educator. She has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Colorado State University and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance/pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She started the violin and the piano in the 3rd grade. She also loves to sing. She sang in Opera Colorado's Chorus for 20 years. Ms. Kopatich is looking forward to making music together.
Mr. Letts grew up in a musical family. He continued that tradition with his daughters, who both learned cello and piano and became accomplished vocalists. Mr. Letts has a Bachelor's in Music Education and decades of experience in: education, music production, conducting, studio work, and performance. His graduate degree is related to adolescent development. When Mr. Letts was in 5th Grade, his Band Teacher handed him a trombone (they were out of trumpets), so he began to practice the lower brass instruments (trombone, baritone, bass trombone and tuba). By 9th Grade, he was studying with Arthur P. Barnes (Director of Music at Stanford University). Many professional and school-related musical opportunities followed. I LOVE music...all kinds of music, and all kinds of instruments! And I LOVE working with young musicians. We've so much to learn, and do, and play. I started playing upright bass just for the fun of it. Stringed instruments are AWESOME. They make beautiful music. The wood is rich and wonderful. I can't start waiting to create music together with TBE musicians!
Mr. Nate has been pursuing versatility since the beginning of his path with music. As a performer, he continues to play both classical and jazz repertoire at the professional level, playing with quintets, big bands, and chorales. Recently, he finished a two year residency at the University of Northern Colorado as a member of the Rooftop Brass - the University's premiere brass quintet. As a teacher, he has been called to clinic bands on repertoire ranging from marching band to solo/chamber to jazz to classical pieces. In addition to joining the TREIM program, he is the brass instructor at the Lesson Studio in Boulder, CO. As a conductor, Mr. Nate has had the privilege to to conduct ensembles such as the UW-Platteville Symphonic Band and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia men's choir, Men of Song. He has held the position of Music Director for two years in Platteville's local chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a nationally recognized music fraternity. Beyond the realm of music, Mr. Nate enjoys a number of different hobbies, including nature photography, cooking, and climbing.
Mr. Sevy loves music education and has a passion for all kinds of music. He studied music education and classical saxophone performance at CU Boulder. After receiving his BME and BM degree, he studied jazz saxophone performance at the University of Louisville, KY, and was the graduate teaching assistant for the Jamie Aebersold School of Jazz. He received his MM degree, and spent a year in Northern Colorado, founding Mountain Time Music School, and teaching at many different school districts in the CO area. Mr. Sevy has been playing saxophone for 15 years now, and has wanted to be a music teacher since the 7th grade! He is very excited to grow a love for music in his students and have a blast playing fun music this year!
Ms. Watkins is excited to be teaching in the TREIM and MVEIM program! She retired from full-time band teaching in the Colorado public schools in 2020, after 31 years. Her Bachelor of Music Education degree is from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, and her Master of Music Education degree is from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to teaching in the TREIM and MVEIM program, Ms. Watkins is the director of the Concert Band for the Colorado Honor Band Association and is on staff with the Heritage High School Scarlet Regiment Marching Band and the Dakota Ridge High School Marching Band as their woodwind coach. Ms. Watkins also maintains a private woodwind lesson studio, and performs as a professional clarinetist in the Denver area. Her website is mariewatkinsmusic.com