Chaparral Elementary Instrumental Music


About the Instructors


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. 

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Mr. Hamaker

Mr. Hamaker is a veteran Douglas County Schools music teacher with over thirty years of experience teaching Band and Orchestra to young musicians.  He is happy to be teaching Band at Pine Lane and Mammoth Heights.  He loves the outdoors, especially while hiking, camping, running and bike riding!

Mr. Hamaker is committed to seeing the excellent elementary band and orchestra program in Douglas County continue despite the budget cuts that are impacting our schools.  Music is an important element in our lives.  Developing young minds can benefit from all the positive attributes that are nurtured through playing a musical instrument.

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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 Pordesemo 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 Pioneer Elementary, Gold Rush Elementary, and North Star Academy.

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Ms. Seaton

Ms. Seaton holds a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Denver.  Ms. Seaton is a private cello instructor in Highlands Ranch ( and works with cello ensembles (duos, trios, quartets and quintets).  Music for these ensembles is arranged by Ms. Seaton.

Ms. Seaton's background includes working with a private school, Credo Academy, offering orchestra classes, including a mixed variety of instrumentation - flute, violin, cello, piano, and more.  She has also been a Substitute music teacher in Douglas County school district, and a Music Contractor with Anne Paisly Musicians.

Ms. Seaton has participated in a variety of chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras over the last 25+ years, and is presently a member of the Littleton Symphony Orchestra and the 3 Cellos Trio. 

 Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson has taught general and instrumental music in the Denver Public Schools and Brighton School Districts. He is a graduate of Northwestern and Regis Universities.  Mr. Simpson is an active professional musician (French Horn), performing for the Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Game of Thrones, Hans Zimmer tours, and for the Colorado Ballet, among many others.
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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 undergraduate degree.  He believes that music is for everyone and that being involved with music is for everyone and that being involved with music can only improve a person's quality of life.

Mr. Stahl

Mr. Stahl began his musical journey in elementary school studying piano, cello, and percussion.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.  During college, he toured Europe with the U.N.I. Wind Symphony.  Following college, Randy taught elementary, middle school, and high school bands and orchestras for six years, including the last three years in Douglas County.  He taught band and orchestra at Cherry Valley and Franktown Elementaries and band at Legacy Point Elementary, prior to teaching in the CVEIM program for five years, and then coming to the CHEIM program.  He currently teaches lessons to students and adults on band/orchestra instruments, as well as piano.  His active involvement allowed him to work with the Columbine High School marching band and winter percussion.  Randy has performed with various groups, including the Quad-City Wind Ensemble, Colorado Wind Ensemble, and the P.R.O.P's percussion trio.

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Ms. Wire
Ms. Wire is retired as general music teacher for the Douglas County Schools.  This will be her seventh year teaching Orchestra in the CHEIM program.  Previous to this, Ms. Wire taught strings for Springboard and for Cherry Creek School's before and after school program, as well as an Orff based music program in several Montessori Schools throughout the Denver area.
Ms. Wire began cello studies at the age of 8 in her public school program.  She advanced to play with the Los Angeles Junior Philharmonic.  Upon moving to Colorado for high school, she studied with Jurgen DeLemos, retired principal cellist for the Colorado Symphony.  Ms. Wire plays cello with the Parker Symphony in the new PACE arts center and also enjoys teaching private lessons.  Before switching to the Parker Symphony, Ms. Wire was a cellist with the Arapahoe Philharmonic for 17 years.  
Ms. Wire attended the University of Denver on full scholarship, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree.  She also worked to add a certification in the Orff Schulwerk approach.  From Lesley University, Ms. Wire has added a Masters in Curriculum Development using the Creative Arts.
A truly great weekend is time spent with her husband Bob of 35 years and her 2 grandsons.  Round that out with hiking, cooking, and listening to live jazz.

Ms. Wire believes that "A child who adds the study of a musical instrument to their life builds character, finds joy and develops a skill they will have forever."  She feels fortunate to be able to help children along this path. 

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