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Valley Vista regional awardees

Dysart Schools Celebrate Winter Arts Accolades

The Winter Arts competition season was a banner year for Dysart Schools and our talented students.  Students competed in several events throughout the last few months in a variety of arts disciplines.

NAU Jazz Madrigal Festival

All four high school choirs competed at NAU Jazz Madrigal Festival.  The annual festival is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, featuring special guest clinicians and over 140 high school ensembles from Arizona and nearby states. The two-day festival includes a host concert in which choirs from NAU and professional groups of national and international stature appear.  

  • The Valley Vista High School (VVHS) Concert Choir received a Superior
  • Shadow Ridge High School (SRHS) Stellar FX Choir received an Excellent
  • Shadow Ridge High School (SRHS) Constellation Choir received a Superior with a score of 34 out of 35 one point away from a perfect score
  • Willow Canyon High School (WCHS)l Concert Choir received an Excellent.

Arizona Music Educators Association Awards (AMEA)

Dysart Schools had 29 students in grades 6-8 selected for AMEA All-State Band.  Students in 7-8th grade have to audition to be selected.  Dysart had eight students earn this honor.   

The following high school students were selected for AMEA Regional Ensembles:

  • Choir (all VVHS students) -   Alayna Alger, Samira Doxie, Desirae Jones, Susanna Alger, Luke Lundberg, Stephen Neal, Josiah Chang
  • Orchestra - Avery Slade (VVHS) 
  • Band- Esteban Mejia (VVHS), Jonathan Chang (VVHS),  Esteban Mejia (VVHS) , Eli Hernandez (WCHS), Erin Chon (WCHS), Mallory McNeece (WCHS), Mosiah Johnson (SRHS), Ajaya Miles (SRHS), Carter Horrocks (SRHS), Savannah Larsen (WCHS), Rebecca Geiger (DHS), Ryan Cervantes (DHS)

In addition to Regionals and All State, 59 choral and piano students competed in the AMEA Solo and Ensemble competition.  They came away with ten Superior Ratings and 26 Excellent Ratings.   The two Shadow Ridge High School show choirs, Stellar FX and Constellation, came away with Superior ratings.   

Arizona Regional Acting Festival

Shadow Ridge High School and Willow Canyon High School Theatre competed at the Arizona Regional Acting Festival.   The following students qualified to compete at the National Thespian Conference this summer in Indiana.   

  • Liam Carmichael; Monologue - SRHS
  • Alexandra Richardson; Solo - SRHS
  • Leilani Miranda; Solo - SRHS
  • Alexandra Richardson; Leilani Miranda Duet - SRHS
  • Leilani Miranda; Monologue - SRHS
  • Giovanni Manganiello; Solo- WCHS
  • Karlynn Edwards; Solo- WCHS
  • Millie Hodges, Taryn Fay, Lily Perrigo; Musical Theatre - Group Musical- WCHS
  • Matthew Cabello, Mia Hiniker; Musical Theatre - Duet- WCHS
  • Matthew Cabello; Falsettos Musical Theatre - Solo- WCHS
  • Mia Hiniker; Musical Theatre - Solo- WCHS
  • Karlynn Edwards, Jillian Gleason; Musical Theatre - Duet-WCHS
  • Giovanni Manganiello, Psymon Kelly; Acting - Duet Scenes- WCHS
  • Lily Sekosky; Tech - Scenic Design- WCHS
  • Jordan Davis; Tech - Costume Design-WCHS

Visual Arts Awards

Valley Vista High School student Jada Diaz won the Sue Hunter Scholarship at the 2023 New Horizons Art Show.  New Horizons is an annual, valley-wide high school student art exhibition that showcases local talent at the Shemer Art Center.

In partnership with the City of Surprise and the The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission,  Dysart Schools student artwork is displayed at the Surprise City Art Gallery now through March 9, 2023.  

The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission recognized the following students for artistic excellence within the show.  

  • Kaci Ponte; K-2nd Grade - Riverview School
  • Tessa Cibils; 3-5th Grade - Sunset Hills Elementary School
  • Kaden Summers; 6-8th Grade - West Point Elementary School
  • Maleeyah Denham; 9-12th Grade - Willow Canyon High School

The public is invited to view the artwork Monday - Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm at 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise AZ 85374 through March 9, 2023.

Dysart Schools is proud to celebrate the achievements of our students within our arts programs.  These students along with many more will be featured at the Dysart Festival of Arts on Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 10am-3pm at Valley Vista High School.  This event showcases the visual and performing arts programs from 16 elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools, and preschool students.  We hope you can join us.  Learn more about the event at


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