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Green Valley High School Symphonic Wind Orchestra
Green Valley High School Symphonic Wind Orchestra
Diane Koutsulis is the Director of Bands and Arts Department Chair at Green Valley High School. From Chicago, Diane has been teaching in Las Vegas for 35 years. She received a BA in Music from Western Illinois University. After teaching junior high band in Oswego, Illinois, for three years, she went on to complete the MMEd at Louisiana State University, where she studied with Frank Wickes. During her tenure in Las Vegas, Diane has built fine band programs at both Las Vegas High School (1982-91) and Green Valley High School (1991-present). Her groups have consistently garnered recognition for fine performances and she has served as guest clinician and conductor at various conferences and honor bands throughout the US. Diane was named the 1999 Nevada Teacher of the Year and received the 1999 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. In 2004, the GVHS Symphonic Band performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL. The Green Valley High School Marching Band performed in the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, as well as the 2009 and 1993 Presidential Inaugural Parades. Diane is honored to be a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (ABA).
The Music Department has 7 full time staff members and an enrollment of over 1000 students. The band program includes 3 concert bands, 3 jazz bands, jazz combos, marching band, pep band, and countless chamber groups. The winds also participate in the Symphony Orchestra and musical theatre. The Symphonic Wind Orchestra has performed in Carnegie Hall in 2006 and 2010. Since the opening of the school, the bands have excelled in all areas and have performed at prestigious events throughout the Southwest, and overseas in London, Paris, Rome, Edinburgh, Madrid, and Shanghai. The Marching Band has participated in the 2009 Presidential Inauguration as well as the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Green Valley High School Music Department was named the National Grammy School in 2001, and has been subsequently named a Grammy Signature School.
Sandra Dackow holds three degrees from the Eastman School of Music and currently serves as Music Director of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, of the Hershey Symphony Festival Strings, and of the William Paterson University Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey. An Aspen Conducting fellow, she was awarded the Silver medal in the 2001 Vakhtang Jordania/New Millennium Conducting Competition in Ukraine. Dr. Dackow has published over 115 works for student orchestras and is an author of Alfred’s Orchestra Expressions, Tempo Press’s Expressive Techniques for Orchestra, and Expressive Sight-reading for Orchestra, and a co-author of the MENC (NAfME) Complete String Guide. She has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the US and abroad, including summers at Interlochen, and other music camps. In 1994 she worked with the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra and in 1995 she was granted a Fulbright award to teach in Australia. Sandra Dackow is a former President of the Conductor’ Guild, an international organization serving conductors in 31 countries. In 2009 she was elected a Lowell Mason Fellow by MENC: The Association for Music Education, (NAfME) as well as awarded the Bruno Walter Best Conductor Prize by the Master Academy International Competition in Switzerland. The Hershey Symphony Festival Strings is an 80-member string orchestra comprised of middle school students living in the greater Harrisburg/Hershey areas. The ensemble gathers for a few rehearsals, culminating with a concert performance. Membership in the orchestra is open to all area string players in grades six through nine upon the recommendation of school or private music teachers. All students are accepted without audition. All students must be members of their school orchestra, although Festival Strings also services many students in home school, or schools without string programs. High school students who are graduates of the program may return to serve as rehearsal assistants, gaining valuable mentoring experience. During the past twenty four years, Festival Strings has been selected through audition to perform four times for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference and four times for the Eastern Division Music Educators National Conference. In 2004 Festival Strings made their first appearance at the MENC National Conference in Minneapolis, and performed again for them in April of 2006 in Salt Lake City. Festival Strings performed for the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December of 2006. In the spring of 2008 the orchestra was in Albuquerque for the American String Teachers Association national convention. The orchestra has also performed for the MENC Eastern Division, and for the state Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. Festival Strings is recognized for setting a national standard for performance excellence and is unique in its scope and offerings. The Hershey Symphony, which will celebrate it's 50th season in 2019-20, is comprised of musicians who voluntarily give of their time and talent for the purpose of creating a rich cultural experience for the people of the greater Central Pennsylvania region. It is one of the largest volunteer community based orchestras in the nation. The eighty-plus members area unique group of people who range in age from teenagers to senior citizens, with equally diverse occupations that include doctors, scientists, teachers, homemakers, students and college professors. Since 1991 the Symphony has been under the direction of Dr. Sandra Dackow, an award winning conductor and arranger. The Symphony rehearses weekly, and performs a subscription series at the historic Hershey Theatre, and a summer season that includes free outdoor pops music. The over-riding theme that unites the musicians is a love of music and a desire to share their musical gifts with others. The Hershey Symphony repertoire includes music from all periods and styles, classical to jazz, Baroque to contemporary, big band to Broadway, exposing both musicians and audiences to a wide variety of musical literature. Local musicians and musical organizations are often featured as soloists. In addition to the concert season, the Symphony's outreach includes the Young Artists Competition, the Shall We Dance benefit gala, The Hershey Symphony Big Band, and two youth orchestras, Festival Strings, for middle school strings, and Powerhouse Strings for elementary students. Festival Strings is a nationally recognized youth orchestra, having been invited to perform multiple times for the National Association for Music Education, at conferences in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburg; for the American String Teachers Association in Albuquerque, and for the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, as well as the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. Festival Strings is recognized for setting a national standard for performance excellence and is unique in its scope and offerings.