Denisse Vallecillos

Director of Education

A native of Arizona, Denisse has always had a love for music, starting on the violin at age 9. Her desire to continue involvement in music and pass that love on to future generations lead her to continue her music studies beyond high school and into music education. Denisse holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Arizona State University, studying Music Education with Dr. Marg Schmidt and violin with Danwen Jiang. She also holds a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Brigham Young University, studying with Kory Katseanes and Dr. Don Peterson.


Denisse’s experience as an educator include 4 years as a violin coach at The Waterford School, 6 years as Director of Orchestras at Juan Diego Catholic High School where she directed 5 string ensembles and 2 guitar classes, and various after school orchestra programs. She also maintains a small studio of private violin students. Her experience as a conductor lead her to roles as Associate Conductor for 3 years with the Utah Philharmonic Orchestra, Associate Conductor for 2 years and later Music Director for 3.5 years with West Jordan Symphony. In 2017 Denisse was invited to take part as a participant (1 of 10) in the University of Oregon Summer Conducting Institute working on her craft with David M. Jacobs (U of O) and Neil Varon (Eastman). Denisse enjoys youth outreach opportunities and has been on organization committees and faculty for the Four String Festival and Utah Live! music festivals, both with the Utah Philharmonic Orchestra and has been part of the Mountain Springs Music Festival since 2019.


Denisse will begin as Director of Orchestras at Mountain Ridge Jr. High this Fall. She is currently working on more education publications and has recently published two works: Harmony and Melody for Multi-stringed Instruments, a music theory book for strings, and Music Theory and the Fretboard for high school level beginning guitar.