• Monthly Arts Update

  • Arts - December 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 12/1/2023

    December Arts Schedule

    Dec. 1: Ingleside MS Fine Arts Night, 5 p.m.
    Dec. 5: Tonalea MS & Coronado HS Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m., Coronado HS
    Dec. 7: Cocopah MS Winter Choir Concert, 6 p.m., Auditorium, Chaparral HS
    Dec. 7: Desert Canyon MS Band & Orchestra Winter Concert, 6 p.m., Cafeteria
    Dec. 7: Saguaro HS Dance Concert, 6:30 p.m., Auditorium
    Dec. 8: Desert Canyon MS/Mountainside MS/Desert Mountain HS Combined Winter Choir Concert, 5 p.m., Desert Mountain HS Auditorium
    Dec. 12: Saguaro HS Choir Winter Concert, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Dec. 12: Chaparral HS Choir Winter Concert, 7 p.m., Auditorium
    Dec. 13: Saguaro HS Band Winter Concert, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Dec. 13: Desert Canyon ES 4th/5th Grade Choir Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m., DCMS Stage
    Dec. 14: Anasazi ES 3rd/4th/5th Grade Choir Winter Concert, 5:30 p.m., Cafeteria
    Dec. 14: Saguaro HS Orchestra Winter Concert, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Dec. 18: Cocopah MS/Chaparral HS Orchestras Winter Concert, 6 p.m., Chaparral HS Auditorium
    Dec. 19: Ingleside MS Winter Choir Concert, 6 p.m., Arcadia HS Auditorium
    Dec. 20: Anasazi ES/Laguna ES/Mountainside MS Orchestra Concert, 5 p.m., Mountainside MS Cafeteria
    Dec. 20: Desert Canyon MS Choir Caroling, 6 p.m., McDowell Mountain Ranch neighborhoods
    Dec. 20: Desert Canyon MS Theatre Arts, “The Princess and the Pirates,” 6:30 p.m., DCMS Cafetorium

    Marching Band Festival
    It was a wonderful evening on November 7 as SUSD’s high school Marching Bands took over the football field at Chaparral High School to perform for parents and the community.  The evening started with the trumpets from all five high schools playing the National Anthem together, then each school took to the field to present a performance of their just-concluded competitive season.

    Our marching bands have had an amazing season, with Coronado and Saguaro performances at the November 11 AzMBA Championship. Desert Mountain finished the season by submitting a recorded performance of its Metallica show into national competition (please vote for our Wolves at https://www.metallicamarchingband.com/submissions/high-school#content!). Chaparral rounded out its season with a great AzMBA Championships performance and a top 7 spot at the ABODA Championships a week later.

    Once again, our Arcadia High School Marching Titans are state champions in both the AzMBA and ABODA circuits.  Congratulations to these incredible young musicians and their leader Daniel Fischer for putting in the hard work that began last summer to compete at the highest level possible.

    Huge congratulations to all of our marching band students and outstanding directors and instructors on an outstanding season.  BRAVO! #SUSDPROUD

    Arizona Thespians Festival

    Each November, our aspiring high school thespians attend the Phoenix Arizona Thespians Festival to compete, take part in clinics, attend performances and work on building their skill sets in acting, tech theatre, playwriting, musical theatre and much more.  It is a two-day, power-packed event that supports students’ theatrical growth and passion.

    This year’s festival found SUSD with two, top-tier finishes. The Chaparral High School Tech team took 2nd place in the Tech Challenge and Desert Mountain senior Layla Gregory won the Jerome McDonough Award for the best original stage play, I’m Not the Main Character. Layla’s 10-minute work was among three finalists chosen from among dozens of statewide entries.  The top three writers worked with professional theatrical directors to perfect their works and each was performed as a live reading.


    Wolves Headed Across the Pond Again!
    On November 9, the Desert Mountain High School marching band, choir and orchestra received were formally invited by the former Lord Mayor of Westminster to perform in the 2025 London, England, New Year’s Day Parade, Choral Festival and Orchestra Festival.  Although the event is more than a year away, the process of preparing for these wonderful events starts now.  Students will spend nine days in London competing, marching and performing in some of the British capital’s most historic locations.  It will be the Wolves’ sixth time taking part in the event.  More than 70 entries from around the world are invited to march each year.  Desert Mountain last went in 2018.  Parade founder Bob Bone says American high school marching bands are always a crowd favorite.  Of course, they are!

    Canal Convergence 
    Each year, the city of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Arts work together to put on a nine-day art experience along downtown Scottsdale’s canal.  For the Canal Convergence event, they bring in outstanding artists from all over the world to present their art and work with our students.  This year, Blaise Danio, a Los Angeles- and Phoenix-based artist, worked with Ileyna Witenstein’s Coronado High School visual art students on a public art project. Danio is known for using abstract landscape murals and bright, soothing color. Our Dons artists took that to heart with their artistic dumpster creation.

    This was not the end of the opportunities for SUSD students: the entire 3rd grade at Navajo Elementary School was able to have a residency with Louisiana artist Lindsay Glatz, who is known for her connections of water, color and light.  The Buffaloes’ artist-in-residence experience was to learn from Glatz about the science of rainbows and create their own rainbows after learning about prisms, light, and the way different colors reflect and refract. 

    Shemer Arizona Arts Festival
    Members of Arcadia High School’s National Arts Honor Society brought their talents to the street, literally, for the Nov. 4-5 Shemer Art Center fall festival.  Two teams each designed a sidewalk square and must execute that design for an exhibit on Sunday.  The festival happens while the students are creating their sidewalk chalk designs.  Congratulations to these wonderful students for sharing their talents with the community. 
    Photos: Darryl Webb, Shemer Art Center 

    First-Ever Middle School/High School Choral Festival
    On November 20th, all of SUSD’s middle school and high school came together at Coronado High School to perform not only as separate ensembles, but as part of a more than 500 “super choir” to close out the festival with the beautiful “Why We Sing.”  The beautiful voices that filled the Auditorium brought the chaperones and teachers in attendance to tears.  Congratulations to all of our wonderful vocalists and their teachers for a fantastic first festival. #BecauseKids 

    Takin’ It to the Streets … in Fountain Hills!
    Congratulations to the Desert Canyon Middle School band on its amazing performance at the Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Day Parade last week.  We’re sure their families kept their holiday dinners on hold while the Mountain Lions shared their talents with the residents of our neighbors to the east!

    And as if all of the above was not enough to squeeze into 30 days, the month of November was filled with other wonderful performances: The Brother’s Grimm by the Coronado HS Theatre program, Veterans Day performances at multiple elementary schools, an improv show at Saguaro HS, and a dance performance at Coronado HS. December looks to be its equal!  

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Arts – November 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 11/1/2023

    Nov. 1-2-3: Coronado HS Drama Dons present The Brothers’ Grimm Spectaculathon, all 209 of the Grimms’ stories in 90 minutes, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Nov. 1-2-3: Desert Mountain HS Theatre presents Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 7 p.m., Auditorium
    Nov. 3: Ingleside MS Choir/Band/Orchestra present the premiere of “Holocaust Through the Arts,” musical piece dedicated to Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch, 6 p.m., Chaparral HS Auditorium
    Nov. 4: Arcadia HS art students design and create chalk art sidewalk square, 10 a.m., Shemer Arizona Arts Festival, 5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
    Nov. 7: SUSD Marching Band Invitational, 6 p.m., Chaparral HS Stadium
    Nov. 8: Sequoya ES 1st grade, Veterans Day patriotic performance, 9 a.m., Cafeteria
    Nov. 9: Desert Canyon ES Kindergarten & 1st grade, Veterans Day program, 9:30 a.m., Desert Canyon MS Auditorium
    Nov. 9: Pueblo ES 1st grade, Veterans Day program, 2:30 p.m., Amphitheater
    Nov. 16: Saguaro HS Improv Show, 6 p.m., Black Box Theatre
    Nov. 16-17: Desert Mountain HS Coffee House, 7 p.m., Auditorium  
    Nov. 17: Coronado HS Fall Dance Concert, 6:30 p.m., Auditorium
    Nov. 20:
    SUSD Middle School/High School Choral Festival, 12 p.m., Coronado HS Auditorium
    Nov. 23: Desert Canyon MS Band marches in Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Day Parade, 9:30 a.m., Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills

    It has been a busy month of school concerts, coffee house performances and marching band competitions.  Please check the calendar of events above to see what great performances are coming up this month!

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Annual Canal Convergence, Nov. 3-12

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 11/1/2023

    You are going to want to mark your calendars to attend the Scottsdale Arts Canal Convergence on November 3-12 at the Scottsdale Waterfront!

    Through SUSD’s partnership with Scottsdale Arts, SUSD students are enjoying 2 artist residencies. Coronado High School Visual Arts students are currently working on container painting that will be displayed at the event.  The Coronado students are working with artist Blaise Danio, who is an international muralist and designer.

    During the first week of the Canal Convergence, 3rd grade students of Navajo Elementary School will receive a rainbow workshop with Lindsay Glatz, creative director of the New Orleans Art Council.  Her artist journey centers around creativity and technology.  Navajo students will learn the connection between water and light and create their own rainbows after learning about prisms and light and color reflecting and refracting.

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Marching Band

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 11/1/2023

    Our high school marching bands are in heavy competition as we approach the end of their competitive season.  Bands are performing to secure their spot in upcoming state competitions on Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.  You can get a sneak peek of the shows they plan to perform in the AZMBA and ABODA contests at SUSD’s annual Marching Band Exhibition at Chaparral High School on November 7.  All five of our high school marching bands will participate.  Trumpet players representing all five bands will open the evening with a performance of our National Anthem.  The event is free, and everyone is welcome! Concessions will be available for purchase to support the event’s hosts, the Chaparral Band program and boosters.      

    Read more at The SUSD Source


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  • Dancing With the Universe

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 11/1/2023

    In coordination with SUSD’s Native American Education office and Scottsdale Arts, we were able to bring two engaging assemblies to Laguna and Pima Elementary schools last month.  Students learned about Arizona’s Native American culture and were wowed by the incredible ring dancing, music and history of these amazing artists.

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • High School Coffee Houses

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 11/1/2023

    Chaparral, Coronado and Saguaro all produced annual coffee house events in October.  The wonderful thing about this SUSD tradition is the opportunity to see a high school’s performing arts students all on one stage in solo acts, group acts and in different areas than the ones they study in the classroom setting.  The students work hard on their auditions and preparations for these performances.  If you have not been to a coffee house performance, you really should try to check one out next fall – they are worth every minute! 

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Arts - October 2023

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 10/1/2023

    Oct. 4: Mountainside MS 6th Grade Band Concert, 7 p.m., Mini-Auditorium
    Oct. 5: Mountainside MS 7th & 8th Grade Band Concert, 7 p.m., Mini-Auditorium
    Oct. 5: Saguaro HS Theatre Improv Show, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Oct. 18-19: Coronado HS Performing Arts Coffee House variety show, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Oct. 18-19-20: Saguaro HS Coffee House variety show, 6:30 p.m., Auditorium
    Oct. 18-19-20: Chaparral HS Coffee House variety show, 7 p.m., Auditorium 
    Oct 24: Mountainside MS Fall Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m., Cafeteria
    Oct. 25: Saguaro HS Band Fall Concert, 6 p.m., Auditorium
    Oct. 27-28: Saguaro HS Theatre/Choir “Spooktacular” Halloween Haunted Trail, 6-9 p.m., Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
    Oct. 28: Desert Canyon ES 4th/5th grade choir performs the National Anthem, 6 p.m., U.S. Equestrian Federation event, WestWorld 

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  • Arts Partners Train SUSD Educators

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 10/1/2023

    The Kennedy Center and Scottsdale Arts provided professional development for Laguna and Navajo Elementary teachers following students’ early release day on September 27.   As you may know, these two SUSD schools go beyond their Cognia STEM certifications and embrace the “A” in STEAM, which stands for Arts.

    The Arts Integration session and classroom demonstrations centered on how to connect science and art.  In the “The Many Ways to Move Through the Science Curriculum,” teachers learned how to facilitate kinesthetic movement and locomotor skills to build depth of learning on topics, such as the water cycle and cloud formations, to name a few. 

    Harlan Brownlee, who has worked in arts education for 39 years and is a trained dancer and choreographer, led the training.  He shows educators how using choreography in the classroom results in students’ taking ownership of the curriculum and helps build stronger understanding of science and literacy.

    Sixty-seven SUSD educators descended on the Innovation Center at Saguaro High School for the professional development session.  Their passion for teaching and openness to exploring and taking risks to help their students feel more academically empowered was wonderful to observe. Bravo, Laguna and Navajo teachers, for your continued energy and professionalism in providing world-class, future-focused learning for SUSD students!

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • High School Theatre

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 10/1/2023

    The high school theatre season kicked off last month!

    The Queen of Hearts, the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat were all to be found on the Saguaro High School stage last week in a production loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, called Something Wicked in Wonderland.  Penned by Class of 2023 Sabercat Spencer Wareing (seen sitting on the Queen’s throne), the now-freshman at Southeast Missouri State University was on hand for the closing performance and had high praise for the cast, crew and director, Dr. Tim McCandless. The show’s poster was designed by junior Kingston Grant, a student in Matt Bohnert’s Graphic Design & Advertising Art II class and part of SUSD’s 16 CTE career pathways(Photo: Laney Olson)

    Arthur Miller's classic, The Crucible, was presented at Chaparral High School to more than 600 audience members with tremendous praise and success. From the lighting design, intricate set details and passionate acting, The Crucible was the perfect way to kick off the theatre season. For more information regarding upcoming performances, please visit chaparraltheatre.com(Photos: Elana Kutz)

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Arts - September 2023 Events

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 9/2/2023

    Sept. 21-22-23:
    Chaparral HS Theatre production, The Crucible, 7 p.m. | Auditorium | Ages 13+

    Sept. 27-28 & Sept. 30: 
    Saguaro HS Theatre production, Something Wicked in Wonderland, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
    Sept. 27-28 | 6:30 p.m. | Auditorium
    Sept. 30 | 11:00 a.m. | Auditorium

    Sept. 28: 
    Desert Canyon MS Band & Orchestra Concert, 6 p.m. | Cafeteria

    Sept. 28: 
    Chaparral HS Fall Choir Concert, 7 p.m. | Auditorium


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