Denny International Middle School offers three levels of concert band (beginning, junior, and senior band). Students are assigned to a band class based on either the recommendation of their elementary music instructor or by a playing test at the end of the school year. All three bands focus on developing music reading ability, repertoire, musical vocabulary, facility, scales, and a good individual and ensemble sound. Throughout the year, marching techniques and repertoire are introduced into the regular activities and curriculum of the band classes with the three classes combining to form the Dolphin Marching Band. The award winning Denny Bands perform extensively throughout the year at school concerts, local and out of state musical festivals, parades, and other community events. The marching band was recently honored with a performance down Main St. Disney – an opportunity that usually goes to high school and college level ensembles.
Denny offers three levels of string orchestra classes (beginning, junior and senior). Students are initially placed into a string class based on the recommendation of their elementary music teacher with brand new music students welcome to join in middle school at the beginning level. The orchestra program at Denny focuses on developing repertoire, proper string technique and bowing, while learning basic music theory and history. The ensembles perform periodically at school functions, community events, and local and out of state music festivals. Orchestra students also periodically have the opportunity to participate in smaller chamber ensembles, quartets, and trios.
STEEL DRUM ENSEMBLE
Denny Middle School is proud to be the only middle school in Seattle with an active steel drum program. Students in our steel drum program work alongside students from Sealth High School to explore the fundamentals of musicianship as they relate to percussion ensemble and to talk about the history of the steel drums and their evolution in Trinidad from slavery to today. The steel drum band performs regularly at school and community events and is also available for private parties, auctions, celebrations, and weddings.
Students learn to read, write, and perform piano music. Activities include in-class discussions and assignments, individual practice time, private piano lessons with the instructor, and weekly class recitals. This course may be taken for more than one semester for additional credit with more challenging music and supplementary materials provided at the more advanced level.
The Award Winning Denny International Middle School Jazz Ensemble meets three days per week after school. Students in this class develop musicianship with an intense focus on developing a uniform section sound, playing in a swing style, understanding musical form, and experimenting with improvisation. The jazz band is open to Denny musicians with one year of experience on a traditional jazz instrument (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, piano, or drum kit). The jazz band performs regularly at school and community events and like the steel drum ensemble is also available for private parties, celebrations, weddings, and other events. Recent appearances of the Denny Jazz Ensemble have included the Disney Music in the Parks Festival in Anaheim California, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow Idaho, the Central Washington University Jazz Festival in Ellensburg WA, and the Heritage Festival in Vancouver WA .
Denny is very proud to be one of only a handful of schools statewide to offer a mariachi program. Funded in part by a grant from Friends of Seattle Mariachi, Denny offers mariachi twice a week as a part of its afterschool program. Denny mariachi participants work closely with a professional mariachi educator who instructs them on the basics of playing the instruments and singing. The mariachi ensemble performs at school and community events, as well as world music and mariachi festivals. While this class is a celebration of Mexican culture, students of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to participate.