• Employee Resources
  • Language

Mesa to participate in first ever middle school honor ensemble concert

he Douglas County School District has some promising young musicians at the middle school level. In February those students will be celebrated during the first-ever DCSD Honor Ensemble concert.

“I think they’re going to get to see some of the most outstanding middle school musicians in our District, performing some difficult music,” said Mesa Middle School Band and Orchestra Director Adam VanAlphen who is helping to coordinate the special event on February 6. “I think they are going to be in for a real musical treat.”

DCSD Middle School Honor Strings and Honor Band Concert
When: Saturday, February 6, 2016
Where: Rock Canyon High School Auditorium, 5810 McArthur Ranch Road in Littleton
Band Concert: 5 p.m.
Orchestra Concert: 7 p.m.
DCSD Middle School Honor Ensemble Website

A total of 57 students have been selected for the Concert Band and 41 students for the String Orchestra. Both groups will perform in the Rock Canyon High School auditorium on February 6. 

VanAlphen says he and his colleagues at the other middle schools had discussed pulling together an ensemble concert for years, but this year they were determined to make it a reality.

“We felt that this was something that the District was lacking and it is an opportunity for students that we weren’t providing,” VanAlphen said. “We felt that it was a great time to do it and something that the students would enjoy.”

More than 160 students from the nine middle schools, Renaissance Magnet School and a handful of charter schools auditioned for the honor.

“I tried to get as many of my band and orchestra students to try out, as possible, mostly because, as I told them, overall it is a good experience to audition – to  practice and prepare something and to be in a situation where you’re a bit nervous and you have to do your best,” VanAlphen explained.

He says that narrowing the group of students was not an easy feat.

“It was a lot of auditions to go through in a short period of time, so we all pitched in,” VanAlphen said. “It was a pretty crazy four days. I was doing them during my planning time at work, at home for a few hours each night. We were trying to get these done as soon as possible.”

Now the directors only have three rehearsals to pull all of the musicians together.

“We are relieved that the bulk of the ground work and the auditions are done, so we can focus on the making of the music, which is really the point of what we’re doing,” VanAlphen said.


Mesa participants are:

Rivers Cagle 8th Grade Percussion

Carlee Castillo 8th Grade Alto saxophone

Aspyn Cavanaugh  8th Grade  Clarinet

Lilly DeJong 7th Grade Trumpet

Anna Moser 8th Grade Tenor/Bari saxophone

Ailey Pittman 7th Grade Clarinet

Alexandra Sbarra 8th Grade Percussion

Veronica Tapp 7th Grade Clarinet

Katya Walhof 8th GradeFrench Horn


January 1, 2016 | By jsheets | Category: Mesa Middle School

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.