Chaparral Elementary Instrumental Music

Macaroni Kids Winner "Best Music Lessons" 2019

About the Instructors

Mr. Forlenza-Bailey

Mr. Forlenza-Bailey is honored and excited for the upcoming school year at Pine Grove and North Star Academy!  His passion for music stemmed from the early age of six, learning piano, and his teaching career started at age thirteen, teaching private lessons. Whether it's been in schools giving masterclasses, clinics, or workshops to band and orchestra students, or just teaching students privately in a music studio, Mr. Bailey offers a gratifying experience learning music. Although new to CHEIM, he's been teaching at programs and studios across the country for fourteen years.

Mr. Bailey received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he taught and tutored low brass at the Shipley School, among many other music studios in the greater Philadelphia area.  After six years of living, performing, and teaching in the area, he relocated to Denver.  Upon graduation recently with his Master's Degree in Music Performance, Mr. Bailey is continuing to expand his studio, teaching responsibilities and performance repertoire in the Front Range of Colorado.

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Ms. Camp

Ms. Camp is a Denver native who began her passion for music in the 4th grade.  It was the guidance and enthusiasm of her first teachers that makes her so devoted to her current work with elementary school children.  Under the early tutelage of Mrs. Riccarda Mooney, a violinist with the Denver Symphony, Ms. Camp's gifts blossomed and led to selection to the Denver City and Colorado Sate Youth Orchestras.  A highlight of her High School years was selection to join America's Youth in Concert, which played in major cities throughout Europe.

Ms. Camp continued her music career at Hope College, where she played in the Orchestra and Symphonette and studied under Mihai Craioveanu, who is internationally recognized with multiple performances at Carnegie Hall.  Since graduating with a teaching degree, Ms. Camp has performed with the Holland Symphony Orchestra and the Brioso String Quartet.  In addition, she has given private lessons to hundreds of students and adults on violin, viola, cello, and piano.  Ms. Camp is also currently an active member of a local praise band.

Ms. Camp is excited to continue instilling a love for music with children in the Parker area  through CHEIM.

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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. 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 Pordesimo 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 Saddle Ranch Elementary, Coyote Creek Elementary, and North Star Academy.

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Mr. Simpson
Mr. Simpson is a graduate of Northwestern and Regis Universities.  He taught general and instrumental music in the Denver Public Schools before joining the Douglas County Elementary Band Program staff. Mr. Simpson is an active professional musician (French Horn), performing for the Colorado Ballet, among many others.

Mr. Wilkinson
Mr. Wilkinson is excited to join the Chaparral Elementary Instrumental Music Program and will be teaching band at Mammoth Heights Elementary in Parker, CO for the 2019-20 school year.  Mr. Wilkinson has been studying and performing with percussion instruments for 39 years.  He currently is the General Music & Choir teacher at Mammoth Heights Elementary and has enjoyed that position for the past 4 years.  Over the past 25 years, Mr. Wilkinson has maintained a private percussion lessons clientele, been involved in Denver area bands and drumlines, and has been performing in our community.  Mr. Wilkinson was awarded the Louis Armstrong Award for Outstanding Jazz Musician for Lewis Palmer High School in 1984 and was a member of the 1991 PAS Collegiate Champion Percussion Ensemble at the University of Utah, his alma mater.  He enjoys everything Colorado including skiing, camping, fishing and traveling with family.

Ms. Wu
Ms. Wu began her violin study at age three, and was chosen to enter a Taiwanese Government-sponsored Music Conservatory at age nine.  In 1996 she joined Colburn Conservatory of Music in California.  In 1997 Ms. Wu moved to Colorado with her parents and began her violin study with the famed Dr. William Starr, the founder of the American Suzuki Organization.  In 1999, she moved her violin study to CU Boulder and received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance.

Ms. Wu has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the University Symphony Orchestra at CU Boulder, the Denver Pops Orchestra, and the Mountain Chamber Music Society.  Throughout Ms. Wu's musical career, she has received numerous prestigious awards which include the Winner of the PYSO Concert Competition in both 1994 and 1995; Winner of the Southwestern Youth Musical Festival in 1995; Regional Music Teacher's National Association Music Competition in 2001; and Winner of the CU College of Music's Concerto Competition in 2002.

Ms. Wu has been trained in the Suzuki Method personally by Dr. William Starr, and has been working with many students of all ages.  She currently resides in Parker, Colorado, with her husband and two adorable kids.