Performing Passion

As Del Norte High School grows and develops, its performing arts department has grown too. Teachers focus on fostering dedication and passion along with the fundamentals, and letting students take ownership of their artistic goals. Students have a wide world of opportunities to explore, whether in class or in extracurricular programs. Between plays and musicals, jazz and marching band, choir and music theory, and so much more, there’s a path for every student who wants to find their voice and share it with an audience. Directors and teachers Stephanie DeYoung, Jennifer Kitelinger, and Keith Sattely were eager to share more with 92127 Magazine.

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Q & A with Stephanie DeYoung,
Theater Department Head

cover_deyoungWhat performing arts discipline do you teach in?
I teach theater arts at Del Norte. I am the head of the drama department and direct two of our three main-stage shows. The third is a student-directed, one-act festival.

What is your professional background and what sparked your interest in teaching?
I have been involved in theater since I was five years old and have worked semi-professionally in San Diego community theaters as an actress and production assistant. I pursued my passion at UCSD and got the opportunity to work at the La Jolla Playhouse.

I also attended graduate school at Emerson College in Boston, where I got to work with notable scholars in the field. I decided to get my M.A. in theater education so I could teach high school drama and keep the interest in arts education alive.

What has been the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my role is the opportunity to get to know the students more personally and help them grow as artists. The most challenging part is scheduling. I am a mother of two young children, so sometimes I struggle with the work/life balance.

How has theater at DNHS grown or evolved over the years?
Student anecdotes have led me to believe that the theater department was a tad chaotic until I arrived. I am now in my third year at Del Norte and I have enjoyed strengthening the program and watching it grow.

Can you tell us about any recent performances?
We just finished our fall production of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It was a fun show and was well-received by the audience. It was exciting to watch the audience literally on the edge of their seats as the mystery unfolded.

Are there any upcoming performances the community should look forward to?
Up next is our winter musical: Bye, Bye, Birdie. We will be auditioning right before the Thanksgiving Break and will begin rehearsals right after the break. Our performances will be the first two weekends of February.

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How many performances do you put on a year?
We put on three productions a year. Typically, a play in the fall, a musical in the winter, and a one-act festival in the spring. We have run the gamut from comedy to tragedy in our productions.

Is there any way the community can help support the performing arts at DNHS?
Donations are always greatly appreciated, as we function as a not-for-profit organization. All of the money we make on shows goes directly back into the department, funding the next production. We also have received and appreciate donations of resources for our set (wood, paint, etc.) and costumes. Volunteer help is greatly appreciated as well!

Do you have any favorite memories or experiences from your time at DNHS?
It is really hard to narrow down a favorite memory because I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of my casts and crew. There are little inside jokes that happen within each show and the bonds I get to make with the students are unforgettable.

Anything else you’d like to share? What are your classes currently working on?
I am excited to see how this department will grow in the future. As our productions continue to gain interest, I hope it will get students more interested in taking drama class. Each fall I have had a Drama 1 class and this winter I will be teaching Drama 1 as well as Drama 2-6 and Theatre Studies 7-8. I hope to eventually open up a technical theater class and eventually an AP theater course (which I heard is currently in development).


At-A-Glance Theater Department Head

Name: Stephanie DeYoung
Education: B.A. in Theatre Arts from UCSD, M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College
Community: Carmel Mountain
Hobbies & Interests: Theater, spending time with kids, camping, enjoying the arts
Family: I live with my husband and two boys, ages four and one
Favorite Places in 92127: The Del Norte Performing Arts Center! And Denny’s (where we typically have closing night cast parties after shows).


Q & A with Jennifer Kitelinger,
Director of Instrumental Music

cover_kitelingerWhat performing arts discipline do you teach in?
I am the director of instrumental music at Del Norte High School, teaching band, orchestra, and color guard. The instrumental music program includes marching band, concert band, wind ensemble, two jazz bands, winter drumline, color guard and winter guard, pep band (for basketball games), string orchestra, pit orchestra, and symphony orchestra.

What is your professional background and what sparked your interest in teaching?
I have my Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music degree in wind band conducting from the University of North Texas, and I am currently ABD as a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind band conducting from the University of North Texas. My primary conducting teachers were professor Eugene Migliaro Corporon, professor Dennis Fisher, and Dr. Jack Stamp.

I have taught music at all ages, kindergarten through the graduate school level, and I have found that I truly enjoy teaching music at a more advanced level in the high school and watching high school students discover their passion for music through the band, orchestra, and color guard program. The students really start to come into their own at high school, and watching the transformation of the students from the freshman year to the senior year is always an amazing experience.

What has been the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my job is to see the students become more passionate about music and dedicated to the performing groups and the friends that they make in those groups.
The most challenging part of my job is the amount of time it takes to run a program like this and how much time it takes away from my own family.

Can you tell us about the history of this discipline at DNHS?
I started teaching at Del Norte in the second year of the school in 2010-2011. The school opened up the previous year with a concert band and an orchestra, and because the school was new and small, those programs were small. When I was hired, I was tasked with starting the marching band, which also meant starting a color guard program. Over the years, we developed from a program that numbered around 70 students and two performing groups to over 200 students and 11 performing ensembles.cover_band

Can you tell us about any recent performances?
The marching band and color guard perform and compete every weekend now for seven weeks in the fall from October through November, as well as performing at all home football games (five Fridays this year). They also performed at the Poway Days Parade in September.

The orchestra, combined concert and marching bands, and color guard just had a concert on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The Oak Valley Middle School Orchestra also performed at the concert and combined with the Del Norte High School String Orchestra to perform one selection together.

Are there any upcoming performances the community should look forward to?
We will have a Holiday Extravaganza concert on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Del Norte High School Performing Arts Center featuring the concert band, wind ensemble, jazz band, color guard, string orchestra, and symphonic orchestra.

Also, the marching band has been accepted to perform at Disneyland on Wednesday, Dec. 14, and the orchestra was accepted to perform at California Adventure on Saturday, Dec. 10.

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How many performances do you put on a year?
With 11 performing groups, we have numerous performances throughout the year, which vary greatly based on what ensemble is performing.

The marching band will usually have around 20 performances a year between parades, pep rallies, football games, and competitions.

The concert groups – concert band, wind ensemble, string orchestra, and jazz band – will have three to five performances at Del Norte High School, then two festival performances at other high schools in the spring.

The color guard perform with the marching band in the fall, then will perform in six to eight winter guard competitions from January to April.

The winter drumline will also compete in six to eight competitions from February to April.
The basketball pep band will perform at approximately 10 home basketball games.
The pit orchestra, which is part of the DNHS Musical, will have approximately seven to eight performances in February.

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Is there any way the community can help support the performing arts at DNHS?
Yes! We have amazing kids, most of whom will participate in more than one of the ensembles. Some of the groups are classes, but many of the groups are also extracurricular. The music programs (as well as arts in general) in the district do not receive much funding and the money that is spent to buy instruments, music, equipment, pay for tournament entry fees, and busing has to come from the parent booster groups. If we relied strictly on district budget money, we would have to cut back to two or three performing groups and only perform on campus. The arts are alive at DNHS and we have to find a way to fund this worthwhile endeavor! Can you imagine going through life without music or art?

Do you have any favorite memories or experiences from your time at DNHS?
The marching band won third place in the Marching Band Championships last year (held in Downey, CA) and everyone in the stands was asking, “Who and where is Del Norte High School?” Of the 12 bands that qualified for championships in our division, only three of the bands came from San Diego County. We were known that night as the Band That Came Out of Nowhere, and watching the kids end the night and the marching season with the highest finish in the history of the marching band was so exciting and satisfying.

Anything else you’d like to share? What are your classes currently working on?
The marching band and color guard’s field show this year is called Silk Road and features the music of Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Caravan by Duke Ellington, and “Bacchanale” from Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns.

The orchestra and concert band are just transitioning from a recent concert and will be working on music for the Holiday Extravaganza concert in December.


At-A-Glance Director of Instrumental Music

Name: Jennifer Kitelinger
Education: B.S. in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania; M.M. in wind conducting from University of North Texas; ABD Doctoral Candidate for a DMA in wind conducting from University of North Texas
Community: Carmel Mountain Ranch
Hobbies & Interests: Reading, gardening
Family: Husband – Shannon; daughters – Alexis and Alyssa
Favorite Places in 92127: I just moved up to this area, so I am still exploring. My family really loves the new community that we moved into. I do love to get a meal at Miguel’s when I have some time to sit down and enjoy.


Q & A with with Keith Sattely,
Choir Director

cover_sattelyWhat performing arts discipline do you teach in?
Choir and AP Music Theory.

What is your professional background and what sparked your interest in teaching?
I knew during my own high school choir experiences that I wanted to impact students’ lives the same way mine had been so positively impacted.

What has been the most rewarding part of your role? The most challenging?
Getting to witness the growth and development of each young artist – it’s such a privilege to be a part of their musical and overall development. The most challenging part is balancing my own professional and personal life outside of school with my role as a teacher. I want to give every area of my life my all.

Can you tell us about the history of this discipline at DNHS?
Choir was the last elective added at DNHS – three years after the school opened! It has grown leaps and bounds over the past four years, with four different ensembles rehearsing during the school week.

Are there any upcoming performances the community should look forward to?
In January 2017, the chamber choir will present John Rutter’s “Magnificat” in tandem with the other four high school in PUSD with full orchestra. Also, this March, the DNHS Choir will travel to New York City to sing in Carnegie Hall! Exciting!

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How many performances do you put on a year? What type of productions do you generally put on?
We put on three concerts at the school a trimester. In early November, the choirs presented “How Can I Keep from Singing,” a concert celebrating the power of music to bring people together, celebrate peace, and give us strength through times of adversity.

Is there any way the community can help support the performing arts at DNHS?
Come to our concerts! Donate towards our programs! The choir program is entirely dependent on outside sources of funding.

Do you have any favorite memories or experiences from your time at DNHS?
Last June, the DNHS Choirs presented choral Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral downtown. It was a sublime experience for all involved.


At-A-Glance Choir Director

Name: Keith Sattely
Education: B.M., Rutgers University; M.M., San Diego State University
Community: Bay Park
Hobbies & Interests: Sailing, motorcycling, kickboxing