Summer News: August 7, 2016

  • Many spots still open for registration volunteers beginning on Tuesday (Aug. 9-12)
    • High school students are encouraged to sign up if your schedule allows; it is a wonderful opportunity to welcome our students and parents back!
    • Parents make sure to stop by the registration tables and drop off forms, make the DSAO family contribution, get information, and ask questions!
  • Wombat weekend updates
    • Please note: the update last week had September 1 as the first day on the Power of Attorney; the new forms are up, with the new begin date of August 27 which therefore includes Wombat Weekend.  If the forms have already been completed, please change the begin date to August 27 and initial the change. Our apologies for any inconvenience.
  •  Dr. Lasansky has changed the audition dates to  9/6-9/9 in order not to spoil Wombat Weekend!
  • 2016-2017 performance schedule at end
  • The orchestra has an opening for a festivals coordinator and a media/publicity coordinator. Other volunteer positions are also available for 2016-2017. Thank you for all that you do!

To-Do Week of August 7

Aug. 9-12: Registration Volunteers Needed.

Save the Date!

  • Weekend of Aug. 27-28: Wombat Weekend-For all middle and high school students!
  • Sept. 6-9: Auditions
    • Middle School: Same requirements as entrance auditions:  major scale, minor scale, chromatic scale, solo piece and sight reading
    • High School: Same as Western States (Click Here)
  •  Friday, Sept. 16: High School Western State Auditions Due (Click Here)
  •  Saturday, Sept. 17, 4p (Gala starts at 5:30p): High school orchestra students are required to perform for the annual DSA Fall Gala.  Please arrive by 4p in concert attire.

Upcoming Events

  • Please click here for the 2016-2017 schedule (the full schedule is also at the bottom of the newsletter).  As events get closer they will be displayed in this section.  Please check this space for any revisions as the year gets closer.

      Registration Days August 9-12

During Registration August 9-12, DSAO will staff a table to assist families with general questions, collect student fees, and sign-up with the Orchestra Family Association to volunteer with various activities during the year. We need help during Registration, so please see the sign-up sheet (Click Here) to find times you are able to assist (students and parents are welcome to apply!). Thank you for helping to ensure a smooth registration period!

Wombat Weekend  
August 27 and 28, 2016
Chatfield State Park
DSA Orchestra Tradition
Strongly Recommended!

At the beginning of each school year, the DSA Orchestra sponsors a weekend retreat called “Wombat Weekend”.  The weekend is designed for students to gather together to get reacquainted with one another, and to welcome new students into the group for all to get to know each other better, and to do some team building.  This is also a great way for middle and high school students to get to know each other.  It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that every student attends at least part of Wombat Weekend.

This year, Wombat weekend is Saturday August 27-Sunday August 28, with arrival at Chatfield State Park at 1pm Saturday (some will be meeting at DSA earlier to carpool) and departure Sunday at 12.  If you cannot stay the night, please come for the activities on Saturday – stay for as much as you can.  You are important to the orchestra, and your presence is important to us.  We also couldn’t do this without wonderful volunteers.  Parents, please consider volunteering for this amazing weekend.

Complete Forms for off-campus activities

Please note the Power of Attorney and Consent for Emergency Care forms, and a copy of the medical insurance card must be completed and turned in for each student before they can attend Wombat Weekend or any off-campus overnight trip/event, even those events where parents are in attendance.  The Power of Attorney form requires both parents to sign and is required to be notarized. You may find a notary at your local bank, or you may contact either Tracy Holt in the main office or Linda Vliet in the counseling office and ask if they can notarize for you.  Both parents must be present to sign if not already completed. Please date both forms for the entire school year so you only have to do this once.  Otherwise you have to complete both for all trips/events.  These forms are available on the DSAO website  (Click Here).  Please print, complete, have notarized and bring with you to the orchestra table during the week of school registration.  If we do not have forms turned in by 8:00 Wednesday, August 24th, students will NOT be allowed to attend Wombat.  As you can imagine, there is a lot or organization involved in putting together a trip like this and we have to have deadlines.

For students who have medical conditions or who take medications (including over the counter medications), you need to contact the school nurse for the current school year forms for the trip (Please see forms link on website for these forms).  

RSVP:  We need to have a count of you is planning on attending Wombat, and for what duration.  Please email Terrie Tyree (DSAO Assistant) ( asap with your students name, grade and if he/she will be attending, and if it will be overnight or for a partial day on Saturday.

Thank you!

 2016-2017 DSAO Volunteer Positions

Please take a look at the sign-up for 2016-2017  and reply to this email if you have any questions about roles and responsibilities.

2016-2017 Concert Ushers

This is a great way to meet and greet Orchestra concert attendees-many of them orchestra families but also people who are new to DSAO performances. Once signed up (CLICK HERE), you will be on a contact list for our House Manager Julie Padilla to coordinate availability for each concert.

2016-2017 Fundraising

In addition to the auction opportunities, there are many ways big and small to assist DSAO, and we have great fundraising opportunities that only take a bit of time but have a big impact. Please reply to this email if you wish to assist with fundraising.

No contribution is too small.  Every minute of volunteer time is valuable and appreciated.


I don’t know many people who enjoy auditions. However they are used frequently in the performing arts world.   The good news is that the more experience you can get by taking auditions the easier the process  becomes.

I wanted to give you some advice. I’m thinking mainly of the 9th graders who are coming into Advanced Orchestra, since this may be your first time preparing orchestral excerpts (Western States material). The important thing is to make sure you have a very good concept of the piece (movement) the excerpt is taken from. You can’t be very musical when you play if you don’t have this knowledge. Please listen to (at least) the movement your excerpt is taken from (a bunch of times!) so you understand the mood, the tempo, and how the part “fits in”.

I want to emphasize musicality as a crucial element in evaluations this year. This means playing with feeling, phrasing, dynamics, color and having some knowledge of the pieces and the composers.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Lasansky

For those of you who want to get started with next fall’s seating auditions.

High School: Western States audition music

Middle School:

Follow the same requirements as the entrance auditions (Click Here):

  1. A classical solo of your choice (must demonstrate technical and lyrical playing)
  2. A major scale, a minor scale and a chromatic scale
  3. Sight- reading

Master Mentor/Visiting Artist Program

The school year is fast approaching and we wanted to remind you about the $350 fee,  per family,  for our Master Mentors program.  This is an expectation for all DSAO families.

For all of our new members of DSAO: we use this money throughout the year  to bring in a whole team of outstanding musicians to work with DSAO students. These mentors work with individual sections, coach chamber music, and sometimes work one on one with students. This  aspect of the  DSAO program is one of the main things that set us apart from other school orchestra programs and help us achieve the excellence we are accustomed to.

Contributions can be made by check or through the DSA Friends Foundation at  If you can’t make the payment all at once, please do so in monthly installments.   Please make checks payable to DSA Friends Foundation, and put “Orchestra family contribution” or “master mentor” in the memo line.
This is also a fantastic way for family and friends to support your student! Please pass along the website link to those you know are interested in supporting our programs.

For further information, please visit the OFA Fundraising website.


Friday 10/7 Orchestra Concert 7:00 PM  Concert Hall
Sat. 10/8 Orchestra Concert 3:00 PM Concert Hall

Thursday  11/17 Chamber Music Concert 7:00 PM Concert Hall

Saturday 12/10  Orchestra Concert  7:00 PM Concert Hall
Sunday 12/11 Orchestra Concert 3:00 PM Concert Hall

Saturday 1/21  Full Orchestra Concert 7:00pm Concert Hall
Sunday 1/22   Full Orchestra Concert 3:00pm Concert Hall

Friday March 3 7p  L’Histoire du Soldat Concert Hall
Saturday March 4 3p and 7p   L’Histoire du Soldat  Concert Hall

Friday 3/10 Orchestra  Concert 7:00 PM Concert Hall
Saturday  3/11 Orchestra Concert 3:00 PM Concert Hall

Friday 4/28    Chamber Concert 7:00 PM  Concert Hall

Friday  5/12     Disney/Pops Orchestra  Concert 7:00 PM  Concert Hall
Sat.     5/13   Disney/Pops Orchestra Concert  7:00 PM  Concert Hall
Sunday 5/14   Disney/Pops Orchestra Concert  3:00 PM  Concert Hall