"THE PRIDE OF ARAPAHOE"
MEET THE STAFF
Shawn D. Funk, Director of Instrumental Music
Mr. Funk has been the Director of Instrumental Music at Arapahoe since the summer/fall of 2011 (adding Orchestra in the fall of 2017). In addition to his instrumental music duties, Mr. Funk is currently the Performing Arts Department Chair and supervises numerous independent study music projects.
Mr. Funk was fortunate to have the opportunity to student teach under Dr. Ed Cannava at Arapahoe High School and Mr. Rimas Vaitaitis at Euclid Middle School in the fall of 2005. He has also studied trombone with Dr. John Wacker and Dr. Don McLaurin at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado.
After graduation from Western State Colorado University, Mr. Funk began his teaching career in the fall of 2006 in Otis Public Schools (Otis, Colorado) where he taught PreK-12th grade music (general, instrumental [band], vocal) and supervised an online Spanish curriculum. Mr. Funk moved back to Centennial and taught general music at Place Middle School in Denver Public Schools during the 2007-08 school year. Mr. Funk transferred to Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences (also in Denver Public Schools) and taught instrumental (band / orchestra) and vocal music from 2008-2011.
In 2010, Mr. Funk graduated from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University with a Master of Music in Music Education. Mr. Funk is a lifelong learner and has plans to pursue his doctorate in music or educational leadership in the future.
Mr. Funk lives in Parker, Colorado with his wife (Amy), daughter (Carsyn), and son (Brecken). They also have two dogs (Morgan and Raina). Mr. Funk enjoys spending time with his family and loves to travel. He enjoys spending time outdoors fly-fishing (and teaching Carsyn and Brecken how to fish) and hiking around the mountains near his family cabin in southwest Colorado.
M.M. in Music Education (2010)
B.A. in Music with Education Emphasis (2006)
Western State Colorado University
(formerly Western State College of Colorado)
Arapahoe High School (2002)
SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT AT ARAPAHOE
Basketball Pep Band
Warrior Marching Band and Color Guard
Winter Percussion and Winter Guard
District Wide Performing Arts Council
Arapahoe Performing Arts PLC
Department Chair Council
LPS District Assistance Team
LPS District Appeals Team
Dustin Arndt, Assistant Director (Head Percussion Instructor / Winter Percussion)
Dustin Arndt has performed all around the world including tours in the United States, Canada and Singapore. Equally at home in a concert hall or a small club, Dustin's greatest attribute is diversity. Playing over 100 gigs a year, Dustin stays busy as a freelance percussionist playing all types of music including Classical, Jazz, Rock, Dixie, Irish, World and many more. Dustin is an in demand Musical Theater Percussionist, specializing in drumset and percussion.
Dustin received his bachelors degree in Percussion Performance from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in 2006. Former teachers include: Mark Foster, Ron Miles, Jeremy Sandoval, Jeff Gust and Paul Romaine.
Working for over fifteen years as a music educator, Dustin is well versed in teaching drumset, mallets, orchestral percussion and world percussion. Dustin has been a featured lecturer at the Metropolitan State College of Denver in the area of marching percussion.
Dustin teaches marching and concert percussion at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, as well as teaching private lessons and directing the award-winning Winter Percussion Ensemble. He also performs several clinics a year throughout Colorado.
Dustin is, or has been, a member of such performing ensembles as The Colorado Wind Ensemble, The New York Street Boys, The Urban Island Steel Band, the LCMA Dixieland Band, and the Tivoli Club Brass Band, as well as performing as a contract player with The Boulder Dinner Theatre, Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, The PACE Center, Performance Now, Inspire Creative and many, many more.
Dustin is a proud Education Endorser for the Vic Firth Company and is
pleased to be a member of the SJC Custom Drums family.
An avid outdoorsman, Dustin spends most of his off time in the mountains of Colorado where he loves fishing and camping with his family and friends. Dustin lives in Castle Rock, CO with his wife Erin, twin daughters Lily and Molly, dog Ripley and one very spoiled cat named Ivan.
Brad Neilson, Assistant Director (Head Marching Instructor)
Brad Neilson has been performing in marching band since his years as a student at Alameda High School. He marched every year at Alameda, marched one year with Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps of Denver, Colorado, and then four years with the DCI finalist Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from Anaheim, California, aging out after the 1992 season.
He has been a Marching and Visual Instructor in the activity since 1997. He started with the Arvada West High School Marching Band and the Wheatridge High School Marching Band, securing CBA State placement medals with the latter. He has also taught with Eaglecrest, Conifer, Air Academy, Broomfield, and Overland. He assisted the last two schools in gaining four 'Most Improved' trophies through the years and helped Broomfield win first place at the Friendship Cup competitions during the 2010 and 2011 competitive seasons.
Brad currently works with the Arapahoe High School Marching Band. He has helped Arapahoe to six finalist performances and three top three placements in his seven seasons there and in those finalist performances, Arapahoe has placed no lower than fourth overall in individual marching. He loves the activity and working with the kids and looks forward to helping them be the best they can be.
In the winter season Brad writes and arranges for an after-school group called the Winter Winds, and attends Metropolitan State University of Denver where he is pursuing a degree in composition.
Jodee Whitehead, Assistant Director (Head Color Guard Instructor / Choreography)
Jodee Whitehead is a Color Guard performer and instructor from Centennial, Colorado. She has graduated from Arapahoe High School, spending her high school career performing with the Arapahoe Band and Winter Guard.
Outside of Arapahoe, she has performed 3 years with the Oracle Performance Ensemble and one year with the world class Color Guard, OpusX.
She attends Arapahoe Community College studying Graphic design and is very excited to start this new journey with the Arapahoe program this year!
Jayne Copland, Flute Section Coach
Jayne Copland has been living and working as a freelance flutist in Colorado for fifteen years. She maintains busy private flute studios in Parker, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch and Denver. She works as flute specialist and section leader coach for Douglas County High School and Mountain Vista High School. Jayne is on the staff of the Colorado Honor Band Association. She gives lessons and conducts sectionals for three bands. She works for DC Downbeat, a beginning band and orchestra program through Douglas County High School and teaches beginning flute. She is section manager for Colorado Wind Ensemble and has been an active member on flute and piccolo for eight years. Prior to moving to Colorado with her family, she served as Adjunct Professor of Flute at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. She is honored to be on the teaching staff for the Arapahoe High School Band Program.
Jeff Craig, Low Brass Section Coach
Jeff Craig is a Colorado native. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance from Colorado State University and his Master’s in Performance from the University of Denver. He is a member of The Denver Brass, Central City Opera Orchestra, Inside the Orchestra, Bone Structure, and Apollo chamber Brass. Jeff also performs with a variety of groups up and down the Front Range, including the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Ballet Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic, Longmont Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Denver Municipal Band, Opera Colorado, and the Colorado Ballet, among others. In addition, Jeff was Principal Trombonist with the Cheyenne Symphony and Boulder’s Dinner Theatre in the 1990s.
In high school, Jeff was undecided about which direction music might take him. He sang in choirs, played in band, and acted in plays. It wasn’t until he was a student at CSU in 1983 that he played with his first orchestra. Jeff’s first meaningful orchestral experience was with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra while studying at CSU. He remembers the FCSO performed Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, and in fact, that notable experience was instrumental in his decision to become a classical trombonist.
Aside from music, Jeff enjoys woodworking, throwing Frisbees for his dog Tango, the occasional game of disc golf, and going on vacations with his wife, Heidi.
Heather Davis, Clarinet Section Coach
Heather Davis has enjoyed a varied career in both performing and teaching. Ms. Davis is active as a chamber musician in Woodwinds Three, performs with the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Denver Municipal Band, and as a Woodwind doubler in the Denver area. Teaching instrumental music from beginning levels through high school in Littleton Public Schools, as well with the Colorado Honor Band and in her private Woodwind studio offers constant variety and lots of delight. Ms. Davis has served as an adjudicator for Solo & Ensemble festivals in the Metro area for many years. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music, Wind Instruments, from the University of Michigan.
Manuel Galvan, Marching Assistant
Manuel is currently a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver pursuing a career in Computer Sciences. Along with being a college student, Manuel continues to play trumpet with Spanish groups around the state.
He is a returning graduate from Arapahoe High School and has spent time with the marching, concert, and winter percussion programs. He played trumpet in the music program for four years and led the marching band program as drum major during his final year. He was able to be a part of the winter percussion program during his final season playing timpani.
Manuel is extremely excited to be a part of the marching band staff this season and have the opportunity to work with the amazing students in the program!
Claudia Graham, Percussion Assistant
Claudia Graham is a graduate of Arapahoe High School herself and performed in the fall marching program and winter percussion program, in both the front ensemble and battery percussion sections, throughout the four years of her high school career.
Since then she has performed with Rise Percussion for three years, competing at a national level with the ensemble, and is a member the front ensemble for The Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps.
She is currently a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver seeking a degree in English with a Secondary Education Licensure with ambitions to teach high school level English.
Claudia is extremely passionate about education and is eager to be on the teaching staff at the program where her love for music was cultivated.
Jeremy Sandoval, Percussion Assistant
A native of Colorado, Jeremy has been involved in the performing and education scene for over 15 years. His degrees in Percussion Performance are from the University of Northern Colorado and East Carolina University in which he has taught both University drumlines and served as a teaching assistant; teaching percussion ensembles and undergraduate applied percussion. Soon after receiving his degrees, Jeremy went on to teach at St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, MN and a few years later, Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO as the Director of Percussion Studies.
Jeremy’s versatility has allowed him to experience several groups and ensembles covering a wide variety of genres such as; professional percussion ensembles, orchestral (Colorado Ballet, Denver Brass), salsa, rock, Brazilian, afro-cuban, steel drum bands, jazz, pop, and of course R&B, funk, dance, respectively. He has performed in over 35 US states and been a part of over 40 CDs as either a member or session player.
As an educator, Jeremy has taught at many Colorado high schools while serving as their percussion instructor. He currently teaches at 3 high schools and clinics at several others in areas of marching percussion and concert percussion. In recent years, Jeremy was also a member of the Education Committee for the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), an international percussion organization, where he co-chaired a committee of percussion educators for developing a standard percussion curriculum for high school and college level students.
Melissa Steinbock, Trumpet Section Coach / Marching Band Brass
Melissa has chosen not to provide a staff bio or picture for this website. Please contact her directly if you have any questions or need more information.
Danny Sweet, Marching Band Woodwinds
Danny Sweet is a saxophonist and teacher from Centennial, CO and has been a member of the AHS marching staff since the 2015 season. He marched with Arapahoe for four years, conducting the band as drum major his senior year. He now teaches drum major training clinics, marching and leadership technique, and musicality in the program.
A multi-instrumentalist, Danny performs on all saxophones, clarinet, and vocals. Having also performed with various rock and metal bands throughout the Denver area, Danny boasts the skill set and experience needed for being successful in a large variety of ensembles. Currently a Bachelor of Music student at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, Danny studies saxophone and woodwind performance with professor Art Bouton. Danny has performed on saxophone with many notable groups, including the Lamont Pit Orchestra, the Corpus de Funk jazz combo, the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, and the award winning Nebula Ensemble. He was the first chair alto saxophonist in the Colorado All-State Band, he currently holds the spot as principal chair saxophonist in the University of Denver Lamont Wind Ensemble, and he has performed in a master class taught by past president of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Debra Richtmeyer.
Danny sees the potential for musical and visual expression of emotion, and the potential for interpersonal connection through performance in each of the students at Arapahoe. He strives to bring those traits out in every performer on the field and use that to give each of them an experience that they will not soon forget.
Ron Torp, Horn Section Coach
Ron Torp graduated with his Bachelor of Music Education ('68) and Master of Arts in Performance ('70) degrees from University of Denver Lamont School of Music. He served as a substitute and extra horn from 1978-1990 with the Denver Symphony Orchestra (now the Colorado Symphony). Ron also performed with the Central City Opera horn section for 35 summer seasons from 1978-2012 and played with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra for 10 seasons (including around 200 "Nutcracker" performances). Ron was the solo horn with the Denver Center Theater Orchestra for all three of their "musical" years and is currently participating in the educational programs: Inside the Orchestra and Tiny Tots (for the past 33 years) at about 30 to 40 elementary schools and churches per year around Denver. Ron has been the French horn coach at Arapahoe for the past 21 years.
Michael Vigliotti, Double Reeds Section Coach
Michael Vigliotti has been teaching the oboe and bassoon sectionals at Arapahoe since 2004. In addition to teaching at AHS, Michael is on staff at Colorado Honor Band as the Double Reed sectional teacher and also teaches sectionals for schools in Cherry Creek, Douglas County and Adams County.
Michael teaches 20 students privately and maintains a double-reed repair shop and reed making business. His private students have held positions in All-State Band & Orchestra, Colorado Honor Band, CU Honor Band, Continental League, Cherry Creek Honor Band, Jeffco All-County Band, Young Artists Orchestra, Arapahoe Youth Symphony, Colorado Youth Symphony and Front Range Youth Symphony.
Michael received a Master of Music in Oboe Performance from SMU. He performs regularly on oboe, English horn and bassoon with Woodwinds Three (WWIII), and subs with the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Denver Philharmonic & Stratus Chamber Orchestra as well as some other groups.
Jeremy Wendelin, Saxophone Section Coach
Jeremy Wendelin is a saxophonist and teacher based in Lakewood, Colorado. He studied classical saxophone with Robert Musser at the University of Puget Sound, winning that school’s Concerto/Aria Contest, performing as a featured soloist, and sharing the stage with guest artists such as Ray Brown, Poncho Sanchez, and Art Farmer. After receiving his B.A. and M.Ed, Jeremy returned to his native Colorado in 2000.
Mr. Wendelin is an active soloist in the Denver area, and has been featured with the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra, and on numerous concert series. He co-founded the Confluence Saxophone Quartet in 2008, and continues to perform with and arrange for the group. As a jazz artist, he maintains a busy schedule, performing at festivals, clubs, concerts and events both with his own group and others. He also maintains a studio of private students in the Denver area.